Posts Categorized: Sustainability

Retail Automation: Stranded Workers? Opportunities and risks for labor and automation

Executive summary (download full report here) The retail landscape is experiencing unprecedented change in the face of disruptive forces, one of the most recent and powerful being the rapid rise of automation in the sector. The World Economic Forum predicts that 30-50% of retail jobs are at risk once known automation technologies are fully incorporated…. Read more »

Extractive Company Values: Environmental & Social Issues as Indicators of Strategy Execution Potential

With a market cap of over US$6 trillion, the extractive sector encompasses over 5,000 companies. It provides raw materials for everything from energy creation to high-tech manufacturing to electronics. Even as the world starts to transition from greenhouse gas emitting commodities like oil and coal, natural resource extraction will remain essential. Smartphones and electric vehicles, for instance, require metals sourced from extractive operations around the world. Yet natural resource extraction is, by its very nature, environmentally destructive and socially disruptive — and managing the risks inherent in mining is of prime concern to extractive companies and the host countries in which they operate. Extractive companies’ success will be in part determined by their ability to position themselves for this future.

Food Safety: Is Whole Foods Prepared?

On October 20, the Detroit Health Department announced an investigation into two cases of Hepatitis A potentially linked to Whole Foods’ stores. Whole Foods contacted the Detroit Health Department to report one of the cases, while the second case has not been definitively linked to Whole Foods. While we view the reporting of this incident to health officials as positive, we have concerns about the grocery chain’s food safety preparedness given its exposure to prepared/ready-to-eat food and its lack of food safety disclosure.

Poultry Antibiotics in Emerging Markets: Should We Rethink Growth?

Recent survey results indicate a move away from antibiotics in emerging market poultry production. Our read of the survey results is that investors should be cautious assuming that growth in emerging market poultry production will translate into similar growth in medicated feed additives.

A Voice in the Boardroom: Practical Guidance for Voting Proxies

“A Voice in the Boardroom” is written for organizations and individuals who want to use their voice as shareholders to influence companies, but are not sure how to get started. It is meant primarily for asset owners — endowments, foundations, family offices, individuals or others — who are long-term stewards of capital on behalf of themselves and others.

Food Safety: In a State of Transformation

The food industry is undergoing a transformation as it addresses food safety risks in an increasingly global, complex supply chain. A number of highly publicized cases of foodborne illnesses and product recalls have occurred in recent years; these events highlight vulnerabilities in the food safety chain that present opportunities and risks for investors.

A Shifting ESG Materiality Matrix: What Has Mattered, What May Matter

As we continue our research on sustainability factors that play a role in market outcomes, we embrace a more nuanced view. ESG factors that impact different sectors are not static, and are determined by a wide range of lifecycles.

Antibiotics and Animal Health: California Raises the Bar

On October 10, 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 27, a bill limiting the use of medically important antibiotics (MIA) in animal agriculture, thus going beyond federal policy as outlined by the FDA. This action increases our confidence in our thesis that the potential for more restrictive regulation (as seen with SB 27) and shifting consumer demand pose a risk to antibiotics sales for animal health companies.

Sustainable Investing: Addressing the Myth of Underperformance

Despite growing demand for sustainable and impact investment solutions and a body of evidence to support the effectiveness of sustainable investing from a strictly financial perspective, many investors are still unclear about the relationship between ESG factors and financial performance.

Addressing Deforestation Through Sustainable Finance

Trends in Standards and Certification in Brazil are Focus of Workshop How might LatAM banks advance their policies, products and tools to better incorporate sustainability measures? And what models for engagement might evolve as best practices for public and private entities addressing deforestation concerns?  Those were just some of the subjects discussed at a daylong workshop organized by… Read more »

Four Questions for Alphabet

Google’s impending restructuring into a holding company called Alphabet doesn’t change the underlying business so much as make explicit the company’s dual-track nature. On one track, Google has a mature search/advertising business; on the other, an investment company with a focus on speculative technology investments and basic research. The new structure, intended to provide transparency to investors about the relative performance of each side of the business, will be welcomed by investors.

Flagship Report: The Networked Corporation

We introduce two proprietary tools to help companies make the business case for improved stakeholder relations through shareholder engagement, “The Networked Corporation” offers a proprietary framework to help companies integrate social and environmental issues into business strategy, using shareholder dialogue as a means of corporate learning about stakeholder concerns.

Learning from History: How do Historical and Forecast Electricity Prices Connect?

We believe that the rising electricity prices forecast by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) in their Annual Energy Outlook 2015 do not account for the dampening effect of rapidly declining renewable energy costs and low financing costs. In particular, rooftop solar should act as a cap on the price that utilities will be able to charge retail customers while falling wholesale solar prices, set at a fixed price for up to 20 years, could reduce wholesale electricity prices for the long term.

Scenario: What if electricity prices fell?

US electricity prices have steadily increased in nominal terms over the last five decades. However, using history as a guide, we observe two distinct periods of falling prices driven by technology and government subsidies. We believe that a confluence of factors could once again result in structurally lower prices – with potential impact to power market participants.

Judges Announced for “Sustainable Games” Competition

Harvard Business School, Intel Education among Business and Entrepreneurial Leaders to Select Winner of $25,000 Prize Five global leaders from across business, the capital markets and academia have been selected as judges for “Sustainable Games:  The Business Model Challenge.”  The competition, which offers a $25,000 prize, is sponsored by Cornerstone Capital Inc., together with the Clinton… Read more »

Environmental Issues & Country Valuations: What Matters?

What Matters? — Some environmental issues that are the subject of popular focus — such as carbon dioxide emissions — do not appear to be statistically significant for global investors. Moreover, many countries’ environmental “health” has moved in the opposite direction of their economic development i.e., more pollution and higher per capita GDP.

The Social Costs of Business: Implications for Sector Strategy

Executive Summary The social responsibility of business — In pursuit of the goal of increasing profits, businesses incur costs to nurture relationships with key stakeholders: local communities, suppliers and their workers, the company’s own employees, customers.  Some of these costs are straightforward; others are tougher to quantify.  To be sure, many business‑stakeholder relationships have benefits too…. Read more »

Harnessing ‘Sustainable Brand Power’

How does a brand stay true to its purpose?  And how does a company create an emotional connection with its stakeholders, employees and consumers? These were just a few of the questions addressed by Jostein Solheim, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s during a Roundtable session Nov. 19th on “Sustainable Brand Power” at Cornerstone Capital Group. … Read more »

ESG Essentials – A Guide for Investors

There is increasing recognition globally that environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors are relevant and material for investment decisions. If you are involved in the world of finance, the words “sustainability” or “ESG” have either crossed your desk or are about to. For investors that are new to the topic, this report will serve as a primer that provides a basis for additional avenues of inquiry. For those that are already familiar with the subject, this report will act as a supplement and may offer new or different perspectives on the most critical issues.

Income Inequality: Market Mechanism or Market Failure?

Tools to assess corporate performance and enhance investment decisions Income inequality is a normal feature of a free market economy. However, in recent years, it has been on the rise in most developed countries and has reached relatively high levels, especially in the US. Extreme income inequality affects economic growth prospects and societal stability. It… Read more »

A Virtuous Circle of Corporate Excellence Drives Sustainable Value

Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) is a Fortune 250, $12 billion global industrial gas company headquartered in Danbury, CT. It is the largest industrial gas company in the Americas and operates in more than 50 countries. Praxair consistently leads the industry in profitability and return on capital through a culture of operational excellence, capital discipline and… Read more »

Navigating the Recycling Industry

My journey to the recycling world, is a circuitous one primarily driven by environmental and social motives. A child of immigrants from India and the UK, and one of six children, I never sought easy answers. We came from England with just the clothes on our backs. My parents had big dreams of not only… Read more »

Nils Anderson, the CEO of AP Moller Maersk, spoke at this month’s BSR Conference in New York City and articulated his company’s aspiration to be “Taking the lead in a world of change.”  This company represents the ultimate player in global trade. And, if one subscribes to the economic theory of comparative advantage, then the… Read more »

The Economics of Environmental Issues in Sector Strategy

Increasing environmental pressures — Corporations globally are experiencing growing pressure about environmental issues reflecting, in large part, regulatory initiatives that could potentially increase costs. Among the factors driving the growth and stringency of environmental regulations: energy security issues, public health challenges, impact of pollution on economic growth. We examine the implications of a potential increase in key environmental costs for ten industry sectors. Subsequent research will examine the implications — positive or negative — of social and governance factors for these sectors.

Sustainable Agriculture: What Drives Investor Decisions?

Sustainable agriculture ensures that production keeps up with both demographic changes and resource scarcity while providing economic development and investment portfolio growth. And agricultural production is big business, encompassing land, equipment, crop inputs (chemicals and seeds), expert production (farmers maximizing crop yields), value-added processing, and sales and distribution.  Agricultural sustainability depends on a number of… Read more »

7,000 Chemicals and Highly Sustainable

Red wine, it is believed, has many virtues, from antioxidants to its high levels of resveratrol to promoting weight-loss. However, the virtues of wine can quickly be undone by harmful chemicals, pesticides and fungicides that are found in many varietals today. Unless a wine is certified organic and biodynamic, the consumer can be exposed unknowingly… Read more »

Impact Measurement to Enable an Effective Market

Co-Authored with Kelly McCarthy   Investors in sustainable finance and banking may have noticed a recent focus on the importance of impact measurement. A number of government initiatives are emphasizing rigorous social and environmental performance tracking, including an announcement last month from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) that Impact Small Business Investment Companies (Impact… Read more »

Investing in Seafood is Smart for Business, People and Planet

Will Baird also contributed to this article.   Solving non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity is one of the biggest challenges facing sustainable financing. Two thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese,[1] and the cost of heart disease is projected to reach $818 billion by 2030.[2] Heart disease is the… Read more »

A Closer Looks at GMOs

Are laws requiring the labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO) justified? Do consumers have a right to know what is in their food, or will the labels simply confuse the public?

Transforming Snacks for Foodies: Exo Bars and Runa Tea

The soft drinks and snacks markets are changing. Consumers are progressively turning towards healthier, and more sustainable alternatives. Three deep trends are behind this slow evolution: our greater understanding of how climate change affects water, energy and food systems; increased awareness of how our choices affect communities that produce food commodities; and growing health consciousness…. Read more »

The Future of Urban Agriculture in U.S. Cities

Co-authored by Viki Radden and Doug Lawrence   Today, the U.S. population is over 316 million.   In less than 40 years, the U.S. Census Bureau projects we’ll reach a national population of 450 million, a 42% increase.   Where is this population going to live?  The answer to that question appears relatively clear; the U.S. Census Bureau… Read more »

The Future of Food and Sustainability…A Call for Action

The current U.S. agriculture model is not sustainable.  It is losing more than one acre of farmland a minute to development and causes the erosion of four billion tons of topsoil per year. It accounts for 82% of fresh water use while our major water sources such as the Ogallala Aquifer, Lake Mead and the… Read more »

Market Summary: Overview

In a year of surprisingly muted market volatility, this month we saw risk assets tumble as investor concerns reached a decisive tipping point. Anxiety over a less accommodative Fed, the pace and sustainability of global economic growth, continued conflict in Ukraine, escalating violence in the Middle East, and even the Ebola crisis have investors fleeing… Read more »

In an effort to ignite and support the efforts of the next generation of business leaders, and a form of capitalism that is based upon greater collaboration and transparency, we launch this initiative among the world’s students who will be essential drivers of sustainable innovation…This is a call to action for social entrepreneurship: “Sustainable Games:… Read more »

Are You Thinking Like a Universal Owner?

Imagine it is 2006, and a savvy and perspicacious Chief Investment Officer of a large pension fund foresees a looming threat to the stability in the financial markets. Having lost confidence in the banks, what can she do? Unlike hedge funds or active managers, she cannot short or even exit the shares of the financial sector because her fund is so large that it must hold every name in the public markets…

The Great Negotiator

This is an abstract from the September edition of the JSFB. Subscribers can read the full article here. For more information on subscribing to the JSFB, click here.   Sustainable finance is a relatively new enough concept that it can encompass everything from climate change solutions and infrastructure development to better healthcare systems, improved education… Read more »

Paths to a Fossil-Free Future Create Disruptive Business Opportunities

Fossil-free by 2075. That is the answer the International Energy Agency (IEA) found when it explored technology transition paths for the global energy sector consistent with stabilizing climate change. As an intergovernmental formation of industrialized nations, the IEA’s aim was the same target as the one repeatedly sought by in international negotiations – 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial global average temperatures, a level intended to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change. While investment analysts are often bound to performance horizons of just a few quarters, the IEA view to 2075 has implications for capital allocations today….

Balancing Nature and Energy

This is an abstract from the September edition of The Cornerstone JSFB. Subscribers can read the full article here. Learn more about the JSFB here.   When discussions about the imperative to lower greenhouse gases turn to the subject of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, tensions get white hot. Opponents cite the horrors of gas and… Read more »

The 2014 El Niño: Disrupting the Climate for Business?

Climate forecasters breathed a collective sigh of relief earlier this month as predictions of a “mega El Niño” on par with severe incidents that took place in 1997-98 were downgraded. Scientists now believe a more modest event will develop later this year and run through the winter of 2014/2015. Nonetheless, the revised “60-65% chance” forecast… Read more »

Accelerating Impact in Real Asset Investing

Written by James Lee, James Schaffer and Jaclyn Anku, Schaffer & Combs As the nation’s housing market rebounds, investors have taken notice. But with many still scarred from the protracted economic downturn, questions about risk remain.  But what if a real asset investing strategy could earn market-rate returns while simultaneously improving local communities?  OpenPath Investments,… Read more »

CCG Leases New Space at The Alliance Center

Cornerstone Capital Inc. has reached an agreement to become one of the earliest for-profit tenants at The Alliance Center in Denver and will participate in the building’s Grand Reopening festivities on Aug. 14th. The space will accommodate the firm’s new Investment Management practice. “We are pleased to have been able to find the perfect space to house… Read more »

Cornerstone Summary of “Earnings Guidance A White Paper from KKS Advisors & the Generation Foundation”

The fact of the matter is that capital markets have moved away from a long-term mindset and more towards a focus on short-term results. This trend has been well observed by market participants and academics alike, yet the question as to what will serve as a catalyst to reverse the trend remains. To this end, it’s worth highlighting a recently released white paper by The Generation Foundation and KKS Advisors focusing on the impact of regular Earnings Guidance. Thorough examination of the topic leads to the following conclusions….

Confirmation Bias in the Investment Process

The ancient Greek historian, Thucydides, wrote, “It is a habit of mankind . . . to use sovereign reason to thrust aside what they do not fancy.” The phenomenon to which he speaks manifests itself in all walks of life, from politics to religion and investing. Today, this concept is termed “confirmation bias” and refers to the tendency of people to favor information that confirms their beliefs or hypotheses….

How Purpose-Driven Programs Can Solve the Employee Engagement Problem

The ripple effect of Gallup’s recent research on the State of the Workplace continues to widen. Their report basically indicted companies globally for their inattention to criticality of an engaged and motivated employee base. Based on their research, only 13% of employees worldwide are actively engaged in their work. For the U.S. alone, they assert,… Read more »

Open Hiring: A Culture of Training and Learning

Greyston celebrated its 32nd Anniversary this year and we are extremely proud of our heritage as a pioneering social enterprise. Over these past thirty-two years the concepts of social entrepreneurship, conscious capitalism and environmental sustainability have become common terminology in many business and political circles. What has not changed is the inability for individuals with… Read more »

Fantasy Sports – Business Versus Social Implications

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Fantasy sports is big business. A fanatic fan base and highly desirable demographic has turned it into a $3 billion industry in just the U.S. and Canada, growing over 12% annually.  The fantasy sports phenomenon caught fire with the advent… Read more »

Sports Analytics for the Masses

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Professional tennis players now sparring on Centre Court at Wimbledon have likely scrutinized every part of their game – from stance, to serving strength to baseline maneuvers — with a team of coaches at the ready. But what of the… Read more »

Governance & the NFL

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION. In sports, fixing the game is the ultimate sin, and all sports leagues work hard to prevent contests from being decided by anything other than the skill and the effort of the players and coaches. No sport survives for long if it does not make the delight of its fans its central purpose…

Feeding Fans Sustainably

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  When we think about sustainability in the context of the fan experience we take a holistic view of our opportunity and responsibility – from the restaurants supporting the sports events to the ingredients provided by our supply chain.  In doing… Read more »

A Focus on India

The outlook for Indian equities likely remains supportive. GDP is a key driver of corporate profits in India and, as noted, GDP estimates have started to trend up. Moreover, given current low capacity utilization rates and margins near historic lows, a modest improvement in profit margins could result in a meaningful boost to earnings. In terms of valuation, the Indian market is currently trading at around 15x one year forward earnings, which is in line with historical averages.

Let’s Dance: The Virtuous Cycle of Creativity

Mom and Dad would be proud. It only took 24 years from when I received my Bachelor of Music degree to locate the convergence between fine arts and sustainable finance. Sustainable practices in entertainment and media are perhaps not as obviously critical as they might be in extractive industries, food services, or manufacturing. What is… Read more »

Business of CSR and Sustainability in India

ABSTRACT FROM THE CORNERSTONE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE JUNE 2014 EDITION.  Four years ago, a good friend and a very senior government colleague here in India, Pravir Kumar, asked me to weigh the prospects of getting into the area of CSR. Given that his thoughts and ideas were way ahead of… Read more »

Par for the Course?

The modern game of golf has come a long way from its humble beginnings in 15th-century Scotland, and its fans are some of the most ardent of any sport. Ironically, it is golf’s deep-rooted traditions that have left it struggling to adapt to structural shifts, and the industry is now facing declining interest in many… Read more »

Good Governance: A Cornerstone of Entrepreneurism

“Corporate Governance.” Perhaps the term seems out of place in a journal devoted to entrepreneurship? Entrepreneurship, whether found in a start-up or an established company, implies innovation, strategy and corporate renewal. Corporate Governance, by contrast, is seen as a “soft” form of corporate regulation that restricts and perhaps confines management. Moreover, decades of studies of different corporate governance approaches have not produced a consensus on whether and how corporate governance matters for corporate performance….

PIP’n Good

I’ve been on a mission for close to half my life — to figure out how best to steer individuals toward more socially mindful daily life choices. Because really, from the coffee you brew in the morning to the way you get to work, your everyday decisions have an impact — on the environment, on… Read more »

Ceres Conference 2014

It has been 25 years since Ceres, the Sustainability Leadership Advocacy organization, was formed by a small group of investors to further the adoption of sustainable business practices that could protect the planet while ensuring long-term prosperity for its people. What better way to celebrate a quarter century of progress than to attend the Ceres Annual Conference, held April 30th in Boston….

Warby Parker

At the heart of any successful entrepreneur is the ability to identify and meet a market need. In some cases, meeting this need is premised on the introduction of an original, innovative product while in others it is about improving the process by which it is produced and delivered. The latter appears to be the case in the eyewear industry where startup Warby Parker is aiming to provide consumers with “high quality eyewear at a fraction of the price.”

Reimagining Impact, Reimaging ROI

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. Co-authored by Bob Harrison, CEO and Bulbul Gupta, Head of Market-Based Approaches at the Clinton Global Initiative If we care about meeting the economic, social, and environmental demands of the 21st century, and growing consumer demand for responsible products, then we need to… Read more »

“I Bought the Farm!”

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION Whether it was it for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation or the Open Space Institute, I had been buying and selling land to preserve it in perpetuity for historic preservation, habitat protection and recreational use. The work was non-adversarial, amply funded… Read more »

PIP’n Good

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION I’ve been on a mission for close to half my life — to figure out how best to steer individuals toward more socially mindful daily life choices. Because really, from the coffee you brew in the morning to the way you get… Read more »

Follow the Leader, Follow the Money…Sustainable Entrepreneurship in Banking – The Equator Principles

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION While images of Richard Branson or Elon Musk may come to mind upon hearing the term “social entrepreneur,” one does not require a huge public presence, a revolutionary new idea, or even billions of dollars to make a positive impact in meeting… Read more »

MingJian (消费明鉴), Testing for Safe Quality Products in China

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION The life of a consumer in China is akin to walking blind through a minefield; always fearful that your next purchase may contain hidden dangers. If you enter the words “product safety China” into Google, it will return more than 150 million… Read more »

The Other Revolution: The Global Entrepreneurship Revolution

ABSTRACT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MAY 2014 EDITION. The global entrepreneurship revolution is the key to driving economic prosperity in all our economies.  Today, it is estimated that there are nearly 400 million entrepreneurs starting and running businesses in the 54 economies surveyed by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.  And if… Read more »

Unleashing Impact Capital into Public Infrastructure and Building Projects

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Our national economy is in a world of hurt when it comes to its very foundation: the public infrastructure and buildings that enable and support economic activity.  Bridges, highways, transit, energy, and environmental infrastructure as well as social infrastructure including healthcare, education… Read more »

Building Sustainable Cities with New Design Processes and Open Data

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. New data and technology advancements in the infrastructure design industry have the potential to revolutionize how finance and banking professionals screen opportunities for impact investments. The design industry is rapidly moving from the practice of drawing lines and circles to an intelligent,… Read more »

Filling the Infrastructure Data Gap in Impact Investing

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The OECD estimates USD 53 trillion in investment or the equivalent of an annual 2.5% of global GDP by the year 2030, to meet demand for infrastructure investment by 2030. Those numbers are so large and intimidating that most people are tempted… Read more »

Maersk: Sustainability as a Driver for Growth

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. It is our experience that sustainability adds value if it is tied closely into business and is allowed to help the company take a longer term perspective on material matters. At its core, it adds value through better risk management whether it… Read more »

Trinity River Vision Authority Applies Sustainability Rating and Business Case Analysis to Set Stormwater Management Principles

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. The financial benefits coupled with the benefits of maintaining the water quality of the lake and canals planned for Panther Island makes a clear case for expanding the use of green infrastructure in North Texas that will benefit the development community and… Read more »

Infrastructure Imperatives Drive Regional Competitiveness

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. Today, our urban areas face enormous threats and costs including those associated with the quality, integration and performance of their civil infrastructure systems. Over time, as comprehensive business cases become more common, users will realize additional benefits as projects are regionally bundled… Read more »

WCX Finalizes Project Principles and Standards

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. On January 2nd, the West Coast Infrastructure Exchange (WCX) released the final version of “Infrastructure Project Certification –Principles and Framework” which was developed by the WCX Business Standards Committee. The principles and project standards are the first-ever attempt by multiple US states… Read more »

Transportation Facilities Focus on Sustainability at Billion Dollar Scale

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. When we commute and travel, do we think about the long-term sustainability of the facilities we use? Does it matter that these buildings are efficient and provide healthy environments? Up until now, we have considered multi-modal transit facilities as positive infrastructure since… Read more »

Social Stock Exchanges: Democratizing Impact Investing

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE APRIL 2014 EDITION. While impact investing is still far from being an accessible opportunity for the general population, investor demand for greater liquidity and platforms such as Kiva and Kickstarter make it clear that the potential for involving retail investors in the sector is immense…. Read more »

Global Diversity Leadership Exchange

On Thursday, March 27th, Erika Karp participated in The Global Diversity Leadership Exchange “Connecting Cultures & Corporate Value” in the “Establishing New Measures of Success” session at the United Nations Headquarters.  Some highlights are available by the American Sustainable Business Council, click here to read the commentary.   The Session Topic: We have often heard the mantra… Read more »

From Luxury to Biomaterials – Stories of Sustainable Packaging Design

  Transitioning between a world of linear consumption of natural resources and accumulation of post-consumer waste, to a virtuous circular model, where waste and renewable materials are inputs for value creation, is within grasp. Many companies have already embraced this strategy, and we have seen success stories alongside this new market logic. In this month’s… Read more »

#TheBigShift – Systems Innovation: Changing Systems, Changing the Future

A recent event in New York City, organized by the Guardian and Forum for the Future, drew attention to a major challenge on the road to a sustainable economy: system innovation, or how to create a large-scale system change to make a difference1. Sustainable and social entrepreneurs, activists and business representatives gathered in New York for half a day of discussion and brainstorming, including the United Nations’ Global Compact, Ecovative,, and others….

BMW Urban Mobility: Re-creating the Status Quo through Sustainable Design

The ability to independently travel from location to location based on nothing more than a simple desire to move about freely is a powerful and historical concept that breeds individuality, builds personal character, and spurs innovation through the free exchange of ideas and cultures. Personal mobility has long been quintessential in the development of the United States, especially when considering the early 19th and 20th centuries where transportation slowly evolved from the stage coach, to railroads, to streetcars and subway systems….

Private Investors Exploring Emerging Asset Classes

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Now that ESG (environment, social, governance) criteria are uncovering sound, long-term investments, private equity, family offices and pension funds are looking even farther afield for more such opportunities.  This new biomimicry asset class is the focus of Ethical Markets research in our… Read more »

Supply Chain Ethics & Design: Sustainability Becomes Fashionable with Indigenous Fair Trace Tool™

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Fashionistas can now see beyond clothing labels for the first time with the Fair Trace Tool™ developed by fair trade fashion company INDIGENOUS. This new tool, in the form of a QR code on hang tags, offers transparency throughout the garment’s supply… Read more »

Sustainable Fashion Design — Could Green be the New Black?

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. Although March may mean St. Patrick’s Day, that’s not the only reason some apparel companies are hoping you’ll be wearing more “green.”  While child labor and other social concerns have been on the radar screen for a while now, apparel/footwear companies are now… Read more »

The Nature of Investing

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE MARCH 2014 EDITION. In addition to the material bounty provided by our natural world, we also have access to great stores of wisdom that are embedded in natural organisms and natural systems. The principles of biomimicry, Life’s Principles, are not the newest theories: they are… Read more »

Nestlé: Leading Company in Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. Climate change is integrated into our company-wide risk management processes and in 2013 we further strengthened their commitment to lowering GHG emissions associated with the production and distribution of our products. Nestlé also commits to designing products that help consumers lower their… Read more »

The “Chinese Dream” Chinese Citizens Dream About Health & Environment Improvement More Than About Their Country Being a Superpower

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. The “Chinese Dream” has become the most discussed topic today in China. The people of China have their own dreams and observe cautiously all the hype around this slogan, waiting for good reasons to believe in what they are promised. Thirty years… Read more »

Fibrea: A Leader in Sustainability

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. Fibria began 2014 by celebrating great achievements. The company was recognized in the 2014 Sustainability Yearbook released by RobecoSAM, which is responsible for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI). The company received the prestigious Gold Class Sustainability Award for its leadership in… Read more »

Applying The Rainforest Standard™ to the World’s Forests

EXCERPT FROM THE JSFB. SUBSCRIBERS CAN READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE FEBRUARY 2014 EDITION. The Rainforest Standard™ is the world’s first forest carbon credit standard to fully integrate requirements and protocols for carbon accounting, socio-cultural/socio-economic impacts, and biodiversity outcomes.  In 2009, Cargill S.A. and other sponsors invested in a unique collaboration among Columbia University’s Center for… Read more »