I have over the years developed a rule of thumb or criterion for assessing the efficacy of sustainability measurement and reporting methods that goes something like this:
If it is possible for an organization to perform “well” according to the principles of a particular measurement and reporting system and yet still be putting vital resources or human wellbeing at risk, then the system itself fails on its face and should be rightly rejected.
This month BNP Paribas, the world’s seventh-largest financial institution, announced a new palm oil policy that sets responsible palm oil production as a pre-condition for financing. The policy requires that companies receiving financing protect forests and indigenous people.
While the adoption of carbon pricing is on the rise, members of the We Mean Business Coalition, including Barclays, Bank of America and Hermes Investment Management have introduced the world’s first investment-grade carbon pricing system for the power sector — which accounts for one-quarter of global emissions — in an effort to accelerate the transformation needed to limit global warming to a 2°C scenario.
Over the next few years, the private sector will inherit the enormous responsibility of sustaining the health of our planet. Although this daunting challenge may force companies to operate outside of their comfort zones, businesses should recognize that with great responsibility comes great opportunity. In a market where consumer attitudes and brand loyalties are shifting to prefer socially and environmentally conscious products, companies hoping to remain competitive must integrate sustainability into the core of their business models.
By 2050, $40 trillion will change hands in North America alone – the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history – and the effects will transform the world as we know it.
This is Joel Solomon’s opening gambit as he launches his passionate and persuasive primer on The Clean Money Revolution: Reinventing Power, Purpose, and Capitalism, published this month (New Society Press, co-authored by Tyee Bridge).
California-based startup Bluon Energy, creator of an energy-efficient replacement refrigerant for existing HVAC-R systems, has scored new investors and a board advisor to boost awareness of the role its refrigerants can play in the fight against climate change and to bolster sales. This comes at a time when existing HVAC-R refrigerants used by the majority of the US and the world are becoming obsolete due to federal regulation and global phase-outs.
Just months after launching its new S&P Green Bond Select Index, which measures the performance of green-labeled bonds that finance sustainability projects, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Trucost have announced the publication of the S&P Dow Jones Indices
In an effort to boost capital investments geared towards recycling infrastructure and the development of the development of the circular economy, the Closed Loop Foundation has launched a new research initiative.
Global financial institution Calvert Foundation has announced a new business line, Capital Aggregation, designed to pool capital from multiple institutional and accredited investors, in the form of syndications and participations in fixed income transactions, to enable investment at scale in mission-driven organizations.
Following the announcement of Philips’ new sustainability-driven revolving credit facility, Dutch banking group Triodos has launched a personal current account in the UK in response to a growing demand for responsible banking products.
“Our new personal account brings an inspiring new option to the UK current account market, which we believe is dysfunctional and is obviously dominated by a small number of large banks,” said Bevis Watts, Managing Director of Triodos UK.
Long-term climate change risks are increasingly informing financial decisions for the world’s biggest investors says a recent report from the London-based Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP). Yet, a considerable number of companies in the financial sector, particularly in North America, Asia and the Middle East, show no evidence of any action to address climate change, putting $4.5 trillion in global assets at risk.
Royal Philips (Philips), a leader in health technology, has announced an agreement with a consortium of sixteen banks for a new €1 billion Revolving Credit Facility with an interest rate that will be dependent on the company’s year-on-year sustainability performance improvement.
Green Century Capital Management, in collaboration with Trillium Asset Management and 350.org, has released a new fossil fuel-free investing guide for environmentally and socially conscious investors. Make a Clean Break: Your Guide to Fossil Fuel Free Investing — an update to previous versions released in 2014 and 2013 — provides improved insights and analysis about the potential financial advantages of eliminating fossil fuel corporations from investment portfolios and reinvesting
The Accounting major is popular in college because it is one of the easiest ways to ensure you get a job after school, and the most prestigious – and lucrative – route to take is to get a job with one of the Big 4 Public Accounting firms. My Accounting professor told me that working for one of the Big 4 Public Accounting firms was like going to grad school and getting paid for it. So naturally, that is what I strived for and started my career as an Audit Associate. For those of you that don’t know, an accounting role tends to be long hours in a non-collaborative environment, doing work that is repetitive and lacks creativity. On the bright side, however, accountants tend to get paid very well.
Cross-Posted from Cleantech.
A report released today from As Yow Sow and Corporate Knights reveals that a list of 200 clean energy companies known as the Carbon Clean 200™ (Clean200™) show a simulated annualized return of 21.82 percent over the past decade – nearly triple that of the Carbon Underground 200™, a list of fossil fuel companies being targeted for divestment, which generated a 7.84 percent annualized return over the same period. The Clean200’s high figure was largely due to the explosive growth experienced by Chinese cleantech firms, but firms outside of China still had figures superior to the S&P 1200 global benchmark and Carbon Underground 200.
Cross-Posted from Cleantech.
On Monday, The Goldman Sachs Group released its ambitious new Environmental Policy Framework, which includes bold targets and initiatives related to climate-change mitigation, adaptation, risk management, and operational impact. The company reports it is on schedule to be the first U.S. investment bank to be carbon neutral across its operations and business travel by the end of 2015, and has already invested $37 billion in clean energy since setting its $40 billion capital deployment goal in 2012.
Cross-Posted from Cleantech.
Investors are becoming warier of the valuation risk in their portfolios as a result of climate change. This week, there are three new indices and a new free web tool to help them navigate their way to fossil fuel-free investments.
Cross-Posted from New Metrics.
Natural Capital Accounting (NCA) is an emerging methodology in the private sector, aimed at measuring the dependency and impact of companies on natural systems. NCA helps in quantifying the value of usually intangible assets from nature (such as water, pollination, etc). NCA allows mitigating risks but also identifies opportunities to reduce costs, innovate and become more resilient.
Cross-Posted from Product, Service & Design Innovation.
“We have statesmen and politicians who profess to guide our destinies. Whither are they guiding our destinies?”— H.G WellsValuing continuing existenceIn recent decades considerable effort has been invested into describing and identifying the planet’s natural environment in terms that can be appreciated and integrated into the language of economics and finance.
Cross-Posted from Marketing and Comms.
This month, shareholder advocacy organization As You Sow released its 10th annual Proxy Preview report, detailing the record-breaking 433 social and environmental shareholder resolutions filed so far this proxy season, with political spending and climate change driving most of the activity.