A New B-Annual Publication for the Business Sustainability Professional
The University of Michigan’s Erb Institute launches new bi-annual publication – ICYMI!
ICYMI! is a business-focused publication sharing the work of the Erb Institute. In this and future publications, we will share how our research, teaching and engagement are providing ideas and frameworks that will help businesses move forward in meeting their sustainability challenges. We invite you to have a look inside and see how our work is helping to move the needle on business sustainability.
Insights from the President of Parnassus Investments
By Benjamin E. Allen, President, Parnassus Investments and a portfolio manager for the Parnassus Core Equity Fund
As President of Parnassus Investments, I often think about what responsible investing might look like over the coming decades. The future is anchored in the past, so I believe the best way to begin an answer to this question is with a look back at the early years of responsible investing.
A 60-something instructor at a major university was working on a project with an undergraduate student. The student complimented the instructor on her proficiency with technology. The student thought he was paying a compliment to the instructor. The instructor was offended because she believed the implication was that her skills were good “for someone her age,” playing into the stereotype that all Baby Boomers struggle with technology. Little did the student know that the instructor serves on the boards of several technology companies and is a former CEO of a tech company.
System change is by far the most important sustainability issue in the corporate sector. Climate change and virtually every other major environmental and social issue only can be resolved through systemic changes at the sector and overarching system levels. Companies proactively involved in system change are the true sustainability leaders. Like current sustainability leaders, they will attain many financial and competitive benefits. This article summarizes the system change opportunity in the corporate sector and how companies can capitalize on it.
One of the most powerful – and least expensive – ways companies can improve employee engagement and commitment is to say a simple “thank you”. The top reason Americans leave their jobs is that they don’t feel appreciated, according to Gallup. Employees, in another study, were asked what leaders could do to improve engagement, 58 percent replied, “give recognition,”
Vacations are essential for improving employee quality of life. A major U.S. longitudinal study of 12,000 middle-aged men found that taking an annual vacation is associated with reduced risk of death due to heart disease. Vacations also improve employee performance. Iowa State University economics professor Wallace Huffman found vacations can boost productivity as much as 60 percent for up to two months following the vacation.
by Kathleen McQuiggan, Senior VP, Global Women’s Strategies, Pax World and Managing Director, Pax Ellevate Management, LLC
For an industry that prides itself on mastering risk management, finding value and uncovering arbitrage opportunities, I think the financial services sector is falling flat. Why? Because most firms are overlooking one of the biggest investment opportunities ever: women.