A New Model For Corporate Governance…With Teeth!

Yesterday, Andrew Ross Sorkin of the NYT published a story on BlackRock CEO Larry Fink’s letter to major corporations in which he states, “Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose…to prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”

Read More
Will New Pay Ratio Disclosure Lead to “Public Infamy?”

The discussion of how much leaders should be paid in comparison to their workers is an old one, as pointed out by former compensation consultant Graef Crystal, “Plato told Aristotle no one should make more than five times the pay of the lowest member of society. J.P. Morgan said 20 times. Jesus advocated a negative differential — that’s why they killed him.”

Read More
Investors ask Mohawk, Interface, and Shaw to deliver on strong recycling goals

More than 30 institutional investors with combined assets of $50 billion are asking three leading U.S. carpet manufacturers to make good on previous promises to recycle a substantial amount of discarded carpet. A letter from As You Sow on behalf of 33 investor firms and groups asks Mohawk Industries, Interface Inc., and Shaw Industries Group to redesign carpet...

Read More
Vanguard’s quarter-trillion in fossil fuel investments

Vanguard is one of the world’s largest asset managers, handling the retirement savings of millions of Americans. Its mission is to help people save for the future. At the same time, it’s playing a major role directing billions in funding to carbon polluters — companies maintaining and expanding the fossil fuel infrastructure that threatens to make the future uninhabitable.

Read More
Breaking Inertia’s Magical Power: Can companies like FirstEnergy change their ways?

Beyond physics, Merriam-Webster describes inertia as, “indisposition to motion, exertion, or change.” We all know that if you’ve been doing anything a certain way for a long time, it can be hard to let go. But at some point, outside forces can become strong enough to alter a course, and the earlier that new course is accepted, the easier a transition can be.

Read More
A Shared Vision For the Future of Global Stock Markets

The United Nations is holding its annual climate change conference in Bonn this week, but the tone this year is different. Driven by a growing litany of harms associated with a warming planet, global governments are getting down to the brass tacks of implementing the Paris Climate Accord. Even the two long-time holdouts, Syria and Nicaragua, have finally pledged to join the Accord. In fact, the U.S. stands alone in threatening to withdraw and ignoring reality while doubling down on fossil fuels.

Read More
Updates from Houston: Mitigating Methane Emissions from Natural Gas

Having spent my college years at Rice University, Houston will always hold a special place in my heart. I also remember experiencing my first hurricane there freshman year — the winds and rain were scary, but we hunkered down indoors and were fortunate to not suffer serious impacts. Watching Harvey approach from afar in August 2017, I again hoped for the best, but then the horror sunk in as friends posted photos and videos of unprecedented destruction. The National Weather Service had to develop new colors for its coding to account for the rain and floods caused by Harvey. The storm caused an estimated $190 billion worth of damage, disrupting industries and destroying homes. Only 20% of those hardest hit had flood insurance.

Read More
Why are 401(k) Plans Not Aligned With Sustainability Goals?

As millennial-aged employees now represent the majority of the U.S. workforce, it is increasingly important that corporate management finds ways to engage them in the company. Creating 401(k) plans which connect to their core values — like solving human, social and environmental problems through their work and investments — can be a huge advantage to the company as a whopping 85% of millennials surveyed in the 2016 US Trust study said they consider their investment decisions as “a way to express their social, political, and environmental values.” This attracts the best talent, spurs employee engagement, extends retention, and sparks innovation.

Read More