Planet Business: Green rhinos and Brexit upsets

Also this week: Buzz’s Mars dream, ‘Twibel’ and the Wolves player turned HSBC chairman

Buzz Aldrin at the SXSW festival: the second man on the moon  wants us to get our asses to Mars. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Buzz Aldrin at the SXSW festival: the second man on the moon wants us to get our asses to Mars. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg


In numbers: Shockwaves at Lush


Percentage of Lush staff who are not British citizens and now feel “unwelcome and understandably upset” by the Brexit vote, the UK cosmetics retailer said.


Number of Lush employees who have already taken up the company’s offer of employment at a factory in Düsseldorf, Germany, as a result of Brexit “shockwaves”.


Lush’s global tally of stores. The maker of “bath bombs” said it had always “flourished” from the freedom of movement of people and goods and that its growth in the UK might now be curtailed.

Image of the week: Interplanetary Buzz

Tech conferences on Earth can be humdrum, peddling their beta-bound apps while droning on about how they really see themselves as storytellers. In fairness, South By Southwest (SXSW) is not like that. This week, the Texas culture-technology festival had former astronaut Buzz Aldrin (87) talking about his dream of a sustainable settlement on Mars, to which 18 people would be shuttled every two years, culminating in a colony of 150. The second man on the moon started pushing for this dream to become a reality long before Silicon Valley darling Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos ever set their sights on the red planet. He’s now spreading the word via virtual reality films, trips to the White House and his “get your ass to Mars” T-shirt – a slogan that will rhyme better if reproduced for the Irish market.

Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The lexicon: Twibel

A “Twibel” is a libel made on Twitter, and it can prove expensive if your name is Katie Hopkins, the columnist found by the UK high court to have libelled food writer Jack Monroe. Confusing her with journalist Laurie Penny – who had tweeted that she didn’t have a problem with the vandalism of a war memorial as an anti-austerity protest – Hopkins asked Monroe if she had “scrawled on any memorials recently?” and later, refusing to apologise, wondered what the difference was between “irritant Penny and social anthrax Monroe”. She now faces an estimated legal bill of £300,000 on top of the £24,000 compensation the judge ordered her to pay Monroe. Sympathy is lacking, mainly because Hopkins is the kind of person who can and did describe migrants as “cockroaches” and “feral humans”. Naturally, her media career has only gone from strength to strength since then.

Getting to know: Mark Tucker

Insurance industry executive Mark Tucker, the incoming chairman of HSBC, celebrated his 50th birthday with a broken nose and two black eyes, according to Reuters. It was the result of a clash on a football pitch, but Tucker (now 59) is not just any corporate five-a-sider. Before he fell headlong into the world of global financial services, he had an early career as a professional soccer player, with spells on the books of English clubs Barnet, Rochdale and Wolverhampton Wanderers. One university degree and a stint at PricewaterhouseCoopers later, he was a qualified accountant, joining insurer Prudential and more recently taking insurance company AIA through a stock market listing, doubling its market value. Perhaps he’s saved a back-of-the-net, goal celebration move for the boardroom.

The list: First-time greeners

Tourism Ireland’s annual “Global Greening” project is proof that you don’t need a complicated or terribly sophisticated creative concept to market a country – you just need to persuade a load of tourist attractions to get happy with green fluorescent light and/or dye. Here are five sites joining in this year.

1. Ethiopian Airlines: An Airbus A350 in Addis Ababa has gone green in “a continuation of the long-standing social, cultural and economic collaboration between Ethiopia and Ireland”.

2. Kenya statues: A green tinge has come all over two rhino statues called Kyela and Lankeu (mother and baby) in Nairobi National Park in Kenya.

3. City Hall, London: The Norman Foster-designed offices near Tower Bridge, home to mayor of London Sadiq Khan, are making their global greening debut.

5. The “Irish” saxophone on the Charles de Gaulle bridge: This bridge in the Belgian city of Dinant is already “a tribute to the saxophone”, with a giant piece of sax-shaped street art to represent each European country.

5. The Kelpies: These giant horse head sculptures near Falkirk in Scotland are stunning in any colour, even green.