January 10, 2019


There Were Many Positive Developments for Sustainability Professionals in 2018 and Much Promise for What's To Come in 2019? We Are Watching For You

There were many positive developments and trendlines in 2018 that we believe were encouraging for corporate sustainability & responsibility managers, sustainable investing champions, NGO managers and members, and other stakeholders.  The analyses and wrap-ups are beginning to appear now in the many media outlets and platforms that we monitor.  We bring you some highlights in this first newsletter of the exciting new year, 2019!

One of the most compelling and sweeping of essays to kick off the year was the commentary of Andrew Winston in the Harvard Business Review – “The Story of Sustainability in 2018:  We Have About 12 Years Left.”

Author Winston came to broad attention with the publication of his books, “Green to Gold” and “Green Recovery”, and the recent “The Big Pivot”.  In his end-of-year HBR commentary, the author begins with the important 2018 sustainability themes that he sees as having lasting impact, and his belief that the year just ended brought “incredible clarity” about the scale of our challenges and opportunities.”

Clarity:  the world’s scientists sound a “final” alarm on the climate -- citing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/IPCC report on where we are; that is, dear reader, in a global, universally-perilous state with just a dozen years left for bold, collective action on carbon emissions.

Clarity:  the key elements of the government of the United States of America told a similar story in the U.S. National Climate Assessment released at Thanksgiving time (with the White House attempting to bury on a slow Friday after holiday) – climate change inaction could knock off 10% of this, the world’s leading economy’s enormous GDP.  The U.S. GDP was US$19.39 trillion in 2017, said sources including the World Bank.

Clarity:  Business must dramatically change how it operates and companies must push well past their comfort zones.

There’s lots of information for you regarding the threats and challenges posed by dramatic climate change.  And, Andrew Winston points out the positive developments as well, by corporate leaders at organizations such as Unilever, Salesforce, Nike, Kroger, and Danone (which became the world’s largest B Corporation in 2018).

We present Winston’s wrap up for you in this week’s Top Story.

Looking into 2019 “possibilities,” one of the exciting developments as the 116th Congress convened was the bold package of ideas put forth by the new member from New York City, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the “Green New Deal” proposals.  Before you roll your eyes and tut-tut (she riles people, that’s for sure) take a look at the meat of the proposals to learn more about “the possible” to help the U.S.A. address climate change challenges. We present our views in the second Top Story this week.

Happy New Year to all!

This Week's Top Stories

The Story of Sustainability in 2018: “We Have About 12 Years Left”
(Wednesday - January 02, 2019) Source: Harvard Business School - We have about 12 years left. That’s the clear message from a monumental study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). To avoid some of the most devastating impacts of climate change, the world must slash carbon... 

Important Perspectives Shared

And of significance as the new year begins and the new (116th) Congress convenes…

Have You Tuned in to The Green New Deal? The “GND”? — You’d Better!
Have you tuned in to the proposals included in the Green New Deal on Capitol Hill?  Freshman House member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – who draws a lot of attention with her actions and comments – has a draft bill circulating that has picked up some support among colleagues that you can review here in the G&A Institute comprehensive perspective on the Green New Deal…


Sustainability: Continuing Forward Momentum!
For Your Attention: Items From the The Editors' -- There is Much Good News to Share...

Here are more views on 2018 / and what may be ahead for us in 2019

The Biggest Sustainability Trend for 2019 Will Be …
(Friday - January 04, 2019) Source: Earth 911 - As we look toward 2019, what can we expect as the biggest trend in sustainability? Keep in mind, most of the significant green fads over the last 12 years have been fueled by legislation, price decreases, or scientific studies...

From voluntary commitments to ocean sustainability
(Friday - January 04, 2019) Source: Science Magazine - Voluntary commitments by states, governmental or nongovernmental organizations, and other actors, aiming to deliver outcome-oriented activities, have become a well-recognized mechanism in international sustainability policy

10 Charts That Tell the Story of Energy in 2018
(Friday - January 04, 2019) Source: Forbes - From the impacts of climate change and the human costs of air pollution to the effects of fuel economy regulations, some of the most crucial topics in energy this year can best be illustrated through data presented in... 

Top Issues for Boards Heading Into 2019
(Thursday - December 27, 2018) Source: CFO - It’s hardly a secret that corporate boards of directors are under heightened pressure these days, compared with the traditional, rather rote state of affairs. Investors, corporate governance organizations, and regulators have... 

10 stories on the environment and the economy that made us think this year
(Wednesday - January 02, 2019) Source: Fast Company - Our colleagues publish thousands of great stories every year, but these 10 are some that our staff kept coming back to in 2018. If you have some extra time over the holidays, we recommend you check them out. 

Also of interest, the editors’ picks…

How to build an environmentally sustainable business
(Thursday - January 03, 2019) Source: CEO Magazine 

Measuring Sustainability for Fairer Future Policy
(Thursday - January 03, 2019) Source: Resilence 

Transparency and Sustainability: 2019's Top 10 Food Trends
(Thursday - January 03, 2019) Source: Livestrong.com

3 Inspirational Examples of Sustainability Leadership to Ring in the New Year
(Wednesday - December 26, 2018) Source: Environmental Defense Fund

The Most Exciting Corporate Sustainability Moves of 2018
(Wednesday - January 02, 2019) Source: Fast Company 

What Are You Wearing?  This is About Sustainable Fashion...

How the fashion industry doubled down on sustainability in 2018
(Wednesday - December 26, 2018) Source: Free Malaysia Today - The issue of sustainability took centre stage in the fashion industry in the year 2018, with multiple brands making pragmatic steps to addressing their environmental impact. We take a look at some of the biggest strides made. 

What The Denim Industry Needs To Support A Sustainable Supply Chain  
(Thursday - December 27, 2018) Source: Forbes - Denim is one of the most popular types of clothing around the world—the go-to garment for a variety of work and social situations. Practically everyone has a favorite pair they pull on when all else fails. 

Green Fashion' When Clothing Industry Decides Ecology Is In
(Wednesday - December 26, 2018) Source: Worldcrunch 

Fashionsustain to focus on water
(Wednesday - January 02, 2019)  Source: Fibre2Fashion 

Kappahl becomes a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition
(Friday - December 28, 2018)  Source: cision.com

Our Focus This Week on A Range of ESG Topics & Issues? More For You to Think About - What Will Be the Future Impact of These Developments?

Teaching the Value of Doing Good While Doing Well
(Friday - January 04, 2019) Source: UMass, Lowell - Ethical dilemmas in the professional world can crop up at any time in any field, from nursing to computer science, accounting to engineering. 

New UK Corporate Governance Reporting Requirements
(Friday - December 28, 2018)  Source: JD Supra - New legislation in the form of The Companies (Miscellaneous Reporting) Regulations 2018 (the 2018 Regulations) introduces new reporting requirements for public and private companies for accounting periods beginning on or after 1... 

Headlines From the Corporate Sector - Both Positive & Negative

GE: Corporate Governance Lapses Exposed, Uninvestable
(Friday - January 04, 2019) Source: Seeking Alpha 

Leading Corporate Social Responsibility Provider, YourCause, Acquired by Blackbaud
(Thursday - January 03, 2019)  Source: Business Wire

Elon Musk and Tesla Will Be Radically Different After Today. Here’s Why
(Friday - December 28, 2018)  Source: Fortune


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

NY State Pension Reaches Agreements with Firms on Executive Pay
(Thursday - December 27, 2018) Source: Chief Investment Officer

The largest corporate scandals of 2018
(Wednesday - January 02, 2019)  Source: The Hill 

Commentary of Interest...

Funding the United Nations Is Making Less Sense Than Ever
(Friday - December 28, 2018) Source: The New American - American diplomats attached to the United Nations headquarters in New York have failed in their attempt to get other countries such as Brazil, India, and Turkey to step up their funding of UN “peacekeeping” forces... 

New Governance & Accountability
Institute Res
earch Available --
The UN Sustainable Development Goals -–“What Matters” For 40 Sectors? G&A Institute's Research Project Yields Key Data
Download Your Sector-Based Materiality Research


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

Have You Tuned in to The Green New Deal? The “GND”? — You’d Better!

Recycling – The Circular Economy: Admirable Efforts, With Significant Challenges As The Efforts Expand & Become More Complex for Businesses

The UN Sustainable Development Goals -– “What Matters” For 40 Sectors? G&A Institute’s Research Project Yields Key Data


https://ga-institute.com/to-the-point/a-big-year-2018-for-developments-in-corporate-sustainability-sustainable-investingthe-two-halves-of-the-great-whole-of-the-new-norms-of-capitalism/ The G&A team develops timely insights and perspectives on Corporate Sustainability, Responsibility and Citizenship and we share with you on G&A's To The Point! platform – access is complementary with your registration.  Recent briefs include:

The Fourth Official “Climate Science Special Report” Issued by the US Government’s “Global Change Research Program” – Projecting Critical Impacts of Climate Change on American Society in 21st Century

Are They Good Corporate Citizens? Microsoft and Other Firms Address the Needs of Their Employee New Parents – And One Positive Signal is Sent

Developments in Corporate Sustainability / Responsibility and Sustainable Investing Continue to Shape an Important Year


Upcoming Events


Governance & Accountability
Institute Featured Service
Gap Analysis
Strategic mapping of existing client mix of information to commonly-used disclosure standards...
More on Gap Analysis


Louis Coppola from G&A Institute Goes In Depth on How to Improve ESG Performance


Governance & Accountability
Institute Research

FLASH REPORT: 85% of S&P 500 Index® Companies Publish Sustainability Reports in 2017

Learn More About G&A Research


Missed one of our webinars?
Access archived recordings & slides via the links below. Have an idea for a future webinar, email us at info@ga-institute.com

GRESB in 60 Days: Tech, Tools & Best Practices to Respond in 2017

Why Getting Started with CDP is More Important than Ever in collaboration with CDP

Why 2017 Should Be The Year You Respond to RobecoSAM (DJSI)? in collaboration with RobecoSAM and Nasdaq

G&A Institute Webinar: Moving From G4 to The New GRI Standards



G&A Institute is the Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative's (GRI) in the USA, UK and Republic of Ireland. We identify, receive, collect, analyze, database, and communicate about every report issued in any of the 3 countries. Over the past 6+ years, G&A analyzed 6,000-plus sustainability reports in this pro bono role and databased 100+ important data points for each report. Find out more @ G&A's What's A Data Partner_________________________________________



Navigating the way to sustainability...
Contents � 2009 - 2019
All Rights Reserved

Copyrights for other providers are noted where appropriate.
Please credit the source if quoted.


The Sustainability Highlights eNewsletter is prepared by Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. based on continuous monitoring of trends and developments in Sustainability and ESG. Governance & Accountability Instiute is the "Sustainability Headquarters™" for clients in the corporate, investment, public and social sectors. Based in New York, G&A is a for-profit consulting organization providing a range of value-added strategies, services and resources related to ESG & sustainability to clients in the corporate and capital markets communities.For G&A's full range of services, click on each of the links below:

Sustainability / ESG Consulting Services

Communications & Recognition Services

Investor Relation Services

For more information, contact Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc. (New York, New York)
Tel 646.430.8230 | Web www.ga-institute.com | Email info@ga-institute.com