March 28, 2017


World Bank & Partners + S&P Dow Jones Indices, & Partners -- Rolling Out New Sustainable Investing Approaches for Institutions...

Forward Momentum!-- Two new approaches that spell out a-d-v-a-n-c-e-m-e-n-t for sustainable investment: World Bank and S&P Dow Jones Indices (separately) roll out new products and approaches with key partners' participation.

Despite the nay-saying about climate change, global warming, sustainability and related subjects in certain quarters in the United States, major players in global finance enthusiastically rolled out new products / approaches for institutional customers. 

First:  The World Bank, as part of its "SDGs Everyone" initiative has partnered with (initially) institutions in France and Italy for issuance of equity-index bonds that link returns to the performance of 50 companies that "advance global development priorities" as determined by the methodology of Vigeo Eiris Equities.  The bonds are being marketed by BNP Paribas. (Proceeds:  163 million Euros.)

The proceeds will be used to finance projects that help to eliminate poverty and boost shared prosperity, advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are being adopted by nations around the world.  This is the World Bank and partners "walking the talk" of sustainability and responding practically to the aspirational 2030 SDG goals.

Second:  S&P Dow Jones Indices ("S&P DJI") created the S&P Green Bond Select Index (for 'green label" bonds), to "meet strong market demand," according to the company.  The first licensee is VanEck, to create an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF).   S&P DJI offers more than 100 financial indices to its global capital market customers. (The S&P 500, for example, represents more than 80% of U.S. value of corporate equities and is the most widely used benchmark. 

G&A Institute each year monitors and reports on the S&P 500 universe of companies' reporting on their sustainability journeys.  Watch for our news coming shortly on the latest survey results.

VanEck notes that the market value of "green bonds" was US$82 billion in 2016 and could reach $150 billion in 2017.  Click here for details . There's also a good introduction to "green bonds" on the web site.

As Sustainable Brands, in reporting on the developments noted..."this could expand sustainability investment and drive it towards the mainstream..."  The details are here for you in our Top Story:


Top Story

Dow Jones, World Bank Unveil New Financial Tools to Expand Sustainability Investments
(Wednesday - March 15, 2017)
Source: Sustainable Brands - &P Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI), the world’s leading provider of index-based concepts, data and research, has announced the launch of the S&P Green Bond Select Index which captures the most liquid and tradeable segment of...


Sustainability Trends, News & Issues in Focus

The 5 Cardinal Rules of a Data-Driven Employee Sustainability Program
(Monday - March 13, 2017)
Source: B2C - More and more organizations and industries are using Big Data to make smart, data-driven decisions. Sustainability is no exception, but how much are you measuring when it comes to your employee sustainability...
CEOs spill their sustainability secrets
(Monday - March 13, 2017)
Source: GreenBiz - The following chapters highlight interviews with leaders discussing strategies for diverting food waste, developing sustainable agriculture, recycling and creating better packaging. They are meant to inspire other CEOs and...

World Bank issues bond linked to UN sustainability goals
(Monday - March 13, 2017)
Source: NASDAQ - The World Bank has raised its first bond linked to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals as it looks to help a global effort to end poverty, tackle climate change and promote equality.

Rising to the sustainability challenge
(Tuesday - March 14, 2017)
Source: Innovation in Textiles - The world is experiencing unprecedented change with a burgeoning population expected to reach nine billion by 2050. Global temperatures are rising and resources are being depleted as a result of unsustainable development. The...

Prevention: The key to healthcare’s fiscal sustainability
(Tuesday - March 14, 2017)
Source: The Hill - A simple premise: individuals cost the American healthcare system more once they are sick. And today in the United States, the most common illnesses — and the ones that are the primary drivers of rising health costs – are chronic...

White Paper: The growing complexity of corporate reporting
(Tuesday - March 14, 2017)
Source: Reuters - Corporate reporting is modernizing globally. Investors and other stakeholders are demanding new categories of information that address how a company operates in a resource–constrained world. This “sustainability reporting”...

Complying with sustainability will pay off for farmers
(Wednesday - March 15, 2017)
Source: NZ Farmer - Farmers should see the benefits of complying with standards for sustainability because of the long term pay off, program leader of the Agribusiness Group, Jon Manhire says...

Hospitals save millions with sustainability programs, cut back on waste  
(Wednesday - March 15, 2017)
Source: Healthcare Finance - As hospitals reconcile their massive environmental footprints, more systems are focusing on sustainability to cut their imprints and save money at the same time...

Sustainability and Quality Go Hand in Hand  
(Thursday - March 16, 2017)
Source: Morningstar - The Morningstar Sustainability Rating is a way to evaluate portfolios based on how well the companies they hold are managing their environmental, social, and corporate governance, or ESG, risks and opportunities. Many asset...

Cornell Tech Maintains Commitment to Sustainability Through World’s Tallest Passive Building
(Friday - March 17, 2017)
Source: Cornell Sun - In addition to being one of the biggest ongoing initiatives at the University, Cornell Tech’s campus on Roosevelt Island hosts the world’s tallest passive house residential building. The 26 story dorm stands 270 feet tall and...

How to approach corporate sustainability reporting in 2017
(Friday - March 17, 2017)
Source: Greenbiz - One reason behind the popularity of sustainability reporting is that transparency not only helps companies tell their story, it also drives improvements in performance. As per the business axiom, "You can’t manage what you can’t...

Sustainability Spending to Grow Less Than 10% in 2013
(Friday - March 17, 2017) Associated Profiles : Verdantix
Source: Environmental Leader - Corporate spending on energy, environment and sustainability management in 2013 will grow by less than 10 percent, according to a Verdantix survey. The “Global Sustainability Leaders Survey: Budgets and Priorities”...

Sustainability plan from 2013 exceeds goals
(Friday - March 17, 2017)
Source: St. Louis Public Radio - In 2013, the city of St. Louis launched its sustainability plan, setting 29 goals to be accomplished by 2018. At a progress report Wednesday, Mayor Francis Slay and Catherine Werner, sustainability director, gave an update on...

Whole Foods Market commits to rigorous sustainability and traceability requirements for all canned tuna sold in its grocery aisle
(Friday - March 17, 2017)
Source: EPR Retail News - By January 2018, all canned tuna sold at Whole Foods Market will meet rigorous sustainability and traceability requirements that aim to reduce overfishing and bycatch, and support fishing communities. The new sourcing policy...

Focus on ESG Topics & Issues

Saudi Arabia Says It Has Reversed a Third of Its Production Cuts
(Wednesday - March 15, 2017)
Source: Bloomberg - Saudi Arabia told OPEC it dialed back on some of its supply cuts last month, pumping more than 10 million barrels a day as it replenished its own storage tanks.

We Know Female CEOs Get Paid More, But We Don’t Know Why
(Tuesday - March 14, 2017)
Source: Harvard Business Review - In a survey of 341 S&P 500 companies, it found that the 17 female chief executives in the group made nearly $8 million more on average than their 324 male counterparts.

EPA Official Accused of Helping Monsanto `Kill' Cancer Study
(Wednesday - March 15, 2017)
Source: Bloomberg - The Environmental Protection Agency official who was in charge of evaluating the cancer risk of Monsanto Co.’s Roundup allegedly bragged to a company executive that he deserved a medal if he could kill another agency’s...

United Nations Global Compact : UN Global Compact Launches the Women’s Empowerment Principles Gender Gap Analysis Tool
(Thursday - March 16, 2017) Associated Profiles : UN - Global Compact
Source: 4 Traders - (New York, 15 March 2017) -Today, the United Nations Global Compact has launched the Women's Empowerment Principles (WEPs) 'Gender Gap Analysis Tool', an online platform which helps global business leaders identify strengths...

Physicians Say Climate Change Is Making Patients Sick
(Thursday - March 16, 2017) Associated Profiles : Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
Source: Eurasia Review - A January 2017 Abt Associates study found that, in the Northeastern states that are taking actions to reduce heat-trapping pollution through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), there were immediate public health...

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Institutional Investor Updates: News About Asset Managers, US Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds

Opinion: CalPERS pensions are just fine, thank you very much
(Tuesday - March 14, 2017)
Source: - The attack on pension changes passed by a bipartisan vote of the Legislature and signed by Governor Brown (Dan Borenstein, Feb. 2) was exactly like each of the few Lotto tickets I’ve ever purchased: Wrong across the board....

Libyan Investment Authority Sues Societe Generale in UK Courts
(Monday - March 13, 2017)
Source: - Societe Generale SA is being sued by the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, in the United Kingdom. The claims against Societe Generale involve derivative transactions taken place between 2007...

G&A Institute Welcomes New Fellow

Barbara Brooks Kimmel
Fellow of the Institute

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the CEO and Cofounder of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. Barbara also runs the world's largest global Trust Alliance and is the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2008 Barbara co-developed the FACTS® Framework, a holistic unbiased barometer of corporate integrity in public companies, identifying those whose leadership is going beyond doing what is legal to choosing what is right in meeting all stakeholder needs. She is also a Managing Member at FACTS® Asset Management, a NJ registered investment advisor.

Commentary & Opinion

Climate Change Resolutions / and Investors’ Voting — “Hurricane” Coming in 2017 Shareholder Voting?
(Source: Sustainability Update) Guest Commentary – by Seth Duppstadt – Proxy Insight Limited
“Stormy Weather Ahead Warning”:  Climate Change Resolutions / and Investors’ Voting — “Hurricane” Coming in 2017 Shareholder Proxy Voting Season?
The United Nations‘ consensus reached in the “Paris Agreement” (COP 21), the goal to limit global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius could turn shareholder support for climate change resolutions from a squall into a powerful hurricane at U.S. energy and utility companies this proxy season. says our team at Proxy Insight.

Musing About the Alphabet Soup of ESG – SRI – CSR … et al!
(Source: Sustainability Update) by Hank Boerner and Louis Coppola – G&A Institute
Often in our conversations with managers at companies that are new to corporate sustainability and especially new to publishing corporate sustainability reports, we often move into exploration of the various terms and titles applied to corporate sustainability. SRI.  ESG.  Sustainability.  Corporate Citizenship.  Corporate Responsibility.  Or, Corporate Social Responsibility.  Shorthand:  CSR, CR.  What else!

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Trump Administration News... Affecting Sustainability and Climate Change

Trump May Help U.S. Coal Output, But Jobs Are Another Story
(Monday - March 13, 2017)
Source: Bloomberg - Natural gas prices are higher than a year ago, making coal more competitive in the power sector. China’s trimming its own production, boosting prices for metallurgical coal used in steelmaking. And America’s output is up 15...

Trump to drop climate change from environmental reviews: Bloomberg
(Tuesday - March 14, 2017)
Source: Reuters - President Donald Trump is set to sign an order to greatly reduce the role climate change plays in decision making across the U.S. government, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the administration's plan.

Trump mileage policy could put carmaker innovation at risk
(Thursday - March 16, 2017) Associated Profiles : Ceres
Source: The Christian Science Monitor - It’s not that the market for plug-in cars will evaporate, but “it’s a question of speed and scale,” says Sue Reid, vice president of climate and energy programs at business sustainability group Ceres...


Missed the G&A Institute webinar with guests Robert Dornau of Robeco SAM Group (managers of the DJSI) and Evan Harvey, Director of CSR for NASDAQ...on "Why your company should respond to the RobecoSAM CSR questionnaire this year?" you can access the archived recording and slides here.



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. Recent posts:

Climate Change Resolutions / and Investors’ Voting — “Hurricane” Coming in 2017 Shareholder Voting?

Musing About the Alphabet Soup of ESG – SRI – CSR … et al!

In 2017 the G&A Institute Team Celebrates the Company’s 10th Anniversary — and Editor-in-Chief Ken Cynar’s Continuing Efforts to Keep You Well Informed


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