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
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?
As the New Year opens, I’m happy to share with the sustainability community that my story on Ernst & Young’s research, entitled ‘6 Biggest Trends in Sustainability Reporting,’ published Jan.30, 2012, was the second-most read story (of the 12 most clicked) of this year on Greenbiz.com, the must-go-to sustainability business web site! (www.Greenbiz.com/bio/ann-goodman: ‘The 12 Most Popular Stories of 2012,’ 12/28/12)
“At the GreenBiz Forum in New York City, E&Y offered a preview of the results of a recent survey of trends in sustainability reporting from 24 different sectors…Read more: (www.Greenbiz.com/bio/ann-goodman: ‘The 6 Biggest Trends in Sustainability Reporting, 1/30/12)
Thanks to my friends at E&Y, especially Chris Walker, Robert Brand, Adam Carrel, and, last, but hardly least, Steve Starbuck–for doing such great research and spending time and energy on adding comment and color to an important story!
Even as JPMorgan Chase has incurred billions in losses from botched trading, acknowledged by its CEO Jamie Dimon as an “egregious mistake,” the stalwart bank has been enthusiastically supporting a new environmental strategy that spans all of its businesses.
In a particularly creative move, the bank recently announced it is financing an initiative in New York City to help building owners cover upfront costs of converting old boilers to natural gas. It is also encouraging home owners to make their homes more energy efficient through improvements that may be eligible for tax benefits.
Matthew Arnold, the Head of the Office of Environmental Affairs, sees the move as the sort of innovation he hopes the bank can achieve across businesses to help solve real-world environmental problems.
Appointing Arnold — former leader of PwC’s Sustainable Business Solutions, co-founder of Sustainable Finance Ltd., and COO of World Resources Institute — to the top environmental position a year ago was something of a coup for the bank. In Arnold, JPMorgan Chase has lured not just a daring environmental thought leader, but also a well-known implementer of sustainability projects. Continue reading “Can sustainability help JPMorgan Chase bounce back?”→
Who better to guide an emerging “new economy” than Bob Massie, the celebrated former executive director of Ceres–among the first organizations to bring together the business, investment and activist communities for a sustainable future—and a father of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) that continues to transform how companies conceive and report sustainability initiatives?
In his new role as president of the New Economics Institute (NEI), Massie is bringing to bear the full scope of his wide professional experience and personal strength—as leader of those groups, as well as business professor, Episcopal minister, apartheid rights activist, political veteran (most recently in his race for the Democratic Senate candidacy in Massachusetts), and healthy survivor of hepatitis, HIV and a liver transplant, recounted in his new book A Song in the Night.
That depth of character and breadth of action will likely be needed to help lead a fledgling movement that, up to now, may have been viewed by skeptics as something of a populist sideline.
I caught up with Massie—one of my longtime heroes in the business sustainability movement–in June at NEI’s first conference in upstate New York, which brought together economists, academics, business leaders, government officials, community organizers and others to examine what’s not working in our economy—as well as experiments that are working–and what role business and finance, in concert with other sectors, can play to help create positive change.
1. Ann: PharmaJet is a new medical device company, and your mother developed the technology. What’s the company’s role in furthering sustainable development?
Heather: The company’ mission is to make a positive contribution to reducing the global disease burden through injection delivery of vaccines with its devices, safely and effectively.
2. Ann: How do you do that?
Heather: We’ve developed a simple, innovative needle-free jet injection technology—focused on delivery of vaccines into the body. “Needle-free” is not new, but the way in which PharmaJet has approached it is. A variety of care givers, customers, patients, governments, and NGO’s have used the technology and confirmed it to be very useful and desirable in a variety of healthcare environments, as an alternative to needle-syringe and the resulting disposal, needle-stick, needle re-use and liability issues they face.
3. Ann: Is the traditional vaccination process potentially a global health issue?
At the GreenBiz Forum in New York City last week, Ernst & Young offered a preview of fall 2011 survey results of sustainability program and reporting trends at leading companies in 24 sectors. Of the more than 270 respondents, 85 percent are based in the U.S.
The session, led by E&Y assurance and sustainability and climate change practice experts, highlighted six trends:
1. A rise in sustainability reporting;
2. An increase in the CFO’s sustainability role;
3. The emergence of employees as a key sustainability stakeholder force;
4. Strong reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and mounting reporting on water use — despite regulatory uncertainty;
5. Growing concern about access to raw materials (including so-called conflict minerals) as a business supply chain issue;
6. Special attention to outside rankings and ratings on the part of corporate executives.
Who better to offer some sustainability advice to CFOs than the former EVP and Global Head of an international ratings service, who delivered double-digit growth for nine years running?
As she leaves The McGraw-Hill Companies, Vickie Tillman, who for two years has headed the company’s sustainability initiatives for its Global Strategy Group as Senior VP of Global Sustainability Business Development and previously ran its subsidiary, Standard & Poor’s (S&P), has some financial tips for sustainability executives (and sustainability tips for finance professionals).
Read more, first posted on January 13, 2012, onAnn Goodman’s blog on GreenBiz