April 12, 2018


Feeding 9 Billion People in 2050? Challenging!
– A Leading U.S. CEO in the Food & Agriculture Business Has Important Perspectives to Share

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.

Background:  The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat in the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects (the 25th version of this report) says: the current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 8.6 billion in 2030, 9.8 billion in 2050 and 11.2 billion in 2100.  More than 80 million people are added to the world’s population each year. One of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) is to end poverty and hunger – how do we achieve this will depend in large measure on the success of growers in the USA and many other lands.

Looking at global agriculture moving towards 2050, there are serious challenges posed; the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2009 described some of these:  much more food and fiber must be produced; there will be a smaller rural labor force to help do this; there will be increased demand for more feedstocks for a potentially huge bioenergy market; adapting to climate is  necessary; and, ag producers must be more efficient and sustainable. Demand for cereals, as example, could almost double from today’s production (for animal feed and human food). Almost all of the land expansion for ag could be in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

The CEO of Land O’Lakes, Chris Policinski writing in Agri-Pulse explains that while the discussion about climate change and other challenges seems to be focused on developments being a generation away, American farmers are dealing right now with such things as harsh drought, severe weather and more pests…the challenges to the food supply are happening right now.

And it is time to start talking about sustainability differently…to include (for example) the reality of what farmers face, acre-by-acre/field-by-field. And then, “farm-to-fork” issues. Bringing together big-picture, company-level sustainability commitments and acre-by-acre conservation efforts makes both more effective. The great example used by the CEO is Wal-Mart’s Project Gigaton, which aims to remove one billion metric tons of GhGs from the company’s supply chain by 2030.  (Land O’Lakes was one of the first supply partners to sign on.)

There’s much more for you in the Land O’Lakes CEO’s message in one of our Top Stories this week.  There are related items “up top” for you – this week we have ag and food in focus in the Highlights.
Note:  Land O’Lakes, Inc. is a member-owned cooperative agribusiness and food production company based in Minnesota, with $13.7 billion revenues in 2017. The cooperative is almost 100 years in operation and ranks #215 on the Fortune 500® roster.

Top Stories – Ag & Food In Focus

Opinion: To Move Our Planet Forward, Food and Agriculture Must Think about Sustainability Differently
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Source: Agri-Pulse - In many ways, the sustainability story of the American farmer mirrors that of every other American. Farmers genuinely care about doing their part to protect our planet, for all the same reasons as anyone else. They want to leave... 

Smallholder farmers are key to making the palm oil industry sustainable
(Monday - April 02, 2018) Source: Eco-Business - Smallholder farmers play an increasingly prominent role in Indonesia’s growing palm oil industry and could be the vanguard of sustainability, say WRI researchers. 

A few surprising industries affecting the concept of sustainability in a positive way  
(Tuesday - April 03, 2018) Source: Augusta Free Press - In the last ten years, sustainability has become a very important element in the business processes in many industries. For instance, all-natural and organic have become trendy terms in the food industry. Companies which are part...

Opinion: To Move Our Planet Forward, Food and Agriculture Must Think about Sustainability Differently
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Source: Agri-Pulse - In many ways, the sustainability story of the American farmer mirrors that of every other American. Farmers genuinely care about doing their part to protect our planet, for all the same reasons as anyone else. They want to leave... 

Don't Believe In Global Warming? Just Ask A Tuscan Winemaker
(Wednesday - April 04, 2018) Source: Forbes - “Have you seen the effects of climate change and global warming in your region?” 

Hershey is investing in more sustainable cocoa for its chocolate treats
(Wednesday - April 04, 2018) Source: LA Times


Sustainability: Forward Momentum! For Your Attention: The Editors' Scans

Moving toward Massachusetts’ 100 percent sustainable future
(Monday - April 02, 2018) Associated Profiles : The Climate Group Source: southcoasttoday - already relies completely on electricity generated by its on campus solar panels. Additionally, The Climate Group, in partnership with the CDP, has established the RE100 Initiative, in which over 100 major companies, including...

Regenerative packaging puts the cherry on top of sustainability
(Tuesday - April 03, 2018) Source: Packaging Digest - Here, companies are encouraged to move beyond making products that are less bad—for instance, by adding recycled content—to developing products that create a net-positive impact to society and the environment across their... 

Amazon's Big Opportunity: Transparency In Sustainability  
(Tuesday - April 03, 2018) Source: Forbes - Over the past few years, Amazon’s sustainability team has been busy setting ambitious goals on renewable energy, making their voice heard on smart environmental policies, and leveraging their expertise in technology to drive... 

Water stewardship and sustainability
(Wednesday - April 04, 2018) Source: The Guardian - The scarcity, misuse and mismanagement of many of the earth’s vital resources in the face of an ever-expanding global population have given rise to discourse and action around managing and conserving the available resources. 

Commentary: UCF is going the distance to find solutions for sustainability
(Wednesday - April 04, 2018) Source: Orlando Sentinel - Why is global sustainability important? Can you describe its significance, especially for people who may be skeptical of environmentalism? 

New UN Guidelines For Space Sustainability Are A Big Deal
(Thursday - April 05, 2018) Source: Breaking Defense - You probably don't know it, but in early February 87 countries agreed to voluntary guidelines to enhance the long-term sustainability of the space domain, a significant achievement in space diplomacy. Given that it took eight... 

Economic inclusion becomes a sustainability imperative
(Thursday - April 05, 2018) Source: GreenBiz - In nature, diversity builds ecosystem health, productivity, longevity and resilience. So, too, in communities: Sustainable economic and social systems need to be diverse and inclusive in every respect. 

Canadian small businesses leading the way in sustainability
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Source: Eurek Alert - New research from the University of Waterloo shows that Canadian small businesses are important- and often overlooked- drivers of sustainability and the green economy... 

4 reasons fewer employees are engaged in sustainability, and what to do about it
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Source: GreenBiz - Companies increasingly need to explain and often convince customers, whether businesses or consumers, about the sustainability of their products and services. Employees can be, and often must be, that voice. Employee innovation... 


Our Focus This Week on A Range of ESG Topics & Issues – More Things to Think About…

5th day of water shortages in Greece's second-largest city
(Monday - April 02, 2018) Associated Profiles : Water.org 
Source: ABC News - Large sections of the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki have been without water for a fifth day because of damage to an old pipeline. The center and northwestern parts of Greece's second-largest city have been without water...

Falling renewables costs are chilling news for fossil fuel industries - BNEF
(Monday - April 02, 2018) Associated Profiles : Bloomberg New Energy Finance 
Source: Business Green - The "spectacular" ongoing cost reduction of renewables technologies such as wind, solar and batteries is threatening the dominance of fossil fuels in the global energy mix, a new analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance suggests.... 

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon talks China, trade and immigration in his annual letter
(Thursday - April 05, 2018) Source: Yahoo Finance - Stating that “U.S. global engagement is needed more than ever,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon lays out a case for how trade issues with China should be addressed and why resolving immigration is so critical to our national...

News for You From the Corporate Sector -Both Positive & Negative - Headlines 

As corporate-government tax pacts falter, Coca-Cola challenges huge U.S. bill
(Monday - April 02, 2018) Source: Reuters 

Facebook Keeps Saying 'Trust Us': Is It Finally Time To Say No More?
(Tuesday - April 03, 2018) Source: Forbes 

Kohl’s earns sustainability kudos
(Wednesday - April 04, 2018) Source: Home Textiles Today

Thousands of Google employees asked CEO Sundar Pichai to stop providing AI tech for the US military's drones
(Thursday - April 05, 2018) Source: Business Insider

FDA Scolds Facebook And Other Social Media Companies For Not Cracking Down On Illegal Opioid Sales
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Source: BuzzFeed 

BlackRock to offer gun-free investment strategies, ETFs
(Friday - April 06, 2018) - Source: Reuters  

News & Opinion: Asset Managers, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Pension Funds

How the World's Largest Pension Invests in ESG
(Tuesday - April 03, 2018) Source: Investopedia - Socially responsible investing (SRI) is gaining steam at a rapid pace. What was a scarcely understood novelty several years ago has now become a necessity in every “know-your-client” discussion. 

4 Ways The Financial Industry Fails Socially Conscious Investors
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Source: Forbes - For years, financial institutions and advisors have dismissed socially conscious investing as the well-intentioned but misguided philosophy of naïve investors. To the old guard, investment decisions should prioritize returns... 

CalPERS appoints first sustainable investment managing investment director
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Associated Profiles : California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Source: Pensions&Investments - Beth Richtman was named the first managing investment director of the sustainable investment program at CalPERS, said Megan White, spokeswoman. Ms. Richtman is currently an investment manager for the real assets program at the..

CalSTRS Will Engage Facebook Amid Scandal on Privacy Issues
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Associated Profiles : California State Teachers’ Retirement System 
Source: Yahoo Finance - The California State Teachers' Retirement System plans to seek information on what Facebook Inc. is doing to protect user data following a privacy scandal. The pension giant disclosed the plan on Thursday after its chief... 

Watchdog: Norwegian Aid Agency Penalized Over Misuse of USAID Funds Is Major Advocate of BDS Campaign
(Friday - April 06, 2018) Associated Profiles : Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global (Statens pensjonsfond – Utland) ,Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Norway 
Source: Algemeiner - NPA is also a vocal advocate of the boycott campaign against Israel, lobbying the Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) to divest from Israeli companies and advocating that European governments adopt economic sanctions... 

What Value Do Companies Get From Engaging With ESG Investor Data Providers?
Interview with Louis D Coppola, G&A Institute, @ Skytop Strategies ESG4 Summit


G&A's To The Point! is a businesss intelligence web-platform resource. This management briefing service offers timely insights and perspectives on Corporate Sustainability, Responsibility & Citizenship.Click here to request a trial subscription. Below are links to a sampling of three recent briefs:

Second in the Series: A BIG YEAR SHAPING UP, 2018 – Developments in Corporate Sustainability / Responsibility & in Sustainable Investing in 1Q
March 30, 2018 Update -- on First Quarter 2018 ESG / Sustainable Investment Developments Continuing our commentary on the theme suggested by MSCI's Linda Eiling Lee of Volume and Velocity in 2018 (of change) – current developments have been signalling dramatic and rapid changes in sustainable investing and corporate sustainability in the First Quarter… Read More

ABOUT THOSE CORPORATE EMPLOYEE PENSION PLANS –The Focus is Increasing on the Shortfalls…and Remedies
February 22, 2018 updating the January 5, 2018 brief on the issues. Employee pension plans / retirement systems are regulated under federal law by the U.S. Department of Labor.  The empowerment is the sweeping "ERISA" legislation of the mid-1970s. The agency created to oversee corporate plans is the… Read More


G&A Institute Sustainability Update
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Governance & Accountability Institute's blog focusing on the sustainable world evolving daily before our eyes. Read it, absorb it, question it and challenge.

The DJSI Corporate Sustainability Assessment Will Soon Be “Open” for US Companies to Begin Their Response Effort – a Workshop for Corporate Staff is Scheduled for April 6th in New York City, Presented by G&A Institute in collaboration with RobecoSAM

G&A Institute Research Results: 85% of the S&P 500® Index Companies Published Sustainability / Responsibility / CR / Citizenship Reports in 2017

The Media – And Sustainability & CR Thought Leadership, For Both Topic-Focused and Mainstream Media Coverage

Governance & Accountability Institute Research

Using The GRI Sustainability Reporting Framework Improves The Quality of ESG Disclosures - Joint Research From G&A Institute and Baruch College Shows

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