‘New Climate Economy': Growth via Climate Change Action

| Thursday September 18th, 2014 | 0 Comments

NewClimEconTitle Besides denying that fossil fuel use is rapidly pushing civilization to a climate change tipping point, climate-change deniers contend that the costs associated with making climate change mitigation and adaptation a global priority would stifle economic growth and social development.

In advance of the U.N. Climate Summit and Climate Week NYC, which kicks off on Monday, some have even asserted that the campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a conspiracy aimed at gathering wealth and political power. Some might reply that this is a glaring example of “the pot calling the kettle black.”

Research studies from reputable, independent organizations, such as the landmark Stern Review, have concluded that the costs of inaction greatly outweigh the costs of addressing climate change head-on. A new study commissioned by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate goes further, asserting that growth can not only be achieved, but enhanced, by following pathways that will result in societies that are socially and ecologically, as well as economically, sustainable.

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Millennials and the Growth of Sustainable Investing

3p Contributor | Thursday September 18th, 2014 | 0 Comments

Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared in “The Millennials Perspective” issue of Green Money JournalClick here to view more posts in this series.

BarbaraK-photo By Barbara Krumsiek

During my first week at Calvert Investments as president and CEO in April 1997, I received a desk plant as a congratulatory gift from a former colleague. Seventeen years later, that plant is literally a tree, dominating a special corner of my office. It is a daily reminder of not only my personal journey at Calvert, but also the flourishing of sustainable and responsible investing over the past several decades. What began as a niche approach is more and more a mainstream investment strategy.

As an industry, we undoubtedly play a major role in promoting changes that will help shape a global green economy, add more diversity in the highest echelons of corporate governance and serve as the watchdogs of human rights in the business context.

But as we think about both where we’ve come from and where we’re going next, it’s critical to balance our attention to these major global movements with some of the day-to-day tasks within the industry that are necessary to advance these global objectives.

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SOCAP14 Interview: Will Poole, Unitus Seed Fund

| Thursday September 18th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This video is part of our ongoing coverage of SOCAP14.  To see the rest please visit our SOCAP 14 page here.

Will Poole is the co-founder of Unitus Seed Fund, a $20 million fund based in Bangalore and Seattle that invests in startups serving large, underserved low-income populations.  In this conversation, Will discusses the state of impact investing in India, some of what has made it historically difficult and what’s being done to change that.  Unitus has made a great deal of progress since its inception, and Will shared three recent accomplishments with me:

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Twitter Chat Tomorrow: “Bridging the Workforce and Diversity Gaps”

Marissa Rosen
| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

twitter-symantecJoin us on Twitter to learn about “Bridging the Workforce and Diversity Gaps” on Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET!

When you think of diversity in the workplace, what does that mean to you? What could companies do better when it comes to diversity in the workplace? How can we address the skills gap happening across certain industries like tech? Symantec defines diversity as all of the differences that make each of us unique individuals. A company’s ability to attract, retain and fully engage diverse talent leads to enhanced innovation and creativity in products and services.

Want to know more? Please join TriplePundit, Symantec, the Shared Value Initiative and Susan McPherson as we discuss diversity as a business imperative, as well as ways to bridge the gaps that are holding diversity back in certain sectors. Join CSR Experts Jen Boynton, Nick Aster and TriplePundit for an hour-long conversation including plenty of time for Q&A with you!

  • Cecily Joseph is Vice President of Corporate Responsibility & Chief Diversity Officer at Symantec Corporation. Symantec’s mission is to make the world safer by protecting and managing information so everyone is free to focus on achieving their goals.
  • Meghan Ennes is Community Coordinator at the Shared Value Initiative, where she manages an online community for shared value practitioners on both sharedvalue.org and social media. She previously worked on the editorial team at Harvard Business Review.
  • Susan McPherson is a serial connector, passionate cause marketer, angel investor, and corporate responsibility expert. Recently, she launched McPherson Strategies, a communications consultancy focusing on the intersection between brands and social good, providing storytelling, partnership creation and visibility to corporations, NGOs and social enterprises.

New to Twitter Chats? Learn how to participate!

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G8 Report: Impact Investing Is the ‘Invisible Heart’ of Markets

| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

ImpactInvestingG8TitleAdam Smith wrote famously of the “invisible hand” that guides markets toward ends that — wittingly or not — are intended to be broadly beneficial for society as a whole. Much less widely recognized, and even less widely noted, are Smith’s writings regarding the essential role governments play in restraining greed and our basest instincts by establishing the ethics and rules that regulate market practices and a set a level playing field for all who aspire to enter. A recent report from the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force takes the anatomical metaphor one step further.

“The world is on the brink of a revolution in how we solve society’s toughest problems. The force capable of driving this revolution is ‘social impact investing,’ which harnesses entrepreneurship, innovation and capital to power social improvement.” So opens the introduction to Impact investment: The invisible heart of markets, a policy paper produced by the G8’s Social Impact Investment Task Force, which the U.K. established in June 2013 as part of its tenure in the G8 presidency.

Impact investing, as defined by the G8 Social Impact Investment Task Force, encompasses those who invest to achieve environmental and broad social, as well as financial, benefit – and it’s growing fast, the task force found. Broadly applicable in developing and developed countries, impact investing is already producing tangible benefits across a wide variety of areas, including reducing criminal recidivism, regenerating communities, broadening financial inclusion, and helping create affordable and supported housing, they highlight.

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Labor and Environment Issues Plague Apple for Third Year

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 2 Comments

apple_china_annette_bernhardtInternational commerce can be a real headache. It can be especially vexing when your head offices are in California, your primary manufacturers are in China, and environmental watchdogs are everywhere.

Such is the lesson that Apple is learning these days, as it tries to navigate the sticky waters of high-speed manufacturing in developing countries, where prices may be cheap, but laws and employment customs aren’t necessarily in sync with the expectations of its North American customer base.

The problem that seems to have Apple’s management stymied however is that it’s an issue that, well, just doesn’t seem to go away.

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Cities Reframe Climate Conversation to Focus on ‘Resiliency’

Mike Hower
| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

houseEd note: Please join us for a live Google Hangout with Siemens and Arup on October 1, where we’ll talk about cities and climate resiliency live! RSVP here.

Congress may continue to fumble over taking any kind of cohesive action to address climate change, but its effects are becoming difficult to ignore. In 2012, extreme weather events scientists say were either caused or exacerbated by climate change cost the United States $100 billion — most of which went towards federal crop, flood, wildfire and disaster relief.

Of course, climate disasters don’t discriminate against those who do or do not believe in global warming; they equally ravage conservative and liberal towns. Sadly, these are the political lines that have been drawn and perpetuated by those with a vested interest in Big Oil. More than 56 percent of House Republicans from the 113th Congress actively deny the existence of global warming, reports Think Progress. These same representatives also happen to have taken over $58.8 million from the fossil fuel industry.

For many climate activists and forward-thinking city officials, trying to convince climate deniers in their communities of the importance of preparing for climate disasters must feels a lot like trying to get a toddler to eat its vegetables — and perhaps therein lies the problem. For many, climate denial is an emotional issue for which no amount of logic can remedy. The more we try to convince climate deniers to see the light, the more entrenched they will become.

Rather than continue in a stalemate, many community leaders are turning to Political Communications 101: If you can’t win an argument, change the conversation.

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Study Confirms APP’s Expansion Plans Won’t Require Natural Rainforest Pulp

| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments
Saplings at APP’s nursery will become future plantation trees.

Saplings at APP’s nursery will become future plantation trees.

It’s been 18 months since Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) announced its Forest Conservation Policy, which included a commitment to zero deforestation. And its September update report carries with it some further positive news about the company’s long-term pulp supply chain — most notably with respect to the planned opening of a third paper mill in OKI district, in South Sumatra, Indonesia.

Concerns have surrounded the opening of the new plant, and whether existing plantation forests would prove to hold sufficient stock to meet the increased demand for pulpwood. Work done by third-party entities, TFT and Ata Marie, which conducted an independent ‘Growth and Yield’ study, has, according to the company, “confirmed that APP does have sufficient resources to meet the wood demands of the mills,” though “one minor gap” in the supply has been identified in 2020, which the company asserts will be addressed.

The gap identified in 2020 can easily be filled, according to APP, by increasing the productivity of plantation operations between now and then. APP’s update report states that the TFT/Ata Marie study identified a number of efficiency gains and management improvement practices that, if implemented, could substantially increase the wood yield from the existing land-base of its pulpwood suppliers.

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Highlights from 3p Traceability Week: Expert Panelists Answer Your Questions

Mary Mazzoni
| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

ktc-globeHow do we know if a product is safe for our families and aligns with our values? Was it produced in an environmentally preferable way that also benefited the person who made it, or are environmental and human rights problems lurking within its supply chain? It’s all about traceability!

Last week, Triple Pundit gathered a panel of experts to get to the bottom of some of the toughest traceability issues in four controversial arenas — seafood, fashion, minerals and medical marijuana. They were here all week to answer your questions, and it turned out to be a pretty interesting conversation.

Here are some highlights from the expert Q&A.

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Google Invests $145 Million to Turn an Old Gas Field Into a Solar Plant

Gina-Marie Cheeseman
| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

RegulusLast week, Google invested $145 million in an 82 megawatt (MW) solar power plant in Kern County, California. The solar power plant, called the Regulus project, is being developed by SunEdison on top of an old oil and gas field about 11 miles southeast of Bakersfield, California. It will generate enough energy to power 10,000 homes. The 743-acre site went from 30 oil wells to five as it exhausted its fossil fuel reserves.

The solar project is creating 650 jobs in Kern County, and will help meet California’s renewables portfolio standard of 33 percent of the total electricity load coming from renewable energy by 2020. The project, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014, is expected to generate $6.1 million in property tax revenue and $25.4 million in sales and use tax revenue for the county over its 20-year contracted life. The power company, Southern California Edison (SCE), is under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SunEdison to contract the power produced.

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SOCAP14 Interview: Impact HUB Tokyo

| Wednesday September 17th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This video is part of our ongoing coverage of SOCAP14.  To see the rest please visit our SOCAP 14 page here.

TriplePundit is a proud partner of Impact HUB Bay Area and by extension the many Impact HUBs popping up around the world.  I had a chance to get to know Shingo Potier de la Morandière, co-founder of Impact HUB Tokyo, at Socap14 last week. We talked a little about how cause-based co-working is being popularized in Japan and also about the process by which one creates a new Impact HUB.

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Top Environmentalists Call on Foundations to Turn the Tide on Global Warming

Sherrell Dorsey
| Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

global-warmingWith just a week away from the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, 160 leading environmentalists from 44 countries are calling on the world’s foundations and philanthropies to take a stand against global warming.

The group, comprised of award-winning environmental laureates, issued the “Declaration on Climate Change” published in the International New York Times last week, calling on foundations and philanthropies to deploy their endowments and save civilization as we face the dangers of a warming climate heading to 4 degrees and 6 degrees Celsius temperatures.

“Our goal with the Environmental Laureates’ Declaration is to help foundations see that the impact of their charitable giving can be augmented by their investment behavior with no risk to their portfolios. Companies, funds and other investor assets that are fossil-free and/or focused on the clean energy economy are now performing at least as well as their more traditional counterparts,” said Aimee Christensen, Hillary Laureate, founder and CEO of Christensen Global Strategies and one of the key signatories of the declaration.

“Major philanthropic foundations, which control hundreds of billions in investments, have a major opportunity to contribute to the rapidly accelerating growth of climate and clean energy solutions. We hope they seize that opportunity and in doing so, reduce their own risk and increase their impact.”

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How B Corp Certification Helps Attract and Engage Employees

Ryan Honeyman | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

This is the sixth in a weekly series of excerpts from the upcoming book The B Corp Handbook: How to Use Business as a Force for Good (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, October 13, 2014). Click here to read the rest of the series.

Etsy Hack DayBy Ryan Honeyman

Becoming a Certified B Corporation can help unleash the passion, initiative and imagination of employees by connecting them with the larger meaning behind their work.

Goldman Sachs found that millennials, which represent nearly 50 percent of the global workforce, “have specific needs at work that are dramatically different from previous generations. High among these [is] a desire to align personal and corporate values. To attract and retain this group, we believe that companies need to provide rewards beyond financial gain.”

“Asking ‘Why?’ and clearly identifying your purpose will attract the very best, brightest, and most passionate people to your business. That is what the B Corp movement is all about: taking a holistic, systemic approach that really upholds and supports your values every day.” — John Replogle, CEO, Seventh Generation

Research shows that millennials are not just looking for work–life balance, which means having enough time and energy to enjoy life outside of work. They are also looking for work–life integration, which means applying themselves to something that they feel passionate about, so that they can fulfill both an economic need and a need for a higher purpose. Becoming a B Corporation can help you attract, retain and engage employees around both your company’s higher purpose and the B Corp community’s collective purpose to lead a global movement to redefine success in business.

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‘Big Six’ Development Banks Reaffirm Climate Commitments

| Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 1 Comment

climatesummit2014 Demonstrators, along with world leaders, are beginning to congregate around the United Nations headquarters in New York City this week in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit 2014. Inviting leaders from around the world to participate in the one-day climate conference, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling on them to “galvanize and catalyze climate action” and “bring bold announcements and actions to the Summit that will reduce emissions, strengthen climate resilience, and mobilize political will for a meaningful legal agreement.”

Along with the U.N., multilateral development banks (MDBs), such as the World Bank Group, have comprised the core of the institutional framework for international governance, development and finance since the end of World War II. Criticized for financing coal-fired power plants and supporting polluting, emissions-intensive development in developing countries worldwide, the World Bank just over a year ago said it would only finance coal-fired power plant projects in rare, exceptional circumstances.

On Sept. 11, the world’s six MDBs “reaffirmed their shared commitment to lead by example by continuing to reinforce and further develop climate financing.” The African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and World Bank Group said they would continue to focus their resources on addressing climate change.

That includes leveraging MDB financing by attracting greater amounts of private-sector investment, as well as “continuing to innovate and promote more robust and transparent climate finance tracking and reporting,” according to a joint press release.

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National Chicken Council to Phase Out Some Poultry Antibiotics

Jan Lee
Jan Lee | Tuesday September 16th, 2014 | 0 Comments

antibiotic_resistanceOnly about 10 percent of the antibiotics used in chicken are actually used to treat humans, says the National Chicken Council. Its statement comes on the heels of a controversial report by Reuters indicating increasing proof that the prophylactic medications used in chickens are fueling antibiotic resistance not just in fowl, but in humans as well.

In a statement yesterday, the NCC refuted these assertions, claiming that only a small portion of the antibiotics that Reuters journalist Kate Kelland examined – about 10 percent – were also given to humans. The rest of the antibiotics used in fowl do not treat human populations.

“All antibiotics used to prevent and treat disease in chickens are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The majority of these antibiotics are never used in human medicine and therefore represent no threat of creating resistance in humans,” said Ashley Peterson, NCC vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.

That said, Peterson announced, new changes are on the horizon for those meds that are also used in human populations.

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