People and Business: Eco-chill with Iceland

ICELAND, the UK's leading frozen food retailer, has teamed up with Greenpeace to produce a range of ozone-layer-friendly fridges and freezers.

According to Mark Bates, managing director of Iceland's appliances division, this is the first time the eco-warriors at Greenpeace have allowed their logo to be used by a commercial company anywhere in the world.

But isn't this a brave step by Iceland? After all, Greenpeace have been keen to attack other companies like BP and ICI.

"The argument is more fundamental than that. I'm convinced that once the public knows that this technology is available, they will support what is right for the environment," says Mr Bates.

The technology Mr Bates is so excited about is based on using gases more commonly associated with cigarette lighters - butane and propane - to power fridges. Apparently, using these avoids the environmental damage produced by CFCs (hurts the ozone layer) and HFCs (adds to the greenhouse effect).

I always thought Iceland was the place you went to get your bumper packs of frozen prawns, but Mr Bates assures me they have been one of the UK's biggest suppliers of fridges and freezers for 25 years. The new "Kyoto" range (named after an environmental conference, naturally) will be made in Denmark, Turkey and Italy and retail for around pounds 150.

GOOD TO see Richard Surface getting his due reward for turning around Pearl Assurance over the last three years at the helm. Yesterday Mr Surface, chief executive of Pearl, became the first American citizen to join the board of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the insurers' trade club.

Pearl's Australian owners, AMP, are one of the companies in the running to buy NPI. If they win, Mr Surface must be odds-on for the job of turning around NPI's business as well.

THE OFEX market has seen its fair share of exotic launches, but yesterday's prospectus from MatchNet must be one of the most striking. Two Americans are seeking to raise pounds 1.5m for an Internet dating system which has already been a hit in the States, so they say.

Joe Shapira and Alon Carmel are offering to find singletons the perfect mate "without the drama of disastrous first dates". Instead of being set up by well-meaning friends, lonely hearts can search MatchNet's database from the privacy of their own screens.

"Through the anonymity of e-mail they can gradually get to know each other prior to exchanging phone numbers or meeting face-to-face," says the company.

It's starting with a database of 30,000 members and aims for 1.5 million by 2001. The company is getting advice on the float from accountants Pannell Kerr Forster and lawyers Fleury.

HOW'S THIS for a sign of the times? The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), an American rival to Liffe, has introduced the Quarterly Bankruptcy Index.

The exchange is launching what it described as "the first exchange-traded credit derivative, the CME-QBI". CME-QBI futures are based on a quarterly count of bankruptcy filings throughout the US.

The exchange claims the number of people going bust has a close correlation to the volume of defaults suffered by credit-card issuers. Therefore, the argument goes, the new futures will provide lenders with a "viable hedging tool, enabling them for the first time to deal with the risk of defaults arising from personal bankruptcy".

More than 1.4 million Americans went personally bankrupt last year, a record as the process has increasingly lost its stigma. It is now seen as a perfectly respectable way to deal with college fees, alimony and the like.

And, as with the MatchNet dating service, what starts in the States usually comes here soon after...

THE HAYS PLC subsidiary, Hays Business Services, has lost its second chief executive in a year.

Brian Taylor replaced Peter Dobson at the managed archives business in Stockwell, south London, at the end of September last year. Now Mr Taylor has upped stumps. A spokesman for Hays said he didn't know why Mr Taylor left, only that Brian Fuller, an existing Hays director, is taking over. Lets hope Mr Fuller lasts a bit longer.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Pricing Analyst

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pricing Analyst to join a leading e-...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K YR1: SThree: At SThree, we like to be dif...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is a mul...

Guru Careers: C# Project Team Lead

£55 - 65k (DOE): Guru Careers: A unique opportunity for a permanent C# Develop...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor