October 4, 2019


The Young People Move to the Streets to Protest Slow or Lack of Action on Climate Change Challenges…

When young people take to the streets in significant number, there is usually a revolution of some type in store, history tells us.  Revolutions belong to the young, we can say with some certainty if history is our guide.  (Think: American Revolution, French Revolution, Civil Rights protests in the American South.  Dramatic change followed these protests.)

So what to make now of four million young men and women flooding into the streets and plazas of large cities and local communities around the world to “protest” their views of “inaction on climate change challenges” by those adults in charge (government and business, especially).

In New York City, Rome, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv, Madrid & Barcelona, Montreal, Berlin, Vienna, and many other of the world’s cities, on September 20th hundreds of thousands of young people rallied in protest and called on leaders to protect our planet.  There were marches, music, signs of all sorts, speeches, and other public expressions intended to draw attention to the dangers posed by climate change.

As symbol of the moment, climate activist Greta Thunberg (at age 16) boldly sailed over the seas from her home in Sweden (rather than take a jet airplane) to get to New York City for the celebration of Climate Week and the gathering of leaders at the United Nations General Assembly). In interviews she commented that she does not understand why world leaders would mock children and teenagers for acting on science that advances evidence that climate change is real – and dangerous for humanity and our planet.

But business is responding – and investors and the public sector, too.  In one of the focus features we bring you this week, in the Harvard Business Review author Andrew Winston tells us what 1,000 CEOs really think about climate change and inequality. (We know Winston from his best-seller, “Green to Gold”.)  He reminds us that nearly 200 CEOs working through the Business Roundtable (BRT) declared that business is no longer just about maximizing shareholder profit.

Many more hundreds of CEOs are in agreement and many are focused on climate change.  Are we moving fast enough?  A report from UN Global Compact and Accenture (“The Decade to Deliver: A Call to Business Action”) presents the views of more than 1,000 global executives on their views of sustainability. All of the large-cap company CEOs interviewed believe that sustainability issues are important to the future success of their enterprises.  The biggest challenge is climate change. 

This week our Top Stories are presented as snapshots of where we are as consumers, investors, government leaders and yes, business leaders, focus on sustainability and especially climate change matters.

An appropriate footnote:  in rural Southwest Montana, a participant in the local rally by mostly young people had this to say in a letter to the editor of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle in response to criticism of the young peoples’ rallies:  “Climate change is not a political issue. It is a life or death issue. Our children are asking in what way school matters when our future is disintegrating before our eyes.  Children have as much right and reason to march anyone.  They march because they can still see possibility, opportunity and reasons to fight four just futures.  Next time, maybe you should join us to understand what our kids are marching for.”

Our offerings for you this week:

After strikes, youth climate activists keep pressure on leaders
Source: Reuters 

What 1,000 CEOs Really Think About Climate Change and Inequality
Source: Harvard Business Review

Business leaders join the UN Global Compact Leaders Week to address climate crisis and advance the SDGs
Source: UN Global Contract

Banks worth $47 trillion adopt new UN-backed climate, sustainability principles
Source: UN News 

Markets face major risks over lax climate forecasts, top investors warn
Source: Reuters 

The second-largest gift to a US university was pledged to Caltech. It's being used for climate research
Source: CNN 

Climate Activism Requires More Than Just Sustainability Statements From Brands
Source: Ad Week 

Most of world's biggest firms 'unlikely' to meet Paris climate targets
Source: The Guardian 

Lead on global climate change and sustainability
Source: St. Peter Herald 

Editorial: Climate Week 2019
Source: Advanced Science News 

Climate crisis seen as 'most important issue' by public, poll shows
Source: The Guardian 

Sponsored Message

Sustainability Standards Setters & Policy Makers

Corporate Reporting Dialogue shows high level of alignment between major global reporting frameworks on TCFD recommendations - Source: IIRC

What do we need to see from a regulatory and standards perspective to support the sustainability transition in capital markets? - Source: CDSB

FSB Climate Disclosure Framework Poised For 2020 Traction - Source: Kirkland

Also of Interest
Better Alignment Project Webinar: TCFD reporting
10 October 2019, 8:00 – 9:00 AM and 4:00 – 5:00 PM UK time (GMT+1)
Experts from CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC and SASB will review the Better Alignment Project report in interactive webinars on 10 October 2019. Webinar participants will be invited to share their views on the report and engage with the experts to ensure that the work of the CRD remains grounded in the needs of the market.


G&A Institute Sustainability Update
Informative, insightful, thought provoking
Governance & Accountability Institute's blog focusing on the sustainable world evolving daily before our eyes. Read it, absorb it, question it and challenge.

The DJSI – Pioneers in ESG/Sustainable Investing Indexes, Celebrates 20 Years of Industry Leadership and Partnership of RobecoSAM and S&P Global Dow Jones

Climate Change-Related Disclosure: The TCFD Is Here — the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures

Generation M – the “Millennials” – Making a Difference in Many Spheres of Society




FLASH REPORT: 60% of Russell 1000® Are Publishing Sustainability Reports, G&A Institute’s 2018 Inaugural Benchmark Study Shows

FLASH REPORT: 86% of S&P 500 Index® Companies Publish Sustainability / Responsibility Reports in 2018

Sector Study on Sustainability Materiality of the SDG Targets & GRI Indicators

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Sustainability Reporting
(GRI, SASB, IIRC, UNGC, CDP) Measuring, managing and reporting on the progress of the organization's sustainability journey...
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ESG / Sustainable & Responsible Investment

MSCI issues guide for investor reporting to TCFD guidelines - Source: The Sustainability Report


Corporate Sustainability / ESG

Nominate Your Company for the 2020 WEC Gold Medal Award for Sustainability (Due Oct 16) - Source: 3BL / World Environment Center

To address worsening climate crisis and scant progress on sustainable development, UN looks to countries and private sector to mobilize resources - Source: UN SDGs

How Companies Can Tackle Poverty Through Inclusive Employment Strategies - Source: BSR

Banking on a circular economy - Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise


Global Sustainability: Continuing Forward Momentum!

The Power of Sustainability Partnerships - Source: 3BL / Schneider Electric

United Nations Global Compact launches network of Chief Financial Officers to direct funds towards Sustainable Development Goals - Source: UNGC

United Nations Global Compact targets gender equality - Source: UNGC

2019 Climate Action Summit: Businesses Are Pulling Governments towards a Net Zero Economy - Source: BSR

Climate Finance Leadership Initiative and European Development Finance Institutions Partner to Drive Climate Finance in Emerging Markets - Source: Bloomberg

5 Things to Tackle Climate Change - Source: PSEG


Sustainability Data That Matters

Marine Industry Guidance Just Published in Race Towards Low-Sulfur Fuel by 2020 - Source: ISO

CDP and ACEEE Announce New Partnership to Streamline Collection of City Energy Data - Source: CDP

Aggregating Small Energy Demand Case Study: How Five Companies Partnered to Build an Innovative Procurement Model - Source: Bloomberg

JetBlue Introduces the Largest Electric Ground Service Equipment (eGSE) Fleet at New York’s JFK International Airport, Cutting Four Million Pounds of Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Year - Source: 3BL / Jet Blue


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