Colleges and Universities and Global Sustainability – Many Higher Ed Institutions Are Addressing the 21st Century’s Great Societal Challenges in Many Ways in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe

Colleges and Universities and Global Sustainability – Many Higher Ed Institutions Are Addressing the 21st Century’s Great Societal Challenges in Many Ways in North America, Asia-Pacific and Europe

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon thinks that institutions of higher learning are “the leading torch bearers for global sustainability.”  The world’s universities, adds the Study International organization team: “…Universities play a vital role in helping us understand climate change…” 

The Study International Staff looks at the roles of universities in addressing climate change challenges in the U.S.A., Asia-Pacific and in Europe in a very informative wrap-up that is one of our Top Stories this issue.  Under the Climate Leadership Network, they explain, more than 600 colleges and universities in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia have committed to take action on climate change, preparing students through research and education to solve 21st Century challenges. 

The institutions profiled today:  the University of Utah’s College of Mines and Earth Sciences; the University of Queensland in Australia; College of Science and Technology, Temple University (USA); Asian School of Environment, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.

Our other two relatedTop Stories for you are (1) a feature from Florida by Bakari M. McClendon at the Florida A&M University’s Sustainability Institute (go Rattlers!), about the great work being done at the school to work toward “climate (impact) neutrality”, collaborate with the community and prepare students for the sustainability challenges of the 21st Century. (The school is a public, historically  African-American institution). It’s a fascinating wrap up and FAMU faculty, staff and students are justifiably proud of telling.

And (2) on the other American coastline, far to the west, at the University of California’s Santa Barbara campus, there’s news about the school being named among the top-performing institutions in the 2019 Sustainable Campus Index (did you know there was such an index?).

The index is from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (“ASSHE”) and it annually ranks the nation’s most sustainable colleges and universities in 17 impact areas related to academics, engagement, operations and administration based on it “STARS” methodology.  UCSB is part of the “sustainability revolution” in California that is helping to set the pace for the U.S.A. in addressing climate change challenges.

Here at G&A Institute we have a program for select intern-analysts to assist with ESG / sustainability / corporate disclosure and reporting research projects -- which we then share results [of] with you on our G&A web platforms. 

We are proud of the men and women who have participated in our rigorous programs over the years since 2010 – they are now influential in helping to advance corporate sustainability and sustainable investing out “in the real world” – you can find their profiles on our Honor Roll at:

And the results of their research over the recent years that these outstanding professionals have helped to conduct is found at:

If you are a college/university student, particularly a grad student, and you would like to be considered for an internship with G&A Institute, please examine this: INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITIES: SUSTAINABILITY REPORTS DATA ANALYST

P.S.  If you don’t know about The Study International organization, which operates from the UK, Australia and Malaysia, and helps students find educational institutions and graduate employers connect, you can tune in to their web platform: 

Perhaps you will find an institution that your organization can collaborate with, or a graduate to fill that sustainability position at your organization.

This Week's Top Stories

Resilient research hubs that strive for global sustainability   
(Thursday - August 30, 2018) 
From heads of states to businesses, civil society to Silicon Valley, leaders are not immune to the forces of change before us. Developmental, environmental and other social challenges...

Education is a launch pad for sustainability problem-solvers   
(Tuesday - August 28, 2018) Source: Tallahassee Democrat - Colleges and universities are uniquely positioned to build pathways to interdisciplinary, solutions-oriented sustainability education for the thought leaders of tomorrow 

Sustainability Strides   
(Tuesday - August 28, 2018) Source: The Current - UC Santa Barbara named among top-performing institutions in three key categories in the 2018 Sustainable Campus Index 

Calling Your Attention To

The JAMA Network (Journal of the American Medical Association) published an analysis of Health Care Organizations’ sustainability and CSR reporting. We share with you this week a very informative commentary from the JAMA Network (Journal of the American of the American Medical Association -AMA) that should be interesting reading for managers of healthcare facilities. This is an assessment of the sustainability reporting by large health care delivery organizations (HCOs) performed by two medical professional, Emily Senay, M.D., MPH; and, Philip J. Landrigan, M.D. MSC2:

Assessment of Environmental Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting by Large Health Care Organizations   
(Thursday - August 30, 2018) Source: Jame Network, Emily Senay, MD, MPH1; Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc2 - Do large health care organizations participate in the business trend to report on sustainability activities?


Sustainability: Forward Momentum!
For Your Attention: Items From the The Editors' -- There is Much Good News to Share…

Sustainable nutrition: a new term for an old concern   
(Monday - August 27, 2018) Source: GreenBiz - With increasing constraints on our planetary boundaries — we’re not getting more land any time soon — and a growing world population, the areas of sustainability and human nutrition have merged into a new conversation... 

Sustainability and Profitability: How to Make a Positive Impact   
(Tuesday - August 28, 2018) Source: Multi-Housing News - When implemented both wisely and strategically, sustainable green practices have an enormous positive impact on the bottom line for a multifamily housing property. 

Will sustainability ever trump price for Asian consumers?   
(Wednesday - August 29, 2018) Source: eco-business - People often say they will pay a premium for sustainable products. But there’s a difference between what people say in a survey and what they actually do in a store. Are Asian consumers ready to pay more for green goods?

Sustainability Can Be a Win-Win   
(Thursday - August 30, 2018) Source: Drovers - What if we could not only reduce carbon emissions from cattle production, but also redirect that carbon toward animal growth, and more beef production per unit of input? 


Our Focus This Week on A Range of ESG Topics & Issues – More For You to Think About – What Will Be the Future Impact of These Developments? 

From Passive To Active: Institutional Investors Promote Corporate Governance   
(Monday - August 27, 2018) Source: Forbes - By demonstrating responsible stewardship of assets, institutional investors encourage the long-term sustainability of the companies in which they invest, while making their portfolios more attractive to a new generation of...

70% of Americans think the environment is more important than economic growth   
(Tuesday - August 28, 2018) Source: TreeHugger - 85 percent of Americans support funding research into renewable energy - 70 percent think climate change is real. And if you look at the map, it's a majority in just about every state, including the Deep South. The same...

Winners and losers from the new NAFTA deal   
(Friday - August 31, 2018) Source: Reuters - Talks between Canada and the United States intensified on Thursday as the two countries pushed for a deal on a revamped North American Free Trade Agreement by a Friday deadline, with both sides upbeat about the progress made. 

Yes, We Should Conserve Energy   
 (Friday - August 31, 2018) Source: Forbes - Earlier this month, the Trump Administration announced that it would replace fuel efficiency standards enacted by the Obama Administration in order to make cars safer and more affordable. 


From the Corporate Sector - Both Positive & Negative – Headline Scans for You 

How Eileen Fisher's DesignWork Initiative Is Effectively Strengthening Sustainability In Fashion   
(Wednesday - August 29, 2018) Source: Forbes - Eileen Fisher is arguably the leader in sustainable fashion. Since founding her eponymous brand in 1984 with a range of unfussy, Japanese-inspired wares, she has made it point to create pieces that stand the test of time, that... 

How to make luxury goods sector sustainable: Kering’s mission to identify issues, team with suppliers and enable designers   
(Wednesday - August 29, 2018) Source: South China Morning Post - Marie-Claire Daveu, chief sustainability officer at French luxury group Kering, talks about the group’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact that have seen it named the most sustainable luxury company for the third time in... 

And we offer these headlines for you…

PepsiCo's recycling drive and Lego's plant-based bricks: The sustainability success stories of the week   
(Monday - August 27, 2018) Source: Edie

Six Volkswagen Managers Fired in Ongoing Diesel Emissions Scandal   
(Monday - August 27, 2018) Source: Interesting Engineering 

Papa John's scorches Papa John in 800-word response   
(Thursday - August 30, 2018) Source: CNN Money 

HBC Releases 2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report   
(Friday - August 31, 2018) Source: Daily Times 

And two important stories from the “S” factors category (in “ESG”) – major U.S. large-cap companies and how they are taking care of their human assets:

General Mills Expands Employee Benefits, Includes 18-20 Weeks Of Maternity Leave  
(Thursday - August 30, 2018) Source: CBS

Microsoft will require US suppliers to offer paid parental leave   
(Friday - August 31, 2018) Source: Fox Business

And a company responds to public criticism:
Amazon, in a rare political response, calls Bernie Sanders' claims of poor worker conditions 'inaccurate and misleading'   
(Thursday - August 30, 2018) Source: CNBC

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

Should Companies Abandon Quarterly Earnings Reports?   
(Tuesday - August 28, 2018) Source: Knowledge at Wharton - According to experts at Wharton and Georgetown University, switching to semi-annual reporting could have significant downsides, including a greater temptation for companies to cover up missteps and an increased potential for...

Legg Mason Charged for Violating US FCPA over Libya’s SWF   
(Tuesday - August 28, 2018) Associated Profiles : Libyan Investment Authority Source: Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute - Money manager Legg Mason Inc. agreed to pay an excess of US$ 34 million to settle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on its unit Permal Group Inc. Permal was alleged to pay bribes to win business from the... 

The Public-Pension Party Must End   
(Thursday - August 30, 2018) Associated Profiles : Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds – State Treasurer’s Office Source: National Review - According to a comprehensive survey by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) of 280 state-administered public-pension plans, the unfunded liabilities ... are on disability pensions; the average retirement age of a... 

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