Encouraging News & Opinion Coming Out of Ceres Gathering in San Francisco -- Progress in Corporate Sustainability Continuing!

Encouraging News & Opinion Coming Out of Ceres Gathering in San Francisco -- Progress in Corporate Sustainability Continuing!

Water scarcity, resource depletion, climate change impacts...these were top-of-the-agenda items at the annual Ceres Conference convened last week in San Francisco.  These of course are pressing challenges for the domestic and global business communities, for investors and various stakeholders.  While there are many aspects to these issues to consider, the takeaway from the conference, writes Aaron Pickering, is that the focus on sustainability is good business (and good for business).

Among the key issues and topics in the Ceres dialogue:  the role of clean-energy in driving economic growth.  Clean energy creates jobs -- lots of them.  Clean energy power -- think renewables -- making for cheaper consumption than traditional fossil fuels in many parts of the word.  (A study by Ceres, WWF, CDP and Calvert indicated that Fortune 500 companies saved almost US$3.7 billion through their climate and energy commitments in 2016. That is good for business -- and many stakeholders!) 

Cheers to Walmart Stores, General Motors, Bank of America, Google, Apple, and Facebook -- these are among F-500 companies that have set or are setting definitive science-based goals -- and (23) are setting practices in place to power 100 percent of their operations with renewables.  IBM is working toward the 2020 renewable energy goal the company has set, with more than 3,000 energy conservation programs in place; in 2015, the company saved $30 million and avoided emissions of 250,000 metric tons. 

Lots of good news coming out of the very popular Ceres gathering in San Francisco, welcome indeed in contrast to some of the news coming out of the nation's capital as the Trump forces and members of the Congress look to dismantle vital parts of the Obama Administration environmental and energy-saving policies.   Tune in to the Top Story by Aaron Pickering (VP of Cone Communications; Ceres is a client of his company).

And there is much more encouraging news in the selections for you  in this week's newsletter by our Editor-in-Chief Ken Cynar and the G&A Team.  The forces arrayed against the foes of U.S. environmental protection, clean energy and greater sustainability policies are broad-based and influential.

Top Stories This Week...

Ceres Conference 2017: Business Leaders Prove Sustainability is The Bottom Line   
(Monday - May 01, 2017) 
Source: Triple Pundit - Last week, sustainability leaders from around the world gathered at the Ceres Conference in San Francisco to compare notes and strategize about how to tackle some of our most pressing challenges – from water scarcity and resource... 


Important Items for Your Attention: Editors' Sustainability Scans - Progress!

First global standard for sustainable procurement hits the market   
(Monday - May 01, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - After four years of development, the first international standard for sustainable procurement was launched late last week by the International Standards Organization (ISO). 

The Progress Toward Sustainability   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: Huff Post - The integration of economic development, modern management and environmental protection created the field of sustainability management. The effort to ensure that humans could continue to benefit from the miracle of this planet,... 

The progress toward sustainability   
(Wednesday - May 03, 2017) 
Source: Phys.org - The integration of economic development, modern management and environmental protection created the field of sustainability management. The effort to ensure that humans could continue to benefit from the miracle of this planet,...

NY Saves Millions w/Conservation Efforts Despite Few Sustainability Jobs and No Budget   
(Wednesday - May 03, 2017) 
Source: Environmental Leader - The state of New York managed to save $40 million since 2011 simply by reducing its use of copy paper, and will continue to save about $7 million per year, according to a new report from New York’s Department of Environmental... 

Our Focus - This Week In Agriculture

How Sustainability Helps Farm Businesses Grow   
(Friday - May 05, 2017) 
Source: Ag Web - If you think sustainability is a term clever food companies use to sell products to shoppers at a higher mark-up, you need to do some homework. Sustainability is increasingly a driving force behind profitable farm businesses as... 

Ag groups showcase technology, sustainability at field day   
(Monday - May 01, 2017) 
Source: High Plains Ag Journal - A trio of industry groups hosted federal officials for a field day of demonstrations on seed treatments, planting practices, and equipment innovations that are bringing continuous improvement to sustainable farming practices. 

Special News -- CSR Course Coming Up

Rutgers Offering CSR Certificate Program (Corporate Social Responsibility) this Spring   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Inst. - Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership and Governance & Accountability Institute are partnering to offer the Spring 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility ("CSR") Certificate Program. 

Our Focus This Week on ESG Topics & Issues

Assessing Sustainability Challenges in the Global Packaging Market   
(Thursday - May 04, 2017) 
Source: Smithers Pira - Sustainability is a fast-growing and vitally important area of concern for packaging that addresses economic, environmental and social objectives. 

Sustainability Dispatches: Virginie Helias, P&G  
(Thursday - May 04, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - How, at the 29-year mark, she creatively and strategically has embedded sustainability across the company’s brand-building and business development practices. Thanks to her conviction, vision and effort, sustainability is at the... 

3 ways to help your board get wiser about sustainability   
(Thursday - May 04, 2017) 
Source: GreenBiz - As climate risks loom larger in the corporate world — threatening the long-term viability of certain supply chains and product lines, not to mention reputation — how can corporate boards of directors gauge and respond to them... 

We would need 1.7 Earths to make our consumption sustainable   
(Friday - May 05, 2017) 
Source: Washington Post - As of 2013, the world’s population would need 1.7 Earths to support its demands on renewable natural resources, according Global Footprint Network, a nonprofit organization that calculates human demands on the planet’s ecosystems. 

A Gaping Crack in The Antarctic Ice Shelf Just Forged a Devastating New Path   
(Wednesday - May 03, 2017) 
Source: Science Alert - he impending separation of what's expected to be one of the largest icebergs ever recorded just got a dramatic step closer, after an epic 180-km-long (111.8-mile) rift in Antarctica suddenly split in two. 

Oil's OPEC-Driven Gain Wiped Out as Shale Boom Offsets Cuts   
(Friday - May 05, 2017) 
Source: Bloomberg - Futures on both sides of the Atlantic dropped to their lowest since late November on growing signs that the group’s production cuts are failing to clear a surplus of crude. Oil stocks felt the pinch, with the S&P Oil & Gas... 

Detailed look at the global warming ‘hiatus’ again confirms that humans are changing the climate   
(Thursday - May 04, 2017) 
Source: LA Times - For years, the global warming ‘hiatus’ from 1998 to 2012 puzzled scientists and fueled skeptics looking to cast doubt on the very idea that Earth’s temperature has been on the rise, largely because of human-produced greenhouse... 

Why irate passengers are bad for airline stocks   
(Wednesday - May 03, 2017) 
Source: CBS - Airline executives took a pummeling from a Capitol Hill panel on Tuesday, as lawmakers lambasted them for too often making flying an ordeal. "We're sick of it," one congressman thundered. Passenger anger is among the reasons that... 

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News & Opinion: Asset Managers, US Pension Funds, Sovereign Wealth Funds

China Sovereign Wealth Fund Exec Blasts China’s Forays Into Hollywood
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) Associated Profiles : China Investment Corporation 
Source: The Wrap - “I’m so disappointed by China’s film and entertainment industry in general,” Bin Qi said at the Milken Global Conference Bin Qi, an executive vice president at China Investment Corporation — the... 

Barclays Sees Wealth Funds, Bank Mergers Driving Mideast Deals   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) Associated Profiles : Sanabil al-Saudia - (Has been known as Public Investment Fund)Hassana Investment Company 
Source: Bloomberg - Since last year, Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has funneled about $50 billion of the kingdom’s reserves into investments abroad, almost all of it into technology. It is said to be committing as much as $45... 

North Carolina's pension fund ranks No. 3 in U.S.   
(Thursday - May 04, 2017) Associated Profiles : North Carolina Retirement Systems 
Source: The Business Journal - That’s according to global investment research firm Morningstar, which says the North Carolina Retirement Systems pension fund is 93.9 percent funded. Compare that to the national median of 68.4 percent funded. North... 

China leverage rising at 'alarming pace': central bank official   
(Monday - May 01, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - China's level of leverage is rising at an "alarming pace", particularly in the finance sector, a senior central bank official said in a commentary, amid growing concern by the country's senior leaders over financial security. 

From the Corporate Sector -- News for You

Sustainable business equals profitable business: 5 questions for Ingersoll Rand   
(Monday - May 01, 2017) 
Source: Energy Digital - As climate change remains top of mind for global leaders, businesses continue to recognize a growing need to incorporate carbon strategies into their business plans. While the key driver for carbon strategies is to improve the... 

Porsche Planted 5000 Trees Last Week For Sustainability   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: The Drive - Sure, maybe it's a PR move (of course it's a PR move), but it's a move in the right direction for Porsche. We can only hope that they continue to promote such ideas of sustainability not only locally but on a global scal 

Infosys plans to hire 10,000 U.S. workers after Trump targets outsourcing firms   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: Reuters - India-based IT services firm Infosys Ltd said it plans to hire 10,000 U.S. workers in the next two years and open four technology centers in the United States, starting with a center this August in Indiana, the home state of US....

Dear Financial Services CEO: Where are the women?   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: Green Money Journal - or an industry that prides itself on mastering risk management, finding value and uncovering arbitrage opportunities, I think the financial services sector is falling flat. Why? Because most firms are overlooking one of the... 

Sappi North America Releases 2016 Sustainability Report   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: Yahoo Finance - Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, has announced the release of its 2016 Sustainability Report. The report showcases Sappi's industry leading sustainability..

Target slashes CEO pay package after bleak year  
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: CNBC - Target's Chief Executive Brian Cornell took a sharp cut in compensation after the company failed to meet financial goals in a year marred by declines in sales and share price ...

Mohawk Industries talks about 2016 Sustainability Report   
(Wednesday - May 03, 2017) 
Source: MDJ online - Mohawk Industries, 1755 The Exchange in the Cumberland area, announced that the 2016 Sustainability Report it released online paints a comprehensive picture of the company’s innovation, passion and commitment to a better tomorrow.

Apple joins 'Made in America' trend with $1 billion fund to promote U.S. manufacturing   
(Thursday - May 04, 2017) 
Source: MacWorld - Manufacturing jobs (any jobs, really) are a hot-button topic these days, and our President has made no secret of his desire for big companies, and Apple in particular, to make more products here. In a Wednesday interview with Jim... 

Trump Administration News... Affecting Sustainability and Climate Change

President Trump Celebrates Health Vote Win with Jubilant Republicans
(Friday - May 05, 2017) 
Source: Fox Now - Declaring it “an unbelievable victory,” President Donald Trump delayed his first trip home to New York as president to celebrate House passage of legislation undoing much of former President Barack Obama’s... 

Trump Weighs Breaking Up Wall Street Banks, Raising Gas Tax   
(Tuesday - May 02, 2017) 
Source: Bloomberg - President Donald Trump said he’s actively considering a breakup of giant Wall Street banks, giving a push to efforts to revive a Depression-era law separating consumer and investment banking. 



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