Journal of Sustainable Finance & BankingSM

The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance & Banking (JSFB) is an on-line forum featuring voices from a range of disciplines bringing their unique perspectives on progress towards a regenerative and inclusive global economy. JSFB contributors include thought leaders from the capital markets, private sector, non-governmental organizations and academia, highlighting breakthroughs in science and technology, best practices in environmental stewardship, social progress and effective governance, and creative ideas for advancement of responsible long-term economic development.
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December 4, 2017

The Data-Driven Future of Water (Webcast)

Cornerstone Capital recently hosted water expert Will Sarni for a conversation about “The Data-Driven Future of Water.” Sebastian Vanderzeil, Director and Global Thematic Analyst, interviewed Will, covering questions such as: How has the “waterscape” changed over the past ten years? How should investors think about the myriad of opportunities and issues surrounding water, from utilities… Read more »

November 29, 2017

ESG Compatibility: A Hidden Success Factor in M&A Transactions

Using ESG scores as a proxy for firm culture, we analyze 231 M&As completed between 2011 and 2016 and test whether deals transacted between companies with comparable ESG scores outperformed those that involved companies with disparate stances on ESG. While other factors can influence the returns of acquiring firms, our analysis suggests that ESG compatibility may positively contribute to the financial success of M&A deals. We also examine the ESG profiles of firms involved in 83 pending M&As and discuss future avenues of research.

November 28, 2017

In Defense of Transparency: Why Extractives Companies Should Remain Committed

The U.S. government’s decision to withdraw from the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) landed with the thud of inevitability in early November. The stated explanation for the decision—which affirms a commitment to EITI principles and focuses on unique aspects of the U.S. tax system—has little credibility, given the current state of play in the anti-corruption field.

October 13, 2017

Moving Up the Blockchain Curve

As the rapid evolution of the blockchain has captured the attention of the investment community, Cornerstone has begun to offer insight into the technology’s potential to foster positive social change and the evolving notions of governance in its application. (See our reports Governance and the Ungovernable: Implications of Blockchain Proliferation and Making Sense of Blockchain Opportunities, as well… Read more »

September 20, 2017

Coping, Shifting, Changing 2.0 –New UNGC/PRI Report

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and United Nations Global Compact released the first version of Coping, Shifting, Changing in 2014. The central premise of the report was that companies could be long-term even in a short-term world, offering practical recommendations on how to achieve this. This new report, released on September 18,  responds to feedback that investors could, and should,… Read more »

September 14, 2017

Ms Foundation Calls for Expansion of Sanctuary Policies

Editor’s note: Ms Foundation has just released a new report: “Centering Black Women, Girls, Gender Nonconforming People and Fem(me)s in Campaigns For Expanded Sanctuary and Freedom Cities,” by Andrea Ritchie and Monique Morris (National Black Women’s Justice Institute). Below we share the executive summary. Download the full report here: Centering Black Women, Girls, Gender Nonconforming People and… Read more »

September 13, 2017

The State of the Data: Challenges to Integrating ESG Factors into Investment Decisions

Introduction Today, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) data are helpful to investors — but not helpful enough.  Environmental information about greenhouse gas emissions has enabled investors to identify companies that seem vulnerable to a potential carbon tax, and has also highlighted companies that have materially improved energy efficiency.  Similarly, many companies have been reporting data… Read more »

August 4, 2017

Time for a New Normal in Global Capital Markets: Advancing Investment in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Last week, national governments, business, and civil society leaders came together at the United Nations’ High-level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York. With C-Change, we were asked to address attendees to the SDG Business Forum following our report SDG Investing: Advancing A New Normal in Global Capital Markets. The report, jointly commissioned by United Nations… Read more »

July 24, 2017

Why “Attentiveness” Matters: A Cautionary Tale for Investors

Editor’s Note: The piece below by Uwe Gneiting, a Research and Policy Advisor for the Private Sector Department at Oxfam America, and originally published here on July 13, 2017, struck a chord with Cornerstone’s research team. In October 2016 we published Extractive Company Values, an in-depth report illustrating how mining companies’ “attentiveness” to material environmental… Read more »

July 13, 2017

The UN Has a Problem

Editor’s Note: Andrew MacLeod is a member of Cornerstone Capital Group’s Board of Directors. He is affiliated to the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, and is the Chairman of Griffin Law, which is a law firm. He worked as an aid worker for the Red Cross in Yugoslavia and Rwanda in the… Read more »