Indexes – Indices - Benchmarks – these are very important analysis and portfolio management tools for asset owners and their internal and external managers. We can think of them as a sort of report card; fiduciaries can track their performance against the funds they manage; financial sector players can develop products for investment (mutual funds, Exchange Traded Funds, separate accounts and so on) to market to investors.
The United Nations projection is for today’s global population of an estimated 7.6 billion people to expand to a global population of 8.6B by 2030 and 9.8B by 2050...and then to 11.2 billion in 2100 (says the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs report, June 2017). Each year, says the UN, 83 million more people are added to the world’s population.
Banks have long been at the center of the U.S. economy, and federal policies (legislation, rules) for the last century have been designed to support, encourage and protect banking institutions, and the customers the banks serve.
Welcome to Highlights issue #500 – a landmark, we will say, in this, the tenth anniversary year of publishing the G&A Institute’s weekly newsletter. As you see, this is also an enhanced format that is intended to make the newsletter easier to read or scan as well.
Our newsletter is designed to share timely, informative content in topic/issue “buckets” that we think will be of value to you, our reader. So much is happening in the sustainable investing and corporate sustainability spaces these days – we work hard to help you keep up with the important stuff!
Here is the Transition From the Long-Dominant Worldview of “Stockholder Capitalism” in a Changed World
As readers of Highlights know, the shift from “stockholder” to “stakeholder” capitalism has been underway in earnest for a good while now and the public dialogue about this “21st Century Sign of Progress” has been quite lively. What helped to really frame the issue in 2019 were two developments:
There are lively discussions going on, centered on improving publicly-traded company disclosure and reporting – and especially ESG reporting…that is, storytelling about the company’s “non-financials” (in accounting-speak).
The proliferation of ESG / sustainability reporting frameworks, standards, information platforms, industry guidance, stock exchange guidance and much more has been astounding in recent years.
This has been a strange summer in the northern climes, as the corporate sector and capital markets players meet the challenges of the corona virus, economic downturn, and civil protests.
In times of crises (and we have at least three major crisis situations occurring all at once to deal with this summer) certain actions may take a back seat. Not so with forward movement of corporate sustainability and ESG/sustainable investing in summer 2020.
The roots of today’s “sustainable investing” approaches go back decades; the organizing principle often was often around what investors viewed as “socially responsible”, “ethical”, “faith-based” and “values” investing. “SRI” over time evolved into the more dominant sustainable or ESG investing in the 21st Century -- with many more mainstream investors today embracing the approach.
According to responses to a June on-line survey of 2,000 adults in the U.S.A. for “clean manufacturing” leader Genomatica, sustainability is now a top-of-mind issue, with an overwhelming majority (85% of respondents) of Americans indicating they’ve been thinking about sustainability the same amount or more…and 56% want brands and government to prioritize sustainability even in the midst of the crises (Coronavirus, economic downturn – plus civil unrest).