June 8, 2018


Yes, It’s Hot in Saudi Arabia – Where Air Conditioning is a Must-Have – How Can A/C Be Made More Sustainable to Meet Future Power Challenges?

Many people are fascinated with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with its wondrous 21st Century blend of modern and medieval elements – and the country appears to moving along with rapid and dramatic changes under new royal family leadership (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman). 

One of the elements of change that caught our eye is a non-Saudi business leader’s commentary that addresses the question of there being “a new model for sustainability” in the Middle East, possibly led by the kingdom…with its Vision 2030 and innovations in power consumption for air conditioning.

Kevin Cha, President, LG Electronics for the Middle East and Africa -- wrote an opinion in the Saudi Gazette, telling us this week in our Top Story about what he thinks may be in store for the future. 

A diversified economy -- moving away from decades of heavy reliance on oil and natural gas sales to the world -- will mean (he asserts) more opportunities for Saudi subjects (they are not “citizens” in the western sense), and promises of a better lifestyle.  And with all that, the increasing need for better technological-based solutions. For air conditioning, especially.

This is the ideal time to instill values of resource management and sustainability in the “minds of millions of upwardly-mobile Saudis, Kevin Cha thinks.

As example within his area of expertise:  More than 70 percent of the kingdom’s generated electricity is consumed for air conditioning and cooling (yes, it is a desert-based kingdom) and summer demand is double that of winter months (note that it does get cooler in the Middle East winters). 

While less than 65% of the world’s electric needs are now met through steam turbines fueled by traditional fossil fuels, 100% of Saudi Arabia’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels (of course it has abundant supplies of these).  But -- this is unsustainable for the long-term, Kevin Cha points out.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Plan for sustainable development could help to change this picture in dramatic terms.  New technologies and new products are being introduced to the kingdom -- among them (curtain raised) is (of course) LG air conditioning products.  The conditions in Saudi Arabia make for a challenging testing ground for A/C technology.  (The local environment is dust-laden, corrosive, with high temperatures and humidity.)  And so the LG Electronics products are being “battle-tested” in Saudi Arabia.  Good for the company and the A/C industry:  As the world’s demand for electric power (including Saudi Arabia’s needs to be met with continued economic growth), the kingdom is providing a test bed for the LC’s technologies and products.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 calls for reducing reliance on oil and boosting state investment in the private sector.  There are important elements of the program that call for growth of entertainment and tourism (ala, Gulf Emirates-style), and reforms of the education system.  It is being formulated in “Our Vision” – Saudi Arabia…the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds, the investment powerhouse, and the hub connecting three continents…”

And with lower-cost, abundant air conditioning to cool your hot days through more sustainable means!

Welcome to #400 of the newsletter!
By our count, this is Issue #400 for you.  We have strived over the years (five years through this newsletter, eleven through our various platforms) to bring you the best of content related to corporate sustainability, responsibility, citizenship, ethics; and, news of the growth of sustainable and ESG investing. And all of the activities around same, of course.

Many thanks to our VP & Editor-in-Chief and valued colleague Ken Cynar for his constant efforts in creating and managing the newsletter effort, which is part of the G&A Institute educational and information-sharing mission. 

Each day by dawn as the sun rises over the New York skyline, the G&A Institute staff has already been at work for hours utilizing our proprietary technologies, various search engines and finely-honed searching techniques to capture from around the world a variety of meaningful and informative news, commentaries and reports that present various points-of-view on topics that impact key issues for our loyal and new readers.

By early each morning more than 1,000 potential content items are already searched, scanned, analyzed  -- and several dozen handpicked for prominence that day on the G&A Websites. These possibilities are further whittled down to a manageable few items for presentation in this weekly newsletter. More than 150 stories are electronically selected from these thousands of potential digitized stories around the world each day for posting in key categories overall on the G&A web platforms (with many directed to easy-to-access ESG categories).

What guides us:  The belief that a news-savvy, well-informed universe of our valued connections – you! – will help to move the corporate sector and the investment community, further along, to create a more sustainable world for all.  Here at G&A, a dedicated staff makes the entire news-gathering and sharing process work – and our special thanks to Ken, and to Amy Gallagher, VP-Client Services, who is the formatting expert for our communications (including these Highlights). 

Top Stories

Is Saudi Arabia getting ready to unveil a new model for sustainability in the Middle East?
(Friday - June 01, 2018) Source: Saudi Gazette - SAUDI ARABIA is witnessing unprecedented transformation across various facets of everyday Saudi life. As the country marches on towards a new diversified economy that offers new avenues of consumer spending, it is a critical time... 

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

U.S. Economic Growth: A Sustainability Story?
(Tuesday - May 29, 2018) Source: Seeking Alpha - After an eight-year US economic recovery, many investors are asking whether growth will continue. Beyond the immediate challenges, we think the long-term outlook will be shaped by how environmental and social sustainability are... 

Sustainability in populist times
(Tuesday - May 29, 2018) Source: Phys.org - Policymakers choose not to excise levy duty on kerosine, but on fuel for cars. That seems like a financially positive decision for society, but on the long term, the associated environmental problems will result in much higher... 

Business Leaders Need To Speed Up Sustainability Efforts
(Tuesday - May 29, 2018) Source: Forbes - It is tempting to think that it was the financial crisis of a decade ago that changed everything. However, the truth is that business has been grappling for some time with finding a role for itself in society 

Sporting Sustainability launches to reduce food waste
(Wednesday - May 30, 2018) Source: Sporting Kansas City - Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday the launch of Sporting Sustainability, a collaborative platform that unites prominent industry leaders to reduce food waste and achieve additional key sustainability outcomes in the... 

Why You Should Seriously Consider Studying Sustainability In College
(Wednesday - May 30, 2018) Source: Green Matters - Arizona State University enacted the first sustainability program in the US in 2006. Less than a decade later, 475 colleges and universities had followed suit, making certificate and degree programs in sustainability available to...

New report seeks fashion sustainability blueprint
(Wednesday - May 30, 2018) Source: Ecotextile - A new report has been published seeking to review consumer perception of the fashion industry and to assess the roles of businesses and consumers in promoting sustainability in fashion. 

New tool improves fishing efficiency and sustainability
(Thursday - May 31, 2018) Source: Science Daily - New software targets most abundant fishing grounds and reduces catch of unwanted or protected species using satellite data, maps and observations.

Nourished Planet: Sustainability in the Global Food System
(Friday - June 01, 2018) Source: FoodTank - Our world’s food system is marked by paradox: we use crops for animal feed and biofuels while people go to bed hungry, we may be simultaneously obese and malnourished, and we throw away more than 30 percent of all food even with... 

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

10 massive corporations going big on solar power
(Tuesday - May 29, 2018) Source: CNBC - American businesses are investing record amounts in solar, with the top corporate users adding 325 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity last year, according to the "Solar Means Business 2017" report from the Solar Energy...

The Threat Is In The Carbon: Companies Are Undervaluing Climate-Related Risk
(Wednesday - May 30, 2018) Source: Clean Technica - Many banks face a climate data gap in identifying the energy technology exposure of the companies in their lending portfolios. That’s pretty serious, as in the next five years, carbon-intensive firms in those portfolios plan to... 

U.S. oil output jumps to record 10.47 million barrels per day in March: EIA
(Friday - June 01, 2018) Source: Reuters - U.S. crude oil production jumped 215,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 10.47 million bpd in March, the highest on record, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report on Thursday. 

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

New Starbucks training manual promotes 'becoming color brave,' speaking to customers 'one human to one human'
(Thursday - May 31, 2018) Source: Fox News - A 68-page guidebook and more than a dozen videos made up the majority of Starbucks’ hours-long racial bias training session on Tuesday, with much of the coffee seller's revamped curriculum focused on identifying racial..

Harley-Davidson workers say plant closure after tax cut is like a bad dream
(Tuesday - May 29, 2018) Source: USA Today

US forces Germany's Bayer to shed $9 billion in ag business in biggest ever antitrust sell-off
(Wednesday - May 30, 2018) Source: CNBC

'Stimulating and inspiring': How P&G made sustainability business critical
(Wednesday - May 30, 2018) Source: Edie - roctor & Gamble's (P&G) vice president of global sustainability Virginie Helias believes that internal behaviour change helped the company transform a sustainability strategy into an "unstoppable" and holistic ethos 

Michelin Announces Two Huge Sustainability Goals
(Thursday - May 31, 2018) Source: Smart Resilient

6 Sustainability Lessons From This Eco-Chic Hotel Brand You Should Know  
(Thursday - May 31, 2018) Source: Forbes - According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, sustainable tourism can be defined simply as ‘tourism that meets the needs of present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the... 

Union Pacific marks sustainability progress
(Friday - June 01, 2018) Source: Railway Age - Union Pacific (UP) has released its 2017 Building America Report, the railroad's ninth installment of its yearly sustainability report

Walmart's perk for workers: Go to college for $1 a day
(Thursday - May 31, 2018) Source: CNN

Netflix redefines corporate governance structure, Stanford study shows
(Friday - June 01, 2018) Source: Fierce CEO

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

Malaysia Asks $8.3 Billion Question on 1MDB. Here's What We Know
(Wednesday - May 30, 2018) Associated Profiles : Aabar Investments PJSC Source: Bloomberg L.P. - The U.S. Department of Justice alleges Low and 1MDB officials diverted more than 40 percent of the net amount raised, or $1.4 billion, to a Swiss bank account belonging to a British Virgin Islands entity known as Aabar... 

US Retirement Systems ‘More Vulnerable Than Ever’
(Thursday - May 31, 2018) Associated Profiles : Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds – State Treasurer’s Office Source: Ai-cio.com - Pew said eight states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey ... which can help ensure retirement plans are affordable and fully funded during various economic scenarios. For example, Pew said its analysis of... 

The Fed just proposed a plan to make life easier for banks by loosening the 'Volcker Rule'  
(Thursday - May 31, 2018) Source: CNBC - The Federal Reserve and other U.S. regulatory agencies proposed Wednesday to revise the Volcker Rule to apply to financial firms based on their trading activity. 

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