June 16, 2017


Resolved! The USA Will Move Forward Despite the Administration's Cancellation of the Cop 21 -the Paris Accord

"Resolute!" - The root of the word comes down to us from the ancient Latin, meaning (over many centuries) to decide on and stay with a course of action.  We're seeing that these days in the "resolve" of the US corporate community, in the resolute actions of many cities and municipalities, in the actions of a growing number of US states, and among institutional investors of all types, shapes and forms.

Their resolution?  To stay the course on addressing climate change issues as the Trump Administration swerves off the road and into the ditch with the abandonment of the COP 21 Paris Accord by the national government of the United States of America.

In our brief Top Story, we see comment highlights from an Environmental Leader conference, with experts Phil Pinson and Tim Porter.  The pair looked at White House actions and changes within US EPA and Department of Energy and observed that what actions and issues had in common now was "uncertainty" as to the future course of action. 

What's driving sustainability now without the official "push" of our national governmental infrastructure?  For companies: compliance; corporate mission; business performance; employee satisfaction; industry (peer) recognition...and this means (they said at the conference) companies are holding firm with 50% of those surveyed are showing no change in budgeting for sustainability.

At G&A Institute, we're seeing many positive trends from 2016 and earlier holding fast even with speed bumps thrown up -- like exiting the Paris Accord and being in the same category now as Syria and Nicaragua as national holdouts!

During 2016, G&A Institute Chair Hank Boerner assembled the trends that were driving Corporate Sustainability and Sustainable Investment forward -- most are still powerful, positive drivers for change.  Trends Emerging! Looking Ahead of the Curve at ESG, Sustainability, CR, SRI Progressis available for you with our compliments -- you can download your copy of Hank's collected commentaries at:  http://bit.ly/TrendsConverging

Readers will continue to receive updates on the book's content as conditions warrant -- Hank shared his perspectives on the post-Paris environment with readers.

Send us your views on the post-Paris environment as the corporate, public, social and investment sectors continue to move forward.

Top Stories This Week...

Sustainability Will Endure Despite Trump’s Approach, Experts Say   
(Monday - June 12, 2017) 
Source: Environmental Leader - In the era of Trump, will the practice of sustainability remain a business priority? The answer is that 73% of companies expect their commitment to be the same while 21% plan to increase their involvement. Only 7.7% plan to... 

Important Items for Your Attention: Editors' Sustainability Scans - Progress!

Beyond beanbags: How to truly engage young sustainability professionals
(Monday - June 05, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - It has been a year since our inaugural class of GreenBiz "30 Under 30" sustainability professionals were named, an honor that I continue to be humbled by. Today, we’re adding the names and stories of the 30 more honorees and the... 

How to go about setting a sustainability strategy
(Tuesday - June 06, 2017) 
Source: Carbon Clear - A sustainability strategy can help provide direction and ambition for your programmes. But setting a strategy is not merely writing a list of projects and activities you'd like to carry out. It must consider the views of those it... 

Why businesses care about sustainability and are hiring people for it, too 
(Tuesday - June 06, 2017) 
Source: Grist - In today’s rocky environment — thanks to a double-whammy of climate change and political upheaval — businesses without a blueprint for sustainability are going under water faster than Miami’s coastline. Consumers and stakeholders... 

3 Types of Materiality for Sustainability Executives
(Wednesday - June 07, 2017) 
Source: Huff Post - Successful sustainability strategies connect their sustainability efforts with strategic issues. Companies that do this are 50% more likely to report business value from sustainability compared with those that do not, whereas 16%...

Energy Technology Developers Focus on Sustainability and Efficiency to Stay Relevant in a Changing Market  
(Wednesday - June 07, 2017) 
Source: Market Watch - Innovative distributed energy, smart grids and efficiency management technologies find vast growth opportunities in today's energy sector, finds Frost & Sullivan's TechVision team...

Biofuels and sustainability: Decarbonising transport and fuelling food security
(Thursday - June 08, 2017) 
Source: Euractiv - As part of a broader reform of the Renewable Energy Directive, the European Commission has proposed phasing out “food-based” biofuels in the EU – terminology that implies the production of crop-based biofuels in Europe is...

Sustainability and pallets: Making change for the long haul
(Friday - June 09, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - Maybe it’s time for corporate sustainability to get a bit more boring. Rightfully so, bold commitments by leading companies to 100 percent renewable energy or zero waste garner headlines. But the durability (or perhaps the...

D’Artagnan: Leading the Way for a Sustainable and Holistic Poultry Farming
(Monday - June 12, 2017) 
Source: Food Tank - Each week, D’Artagnan’s Green Circle Chickens consume more than three pickup truck loads of vegetable scraps which would otherwise be wasted. The result of a collaboration between D’Artagnan and restaurants, commercial chefs, and...

Sustainable businesses proving lucrative
(Monday - June 12, 2017) 
Source: Straits Times - More companies here are jumping on the lucrative sustainability bandwagon amid booming demand and opportunities for businesses that are both profitable and eco-friendly. 

Our Focus This Week on A Range of ESG Topics & Issues -- Things to Think About..

Meet the nun who's transforming companies into socially responsible corporations
(Tuesday - June 06, 2017) 
Source: American Mag - Sister Patricia Daly is a Dominican nun who has been lobbying corporations to be socially responsible for so long that she has a rich trove of stories about battling recalcitrant execs and pushing faith-based resolutions at... 

6 ways to save the world’s oceans
(Thursday - June 08, 2017) 
Source: Eco-Business - Without oceans, there would be no life on earth as we know it. But they are under more stress than ever, thanks to overfishing, pollution, and climate change. This World Oceans Day, here are six things you can do to save the seas. 

House Passes Bill Aimed At Reversing Dodd-Frank Financial Regulations
(Friday - June 09, 2017) 
Source: NPR - House Republicans voted Thursday to deliver on their promise to repeal Dodd-Frank — the massive set of Wall Street regulations President Barack Obama signed into law after the 2008 financial crisis. 

Do Ethics Have A Place In Business Schools?
(Thursday - June 08, 2017) 
Source: Pacific Standard - Research tends to show that business school tanks ethical and moral standards. But a generational shift is offering new hope. 

Americans' Net Worth Hits All-Time High as Debt Rises
(Friday - June 09, 2017) 
Source: US News - An influx of $2.3 trillion into Americans' pockets in the first three months of the year pushed U.S. net household worth to a record high – though rising debt levels have also begun to raise concern among analysts. 

Why sustainability reporting is all over the map
(Wednesday - June 07, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - In 2015, over 80 percent of S&P 500 companies issued sustainability reports, compared to 20 percent just four years earlier. In 2016, nearly 70 percent of companies addressed three-quarters of SASB disclosure topics in their SEC... 

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

China needs sovereign pension fund -govt scholar
(Thursday - June 08, 2017) Associated Profiles : National Social Security Fund (SPF) 
Source: Reuters - The existing China National Social Security Fund (NSSF), a "fund of last resort" for China's patchwork of chronically underfunded provincial pension schemes, should also boost its overseas investments with a focus on markets in... 

National Geographic Society Commits $50 Million of Endowment to Impact Investments 
(Friday - June 09, 2017) 
Source: 3BL Media - The National Geographic Society today announced it is dedicating $50 million from its $1.1 billion endowment to impact investments, furthering its commitment to understanding our planet and generating solutions for a healthy... 

New York, Illinois Pension Funds Say Hedge Funds Fees Too High
(Thursday - June 08, 2017) Associated Profiles : New York State Common Retirement Fund 
Source: Bloomberg - The New York State Common Retirement Fund has reduced its allocation to the strategy to 3 percent. One of the reasons' The fees are too high. Investors such as pension funds are concerned that the hedge fund model of 2 percent... 

News for You From the Corporate Sector

Dish Networks rings up big fine for breaking telemarketing rules
(Wednesday - June 07, 2017) 
Source: CBS News - Dish Network (DISH) has been been slapped with what federal prosecutors say is the biggest ever fine for breaking laws aimed at limiting telemarketing calls...

US Justice Department opposes Wells Fargo on whistle-blower suit
(Wednesday - June 07, 2017) 
Source: CNBC - The U.S. Justice Department filed a friend-of-the-court brief on Tuesday in a lawsuit brought against Wells Fargo by two former employees, who were fired after they reported misdemeanors they had noticed to their supervisors...

Sears is closing 66 more stores
(Wednesday - June 07, 2017) 
Source: USA today - Sears Holdings is closing 66 more stores in its drive to bring its Sears and Kmart stores back to profitability, a source close to the chain said Tuesday...

Uber fires exec who obtained rape victim's records, say reports
(Thursday - June 08, 2017) 
Source: CNET - Uber has fired an executive who obtained the medical records of a woman raped by an Uber driver in India, according to several reports, news that will add to the company's reputation for fostering a toxic environment... 

Corporate governance lobby group slams Tesco CEO’s pay package
(Thursday - June 08, 2017) 
Source: Retail Gazette - Tesco could face fresh opposition from shareholders after a major corporate governance advisory group criticized the chief executive’s relocation costs and his salary ratio to the average employee... 

2M pounds of Tyson chicken recalled
(Monday - June 12, 2017) 
Source: THV 11 - he recall comes after the company received notification on June 6 from an ingredient supplier that the bread crumbs the company received and used in the recalled products potentially contained undeclared milk... 

Jeffrey Immelt Set to Retire as General Electric Chief
(Monday - June 12, 2017) 
Source: NY Times - General Electric said on Monday that its chairman and chief executive, Jeffrey R. Immelt would retire at the end of the year in a leadership shift for the industrial giant, and be replaced by the top executive in its health care...

Trump Administration News... Affecting Directions on Governance, Sustainability & Climate Change

Trump's Paris Decision: Let's Make a Deal (or Not)
(Friday - June 09, 2017) 
Source: Real Clear Politics - Most press coverage of President Trump’s announcement of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord missed the real story. The issue is not whether the planet is warming, and, if it is, whether the cause is human emissions of... 

Trump administration’s rollback of ‘joint-employer’ rule eases liability for McDonald’s, others
(Friday - June 09, 2017) 
Source: Chicago Tribune - The Labor Department has withdrawn Obama-era worker protections that would have held big companies like McDonald's liable for actions of their franchisees... 



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