Tag Archive for ‘Climate Change’
Many analysts focus on what governments around the world will do to avoid a climate change calamity. Two advocates on climate change issues pose a different question: how will investors and businesses respond to limitations on carbon emissions, or even the likelihood of limitations? And how will they respond when they realize climate change itself threatens their operations and future income opportunities?
While sustainability is increasingly “appearing on the radars and agendas of companies around the world,” a clear gap exists between corporate “words” and “action,” according to the newly-released Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013 from the United Nations Global Compact.
Organizers from Earth Day Network (EDN), the non-profit group dedicated to diversifying and mobilizing the environmental movement through planning and coordinating Earth Day activities and events around the world, have chosen “The Face of Climate Change” as the theme for 2013’s celebration on April 22.
Climate change promises to have a very big impact on water supplies in the United States as well as around the world. A recent study commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a leading environmental group, and carried out by the consulting firm Tetra Tech found that one out of three counties across the contiguous U.S. should brace for water shortages by mid-century as a result of human induced climate change.
Executives responsible for sustainability and corporate social responsibility programs at large companies are overwhelmingly optimistic that those initiatives will be part of the “core strategies and operations” of global businesses in the next five years, according to a new survey. Top priorities for those companies in the year ahead are human rights and workers’ rights, climate change, and the availability and quality of water on a global basis.
A sustainability advocate argues that it is illogical – and quite myopic – that many large institutional investors refer to shareholder resolutions on climate change and other material issues as “special interest,” “non-routine” or involving “special circumstances.” The opposite is true, she says: if companies aren’t addressing sustainability they won’t be producing long-term value for their shareholders.
What amazes many environmental advocates to this day is how the widespread adoption of synthetic chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers for use in agriculture was dubbed the “Green Revolution,” when in fact this post-World War II paradigm shift in the way we produce food has wreaked untold havoc on the environment, food quality and human health.
A group of investment organizations with about $43 billion in assets under management has sent letters to 35 major companies represented on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, urging company managements “to evaluate their role and to assess the risks and benefits of Board membership.”
The realization that the pesticide-laced foods we eat, the smokestack-befouled air we breathe and the petrochemical-based products we use negatively affect our quality of life is a big part of the reason so many people have “gone green” in recent years.
Many leading companies strive to follow best practices in corporate governance, demonstrating responsiveness to investors and protecting shareowner value in the process. Paradoxically – argues a leading socially responsible investment executive – some of these same companies often appear to leave their commitment to corporate governance at the doorstep when they serve on the board of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.