In this month’s edition of the Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance and Banking (JSFB), we consider debates from the perspective of the “Loyal Opposition” — because we must look at complex issues from different perspectives while embracing the principle that respecting diverse viewpoints strengthens the quality of the debate. This is a timely theme in the context of a US election season that has witnessed unusually heated rhetoric about issues ranging from trade to national security, and sharp divisions over national identity and role of the US in the broader world. Similar debates have extended elsewhere over continued fallout from slow-moving economies and the crisis of refugees fleeing the horrors of the Syrian civil war, fueling nationalist backlashes in Western Europe.
• Our Global Sector Research team looks at the future of work in the context of gender and finds that women face a greater risk of job loss due to automation, as they hold nearly 60% of the jobs considered “very high risk” for computerization by 2020. They also expand Cornerstone’s work on antibiotics and animal farming in a case study for the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) Initiative where leading investors and financial service providers are integrating issues relating to factory farming into their investment processes.
• Contributors Max Gruenig and Brendan O’Donnell of Ecologic Institute look at environmental activism and posit that those who were against the perceived negative forces of globalization in the period leading up to the Paris climate talks were challenged by the breaking Volkswagen emissions scandal, considered a “watershed moment” for transparency achieved through an integrated global market.
• Suz Mac Cormac, partner at the legal firm Morrison & Foerster, addresses the line between profit and purpose in the corporate world with an in-depth review of the range of legal structures available to address the pursuit of mission in the corporate context; Professor Jacob Park of Green Mountain College / Rutgers University looks at the emerging business models being created by the convergence of online commerce, mass customization, and 3-D printing technology, and asks “What are the important sustainability consequences of such business models? Finally, Cornerstone’s Managing Director David Dusenbury discusses how integrating non-financial metrics into the investment process helps drive investment into higher-quality companies — yet another piece of the mosaic for those engaged in impact enterprises or seeking to bring about a better world.
Highlights from this month’s issue:
Regional and Sector Strategy: September Update
By Michael Geraghty
Women in an Automated World
By Sebastian Vanderzeil, Fiona Ewing
Cornerstone Contributes to FAIRR’s Investor Case Studies
By Michael Shavel
To “B” or Not to “B”: The Power of Corporate Form
By Suz Mac Cormac, Morrison & Foerster
Changing Business and Sustainability of How Products Are Made,
Purchased and Shipped
By Jacob Park, Green Mountain College / Rutgers University
By Erika Karp
Think Locally, Act Globally
By Brendan O’Donnell, Max Gruenig, Ecologic Institute
Solving for Nonfinancial Data as Part of the Investor’s Mosaic
By David Dusenbury
Access the full edition here.