Now in its 19th year, the well known CR Magazine “100 Best Corporate Citizens 2018” list was just unveiled; this effort recognizes the ESG performance of public companies in the United States. (The publication is now titled Corporate Responsibility Magazine, published by 3BL Media LLC.)
In monitoring the growing abundance of news stories and commentary about “supply chain,” “globalization” or “trade” topics and issues, our editors often see the focus is on apparel, clothing, textiles, fashion, etc. Companies in the developed economies widely source apparel footwear and related items in the developing and under-developed nations – and what happens there can quickly make news that travels around the globe.
Fred Krupp is head of the two-million-member Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), a leading global not-for-profit that creates “transformational solutions” to address environmental problems by linking economics, law, science and innovative private-sector partnerships. Since the mid-1980s he has been a very vocal thought leader, activist, and champion for change on various climate change issues, striving to use the power of the marketplace to protect the global environment.
These are terms we hear all year ‘round and especially in the spring of the year as corporate managers describe for us what they often feel as the inevitable growing flow of third party ESG / Sustainability data sets, ratings, rankings, surveys, forms and various types information for review come pouring into their offices. It’s spring – survey time! Large-cap companies may receive 200 and more such queries during a year.
The CEO of one of the nation’s leading food and agriculture companies has important messages for us: “To move the planet forward, farmers must lead the charge. But they cannot do it alone. Coordinated action on sustainability across the food supply chains is the only way to achieve lasting progress.” He tells us how and why in his commentary in a Top Story.
The Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes are some of the most important and widely-used benchmarks for global investors – the suppliers of capital to the corporate sector. The “DJSI” benchmarks include the well-known “World” and “North America” indexes.
We can view this as very encouraging news: Ceres released a report – "Turning Point" -- that shows almost two-thirds of 600 companies examined intend to reduce GHG emission; half have water management policies; and just under half of the companies are formally committed to "workers' rights". The current research effort is the third assessment of corporate progress against key expectations of the framework, "The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability," and is a follow up to Ceres' "Gaining Ground: Corporate Progress" report in 2014.
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.