Lately, we’ve been participating in conferences where CEOs and other senior managers have been on the lectern describing their companies’ sustainability journeys – the why, how, challenges and positive outcomes.
Most presenters are the leaders in brand marketing who know that the stakes are higher now, in terms of both investor and customer expectations. They know that the customer-facing company that wants competitive market positioning will demonstrate greater corporate responsibility and strive to be more sustainable.
Back in 1991, the tense “Cold War” environment of the post-WWII era was coming to an end. President George H.W. Bush, a veteran fighter pilot in WWII and “Cold War Warrior,” addressed the U.S. Congress (January 19th) to deliver his State of the Union address.
Take our Top Story today and get it in front of your firm’s finance leaders...
So often we hear that “investors don’t ask” or “no one inside seems to care” or “our finance folks don’t believe in” when we talk with corporate connections about corporate sustainability at their firm. And, inside the company, skepticism can typically be found in the finance offices.
This week’s top story choice for you is quite fascinating. How can a country provide a quality way of life for its citizens and also strive to be more sustainable over the long-term?
Researchers at two universities collaborated to see what countries are doing / and need to do / to provide quality of life for their citizens and to be sustainable (at the same time) to protect the planet. The researchers explain where we are and where we need to go to achieve both (in balance). There's an XY charting of the prominent nations for you as well.
We are just past one month into the year 2018 and there have already been significant advances that directly affect the lives of professionals and organizations in the fields of corporate sustainability and sustainable investing – the two vital halves of the capital markets – and in related fields.
Does Wall Street finally care about sustainability? A noted sustainability author (Andrew Winston) muses about this in the pages of the influential journal for the C-suite – the Harvard Business Review. Yes, we think – more and more asset owners and managers are getting aboard the train...but there is work to do. And what about corporate boards and CEOs...”
Volume & Velocity Those may well be the key characteristics of developments in corporate sustainability and in sustainable investing in the year 2018.
Linda-Eling Lee, Global Head of Research for MSCI’s ESG Research Group and her colleague Matt Moscardi (Head of Research Financial Sector, ESG) this week described what they are projecting in the traditional early-in-the-year setting out of key ESG trends to watch by the influential MSCI ESG team:
Huffington Post writer Lauren DeMates has her “Top 10” list up for the 2017 forces that shaped (in her opinion) sustainability. Guiding her choice: “…many of 2017’s activities were prompted by the unprecedented attack on science and environmental protection by the Trump administration. However, efforts to counteract the anti-environmental agenda and work towards a more sustainable society have been unprecedented as well...”
And in that context, she identifies the following:
A significant new player is now entering the mix of the growing number of organizations providing institutional investors with ESG rankings and data. At G&A Institute, we've been tracking the growth of these organizations (such as MSCI, Sustainalytics, RobecoSAM, Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters, and others) and work with our clients to help managements understand, optimize and utilize these important intelligence points coming from the rapidly-growing number of investors considering ESG.
Once again, the authoritative Harvard Business Review weighs in on corporate sustainability with a commentary piece on the top trends of 2017 – with “big leaps both forward and backward” in the year just concluded. And there was some predictability, writes author Andrew Winston in his commentary, as he says he predicted: “…the context for sustainable business in 2017 may center on the competition between two stories, the election of Donald Trump and significant action on climate change…”