Stories About Finance/Insurance/Investment

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H&M, Unilever Commit to Climate Change Disclosure as Matter of Fiduciary Duty
H&M, Unilever Commit to Climate Change Disclosure as Matter of Fiduciary Duty

LEADERSHIP - H&M, Unilever, Nestlé and several other leading companies and investors have committed to reporting climate change through the Climate Change Reporting Framework or other comparable frameworks as a matter of fiduciary duty, whether or not required by current regulation.This represents an unprecedented collective commitment and a practical step capable of enabling positive change in economic and financial market activity at scale.

The Next 5 Challenges to Sustainable Investing
The Next 5 Challenges to Sustainable Investing

NEW METRICS - Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) is a growing force in markets across the world. According to the US SIF Foundation, the responsible investing market in the US increased 486 percent while the broader US market of professionally managed assets grew 376 percent between 1995 and 2012. SRI investments are generally demand-side driven. More and more investors are looking for vehicles that are aligned with their values and priorities. In 2014, the total Assets Under Management (AUM) of the 1,278 signatories of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which include asset owners, investment managers and professional service partners, totaled $45 trillion. The SRI niche is not going away.

Global Shift to Mass Transit Can Save $100 Trillion by 2050
Global Shift to Mass Transit Can Save $100 Trillion by 2050

NEW METRICS - More than $100 trillion in cumulative public and private spending, and 1,700 megatons of annual carbon dioxide (CO2) — a 40 percent reduction of urban passenger transport emissions — could be eliminated by 2050 if the world expands public transportation, walking and cycling in cities, according to a new report released by the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).In addition, an estimated 1.4 million early deaths could be avoided annually by 2050 if governments began requiring the strongest vehicle pollution controls and ultralow-sulfur fuels, according to a related analysis of these urban vehicle activity pathways by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) included in the report.

Barclays Pledges £1bn to Rapidly Growing Green Bonds Sector
Barclays Pledges £1bn to Rapidly Growing Green Bonds Sector

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - On Monday, Barclays reaffirmed its commitment to the Green Bonds sector by announcing it will invest a minimum of £1bn (US$1.64) by November 2015 to form part of its liquid asset buffer — one of the largest such investments by a bank."Every so often, market innovation and social imperatives come together to create something exciting that has the potential to make a real difference,” said Tushar Morzaria, Group Finance Director at Barclays. “The Green Bond sector is a fast-growing and powerful example of this synthesis."

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Institutional Investors Managing $24T Call for Carbon Pricing, Ambitious Global Climate Deal
Institutional Investors Managing $24T Call for Carbon Pricing, Ambitious Global Climate Deal

THE NEXT ECONOMY - Nearly 350 global institutional investors representing over $24 trillion in assets have called on government leaders to provide stable, reliable and economically meaningful carbon pricing that helps redirect investment commensurate with the scale of the climate change challenge, as well as develop plans to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels.

University of California Investing $1 Billion to Fight Climate Change
University of California Investing $1 Billion to Fight Climate Change

LEADERSHIP - The University of California has announced it will allocate $1 billion over five years for direct investments in solutions to climate change.In addition, as part of UC President Janet Napolitano’s goal of bringing university operations to carbon neutrality by 2025, the 10-campus university system has signed agreements to secure substantial solar energy for the next 25 years.

Investors Press Palm Oil Producers to Halt Deforestation
Investors Press Palm Oil Producers to Halt Deforestation

SUPPLY CHAIN - Institutional investors representing over half a trillion dollars in assets under management are calling on four major palm oil producers to adopt an immediate moratorium on deforestation and join the growing effort within the industry to establish traceable, deforestation-free palm oil supply chains.Led by Green Century Capital Management, investors called on Sime Darby Plantation, Kuala Lumpour Kepong Berhad, IOI Corporation Berhad, and Asian Agri to cease their efforts to weaken the existing threshold for no-deforestation.

Creating Sustainable Apparel Value Chains, Part II: Fostering Total Resource Productivity and (Impact) Investing
Creating Sustainable Apparel Value Chains, Part II: Fostering Total Resource Productivity and (Impact) Investing

SUPPLY CHAIN - This post first appeared on CSRwire's TalkBack blog on January 7, 2014.This is part two of the Creating Sustainable Apparel Value Chains series. Read part one: Transforming the Industry.

Umicore: How Sustainability-Driven Innovation Transformed a Failing Mining Company Into a Materials Tech Power Player
Umicore: How Sustainability-Driven Innovation Transformed a Failing Mining Company Into a Materials Tech Power Player

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - Umicore’s ranking as #1 on the 2013 Global 100 index of most sustainable companies was met with healthy skepticism by social justice advocates and environmental purists. The company’s history as Union Minière du Haut Katanga created devastation that Umicore will need to continue to remedy at a hefty price tag.

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Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste
Thai Pulp Company Creating High-Quality Paper from Palm Oil Waste

WASTE NOT - Pulp Green Tech Holding (PGT), an R&D-focused company that owns Thai Gorilla Pulp Ltd., announced this week that it has successfully achieved a high-grade paper pulp made from empty palm fruit bunches, which are most often treated as waste material from the palm oil extraction process.The company estimates that roughly 95 percent, or 300 million tons, of this raw material is currently discarded per year.PGT says the process is highly cost-efficient and will enable investors, palm oil producers and paper pulp mills to achieve ROI of over 100% in the first year of operation, assuming the pulp is sold at a price of comparable non-wood materials.

Walmart Launching $10 Million Fund For US Manufacturing Innovation
Walmart Launching $10 Million Fund For US Manufacturing Innovation

SUPPLY CHAIN - On Thursday at the US Conference of Mayors Meeting in Washington, D.C., Walmart US President and CEO Bill Simon announced a new fund for innovation in US manufacturing.Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will fund the five-year program and launch it in March in collaboration with the US Conference of Mayors. The fund will provide grants to innovators in the manufacturing sector and seeks to create new processes, ideas and jobs that support the country’s growing manufacturing footprint.

New EY Series Highlights Top Sustainability Concerns for Business in 2014
New EY Series Highlights Top Sustainability Concerns for Business in 2014

MARKETING AND COMMS - As companies begin their 2014 planning, it is critical to have a firm understanding of the regulatory and sustainability trends that will impact core business. In a new publication series Let’s talk: sustainability, Ernst & Young’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services group highlights the top concerns facing companies in these areas in 2014.

Mosaic and Mark Ruffalo Make New Year's Resolution to 'Put Solar on It'
Mosaic and Mark Ruffalo Make New Year's Resolution to 'Put Solar on It'

MARKETING AND COMMS - Mosaic, the first U.S. company to crowdsource investments for solar projects, is kicking off 2014 with a New Year’s Resolution campaign to “Put Solar on It.” The campaign invites anyone to pledge to put solar on a local home, school, place of worship, business or other property on PutSolarOnIt.com. Throughout 2014, Mosaic says it will provide people with the tools and network they need to make their pledge a reality.Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo is leading the campaign with his pledge to put solar on his children’s school, Stephen Gaynor Elementary, in Manhattan.

CDP: Many Businesses Still Unaware of Supply Chain Risks Due to Deforestation
CDP: Many Businesses Still Unaware of Supply Chain Risks Due to Deforestation

SUPPLY CHAIN - In a year of extreme weather events, commodity price spikes and supply chain disasters, the latest data from CDP’s forests program reveals that the business community remains largely unaware of the deforestation risks in their own supply chains, threatening shareholder value.

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UK Industry Leaders Found ‘Research Council’ to Promote Social Sector Investment
UK Industry Leaders Found ‘Research Council’ to Promote Social Sector Investment

LEADERSHIP - Five major organizations active in the social investment market — the Big Lottery Fund, Citi, Big Society Capital, the City of London Corporation and the Cabinet Office — have come together to launch the Social Investment Research Council (SIRC), which aims to “generate powerful and practical insights for the benefit of social sector organizations and investors.”The research body will seek to maximize the benefits for socially motivated investors by enhancing knowledge within the sector, the founders say. During the organization’s first year of operation, it will focus on better understanding the investment products currently on the market and the kind of investors they seek to attract.

Water Scarcity: Dealing with the Long-Term Business Risk
Water Scarcity: Dealing with the Long-Term Business Risk

COLLABORATION - Yesterday, in an attempt to stimulate dialogue and increase awareness around global water risk, CDP held its Global Water Forum 2013, “Investing in Water Security.”The impetus for the conversation, and in general CDP’s water program, is to catalyze sustainable global water stewardship.Water scarcity is a long-term business risk which has not, quite frankly, been gaining the same level of attention as other sustainability issues, such as energy efficiency and carbon reduction.However, unlike carbon, water is not a renewable resource.“I am very passionate that water is not carbon,” said Will Sarni, Director and Practice Leader, Enterprise Water Strategy at Deloitte Consulting LLP. “There is no replacement for water. Carbon is renewable. Water is not.”

Rubies in the Rubble: Fighting a Culture of Waste One Chutney at a Time
Rubies in the Rubble: Fighting a Culture of Waste One Chutney at a Time

WASTE NOT - In 2010, Jenny Dawson was a couple of years out of university working at a hedge fund company in London. One day, she found herself at a wholesale market where she saw pallets of edible fruit and vegetables going to the waste bin. The food had been grown in neighboring countries in Europe and as far away as Kenya.To Dawson it was sheer madness and an environmental and social travesty that so much good food requiring great resources to grow and transport to London would ultimately end up in the garbage. “Seeing pallets of perfectly good fruit coming in from Kenya destined for the garbage evoked a reaction in me. There must be something we could do. We can’t be this wasteful,” says Dawson.

Investors Ask General Mills to Step Up Packaging Responsibility
Investors Ask General Mills to Step Up Packaging Responsibility

WASTE NOT - This week, investors are asking General Mills to take responsibility for recycling its post-consumer packaging waste.

Arizona State University partners with sustainable Dutch development for productivity assessment
Arizona State University partners with sustainable Dutch development for productivity assessment

PRESS RELEASE - The Arizona State University Global Sustainability Solutions Center (GSSC) at Haarlemmermeer announced its first project agreement in the Netherlands on September 30th 2013. GSSC will conduct research and analysis for Park 20|20, the Netherlands’ first cradle-to-cradle working environment, in order to assess the links between employee and firm productivity and the built environment. Park 20|20, located in the town of Hoofddorp, is geared to energize and empower employees through a “human-centered design approach” via its architecture and landscape. The cradle-to-cradle design achieves sustainability by creating closed cycles for materials, energy, waste, and water.

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The Emerging, Not-for-Profit Economy
The Emerging, Not-for-Profit Economy

THE NEXT ECONOMY - Across numerous countries, the economic contribution of the not-for-profit sector has been on the rise since the late 1990s. In Canada, for example, not-for-profit institutions now contribute 8% of the country’s gross domestic product. Moreover, in the U.S. the not-for-profit (NFP) sector grew significantly faster than the for-profit (FP) sector between 2001-2011, despite the financial crisis of 2008.

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