Citi’s Climate Resilience Plan: antidote to coal financing?

Citigroup may find itself in a bind after the Federal Reserve recently rejected the nation’s third-largest bank’s capital plan as part of the regulator’s ‘stress test,’ requiring stricter risk-management and control practices after the financial crisis of five years ago.
However, another key risk — our changing climate — may have been overlooked. Citi’s ambitious three-point climate resilience strategy to deal with a likely increase and intensity of climate-related events worldwide is actively addressing those risks. With business in over 160 countries, Citi needs to think globally.
It’s not that Citi doesn’t have a few potential climate risks of its own: Indeed, the bank provides financing to clients in the coal industry that are huge CO2 emitters.
And where there’s smoke, there may be fire, as a recently released Exxon report discussing that company’s potentially stranded oil and gas assets made clear. That kind of stress could come home to roost at Citi, if shareholders start to voice concern, although Citi does work with groups like CERES and EDF on such issues. And Citi’s ambitious climate resilience plans might help offset alarms.
In its newly released 2013 Global Citizenship Report (PDF), the bank wrote that it had surpassed its 10-year goal of directing $50 billion to Read the rest of this entry »

To Get Rich, Change the Climate: In Conversation with Jigar Shah

If you’re looking for the latest data to scare you into combating climate change, you won’t find it in Jigar Shah’s newly released Creating Climate Wealth.

Instead, Shah, the near-legendary founder of Sun Edison, the solar company known for its unique service-versus-sales business model, and former CEO of the nonprofit Carbon War Room, says he deliberately steered clear of the climate fear factor—in favor of inspiring readers through the prospect of climate wealth.

Shah knows a thing or two about the latter, having built Sun Edison from scratch–starting with a home equity loan and ultimately creating a company with over $2 billion in sales last year.

Something of a solar star (yes, we’re inventing the term right here), Shah was returning from a recent book tour that had already taken him to Europe (Oslo, Amsterdam, Berlin, to name a few highlights), through his near-native Midwestern US (Minneapolis, Chicago), to California and Arizona, by the time he had a chance to sit down with me in Manhattan to talk about the book.

AG:What is climate wealth?
JS: There are multiple meanings on purpose. Wealth can be [understood on the] personal, community, national, ecosystem levels. People like to use the word prosperity, but it’s not Read the rest of this entry »

Green Bank Basics: Crowding in the Private Sector to Build New York’s Clean Energy Marketplace


Richard Kauffman

Richard Kauffman

In September, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) filed a petition to New York’s Public Service Commision, launching the first step in capitalizing the state’s proposed Green Bank.
The move came nine months after New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an ambitious clean energy policy for the State last winter, appointing former US Energy Secretary Chu’s senior advisor on clean energy finance Richard L. Kauffman as NYS Chairman of Energy and Finance.
In his role as the State’s energy tsar, Kauffman began explaining the proposed Green Bank to an array of New York audiences last summer, most notably at NYC’s inaugural Energy Week and Amsterdam-based TBLI’s first US conference.
In his summer testimony on clean energy financing before the US Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Kauffman stressed that government subsidies alone haven’t and won’t create a robust clean energy marketplace. But by using powers of the state, including its convening and regulatory power, government can encourage the development of private capital markets by fostering demand to support them.
Kauffman took time out of his whirlwind schedule to talk briefly with me about some green bank basics.
Ann Goodman: What is a Green Bank?
Richard Kauffman: Last winter, Governor Cuomo announced a $1 billion green bank to mobilize private sector capital to finance … Read the rest of this entry »

Join Ann at Jigar Shah’s Climate Wealth Preview

Please join me at my friend Jigar Shah’s exclusive preview of his new book. Creating Climate Wealth October 8 in New York City.
“Everything Jigar has done proves that profits in energy aren’t just made in dirty fuels. Thanks to entrepreneurs like Jigar, climate change solutions are attracting investors, greener jobs are being created, and industries are saving big money on energy
costs.” – SIR RICHARD BRANSON – Founder, Virgin Group

“Jigar Shah is a force of nature! Here he recounts his unique journey–as entrepreneur, investor and nature’s defender. His outlook: a fast–changing world where enterprise places greater value on our climate and society. A timely book from a Thinker and Doer, both!” –ANN GOODMAN, President, telesis, Co-Founder, WNSF

For details and to RSVP: Read the rest of this entry »

Ann in Conversation at Women in Green Forum, Sept. 25

Please join my conversational panel on how entrepreneurship is driving sustainable innovation at the inaugural Washington, DC Women in Green Forum at the US Green Building Headquarters. Learn how women of all ages are blending drive, creativity, collaboration for sustainable business innovation. For more information:

Join Dr. Goodman as she moderates “Responsible Brand Management in the Era of Social Networking” on Oct. 9


Responsible Brand Management in the Era of Social Networking: Risks and Rewards

CommitForum!, October 9, 10:15 am, New York Marriott Downtown

Whether B-to-B or B-to-C, companies risk reputational snafus throughout the supply and value chains when engaging in social networking.

Yet, in this day and age, when everyone depends on multiple media channels to communicate, the risk of not engaging stakeholders—from customers, to employees, to investors–could be even higher.

Plus, when done right, social media can enhance a brand’s ‘responsibility’ allure—and value.

What works, what doesn’t? Why and why not? How are the most responsible, sustainable companies learning to manage the risks and earn public rewards for their social campaigns and accomplishments? How can the hard work of sustainability data collection and reporting be used to advantage in such campaigns?
Based on our recent research, reporting, and worldwide talks on the topic, these are some of the questions Dr. Goodman will discuss with ask a panel of world-renowned experts:

Dave Stangis was named Vice President-Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability at Campbell in September 2008. In 2011, his role was expanded to include oversight of Community Affairs and the Campbell Soup Foundation. Prior to joining Campbell, Dave worked for 12 years at Intel, where he created and led the corporate responsibility function.

Dan Bross, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship, has over twenty-five years of experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. In 2002 led a cross-company virtual team that developed Microsoft’s global Citizenship Program. Today, Dan leads a team with Citizenship responsibilities focused on issues management, reporting, stakeholder engagement and strategic relationship management.

Dr. Leonardo Bonanni is founder and CEO of Sourcemap, a supply chain transparency company which allows companies and consumers to see where products come from, including social, environmental and financial risks. Sourcemap provides an enterprise social networking platform that connects multinationals and public sector agencies with the thousands of suppliers in their extended supply chains.

To Register:

NASDAQ’s Sandy Frucher takes stock of sustainability reporting

©2013 Ann Goodman

Meyer “Sandy” Frucher

NASDAQ’s Vice Chair Meyer “Sandy” Frucher was a big hit during the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) spring conference in New York City, reminding fellow panelists of common-sense wisdom during an arcane debate on sustainability reporting that pitted accounting standards against regulatory guidelines — and baffled most of the audience.

After a series of nonstop trips spanning four continents in his role as “roving ambassador without a portfolio” — and freshly returned from a board meeting of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE) in Tokyo— Frucher sat down with me to talk what makes sense for companies, investors and the public as business embraces sustainability reporting.

Ann Goodman: Why did NASDAQ publish an integrated report last December?

Sandy Frucher: We’re a for-profit company. We used to be a boutique stock exchange in one place trading equities in the U.S. The world changed. We’ve become a global company, a multinational and multi-modal company — that is, Read the rest of this entry »


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