Latest Reference articles

Four Sustainability Trends to Watch in 2012

30 January 2012 -

(Environmental Leader)

The worldwide movement toward sustainability has made significant progress over the past half-dozen years as companies and cities have pursued strategies that balance future and current societal needs. Now, sustainable development is entering a new phase, characterized by greater alignment within and between the public and private sectors.

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‘Recessionary Hangover’ Slows Corporate Sustainability’s Momentum

30 January 2012 -

(Greenbiz) By Matthew Wheeland

If you think of the corporate sustainability movement as a ship — a huge, hulking, slow-moving and still-polluting ship — new research shows that the ship is still moving forward, but is taking on water and struggling to pick up steam.

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Is sustainability now the key to corporate success?

20 January 2012 -

(The Guardian) By Robert Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou, and George Serafeim

The broader societal concern about sustainability has grown from almost nothing in the early 1990s to a dominant theme today. Meanwhile, leaders of major corporations worldwide are increasingly facing the challenge of managing organisations that meet the expectations of a broad range of stakeholders (often themselves in conflict), while still delivering a return to shareholders. As a result, sustainability is now an essential ingredient for a company’s long-term success and we have been able to provide solid evidence for this in a rigorous empirical study.

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More Firms Appointing Lead Corporate Responsibility Role

20 January 2012 -

(Environmental Leader)

The proportion of organizations with a lead role overseeing corporate responsibility shot up to 62 percent in 2011, versus 42 percent in 2010, according to a survey by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, the Corporate Responsibility Officer Association and NYSE Euronext.

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Business Isn’t As Profitable As Betterness

12 January 2012 -

(Fast Company) By Umair Haque

In an excerpt from his new book “Betterness: Economics for Humans,” Umair Haque looks at the trends that should be pushing businesses to create more than profits–if they know what’s good for them.

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Social Business Strategies ‘as Important’ as Economic Ones

18 November 2011 -

(Environmental Leader)

Building a social purpose into a business strategy is just as important in securing long-term success as building in an economic purpose, according to an article in November’s Harvard Business Review.

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Most Chief Sustainability Officers Close to the Top, Report Finds

29 September 2011 -

(Environmental Leader) Nine out of ten CSOs are one or two steps removed from the CEO, according to a report by executive search and consulting firm Weinreb Group.

Weinreb says the report, CSO Back Story, is the first to chart the evolution of the position by surveying every exec with that title among the country’s publicly traded companies. The group found 29 such execs, after searching SEC filings, LinkedIn and other sources.

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Vision for a sustainable economy

13 September 2011 -

(Forum for the Future) Investors should use their financial muscle to create a resilient, stable and sustainable economy and lobby governments for support, urges a report released today by Forum for the Future.

The report, called ‘Sustainable Economy in 2040: a roadmap for capital markets’, warns that capital markets are funding activities that are pushing the planet beyond safe environmental limits and threatening investors’ long-term interests.

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Where Pay for Chiefs Outstrips U.S. Taxes

31 August 2011 -

(The New York Times) By David Kocieniewski – August 31, 2011
At least 25 top United States companies paid more to their chief executives in 2010 than they did to the federal government in taxes, according to a study released on Wednesday.

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A drought in your portfolio: are global companies responding to water scarcity?

16 June 2011 -

EIRIS publishes report on water risk and how this is the world’s most essential commodity without doubt is water. Yet despite its critical importance to the global economy and to human life, water is taken for granted and the impending issue of water scarcity remains largely neglected. However, investor-led initiatives related to water risks have begun to gain momentum.

Read full report here

Transparency, Regulations Drive LCA Popularity

19 May 2011 -

(GreenBiz) NEW YORK, NY — Interest in life cycle assessment (LCA) is rapidly growing as more companies realize the benefits of taking deeper looks at their products’ impacts, according to a report. Although concerns about the cost and time associated with LCAs remain, a number of factors are expected to make assessments easier and more attractive

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Sustainability reporting in the EU 2011

4 May 2011 -

“The State of Play in Sustainability Reporting in the European Union 2010″

Full report here

The 7-Stage Evolution of a Socially Responsible Brand

4 May 2011 -

Simon Mainwaring is the author of a new book, We First: How Brands and Consumers Use Social Media to Build a Better World (Palgrave Macmillan). Prior to founding We First, a social branding consultancy, Simon was a Nike creative at Wieden+Kennedy and Worldwide Creative Director for Motorola at Ogilvy. He blogs at and tweets @simonmainwaring

For decades, the decision to be an environmentally and socially responsible company has been based on the bottom line: Would it be profitable? In general, companies have crunched the numbers and chosen shareholder profits over a sufficient commitment to invest in greater social responsibility. In terms of traditional accounting and the legal requirements of corporations, costs always outweighed benefits. Show more

Mercer’s Responsible Investment (RI) team publish new report “Climate Change Scenarios : Implications for Strategic Asset Allocation”

16 February 2011 -

Mercer, together with 14 leading institutional investors and industry thought leaders around the world, has been working for over a year on this market-leading research into the implications of climate change for markets and investors. Full report here: ClimateChangeSurvey_Report

Setting Sustainability Goals: 10 Golden Rules

10 February 2011 -

The best sustainability reports deliver significant internal management benefits. They provide a valuable tool for corporate leadership to negotiate realistic ambitions with its managers to secure enhancements across all areas of the operation. Goals are a central part of business management. They provide a compass to managers who need clear, benchmarkable targets that can steer them in an agreed direction.

full article here

The business logic of sustainability

9 February 2011 -

At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional “take / make / waste” industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.

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