Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Are Under Armour's Sustainability Claims Green or Greenwashing?

Baltimore based Under Armour, Inc. is a sports apparel manufacturer that makes a number of bold claims about their commitment to sustainability. However, their environmental performance has been widely criticized.

Under Armour's website makes audacious claims starting with the well worn cliche that sustainability is woven into the company's DNA. They also state that sustainability is integral to their strategy and directly related to the company's core values.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Climate Awareness by Country (Percentage of the Population)

The most climate aware country in the world is Japan with 99 percent of the population indicating that they know about of the existence of climate change. The country with the lowest percentage of people claiming to be aware of climate change is Benin (21%). In general Northern Europe and North America are more aware of climate change than Africa and Asia. The average percentage of climate aware people in all of the 129 countries surveyed is 63. It is interesting to note that even though the current US president is a climate denier, almost all Americans (97%) acknowledge the existence of climate change.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Trump May be Irrelevant but he is Not Harmless

Trump's defective judgment, psychological dysfunction and amorality have made him irrelevant. On the campaign trail Trump promised his supporters that they would win so much they would get tired of winning. However, his backlog of failures have made him the most unpopular president in US history. Trump is irrelevant because no thinking person can believe what he says, or take what he means seriously. Trump is an entertainer and there is still interest in his antics from that point of view. However, this is the same kind of interest that one has in watching a train wreck. It is a voyeuristic spectacle, not of great achievement, but of catastrophic failure.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Event - Green Building Virtual Expo

Canada's premiere virtual green building event will take place on November 1, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. Exhibits will remain accessible online for three months. The second annual Green Building Expo is free to attend. It is also an affordable way for exhibiting businesses to connect with potential clients and customers all across Canada – and beyond. The online show will celebrate Canada’s greenest and most successful building projects. Each exhibit will showcase sustainable construction solutions to a target audience in a timely and cost-efficient manner.

Green Building Expo will serve as an ideal platform to bring together technology, materials, products, service providers, developers, general contractors, architects, consultants, engineers, interior designers, builders, specifiers, project managers, green investors, bankers, building owners and facilities managers; not to mention municipalities, expert organizations and other key stakeholders of green building projects.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Corporations Offering Hope this Unhappy Thanksgiving

The Trump administration and the GOP give Americans no reason to be happy this Thanksgiving. Resistance from citizens and corporate leaders offer a shining ray of hope in an otherwise bleak picture. America's greatness is now being systematically dismantled. Its institutions, its democracy, and its moral center are under siege. What makes this enemy especially pernicious is the fact that unlike previous adversaries, this threat comes from within Congress and the Oval Office itself. While nobody was listening Trump's former chief strategy advisor Steve Bannon made it clear that the goal of this administration is the deconstruction of government. Even though Bannon has been pushed out his influence remains.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Amadeus Sustainability Gains are a Win for Investors

In addition to celebrating its 30th birthday, Amadeus is also celebrating its sustainability efforts in 2017. Amadeus IT Group (AMS) is a major Spanish IT Provider for the global travel and tourism industry. The company was founded in 1987 and their headquarters are located in Madrid. They currently operate in 190 markets, with a worldwide team of 15,000 people. They have invested over €4 billion in R&D since 2004. In 2016, they reported revenues of €4,473 million. As of November 22, 2017 their market cap was $27 Billion.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Cost Saving Tesla Semi is Poised to Revolutionize Truck Transportation

The recently launched Tesla Semi is an emissions-free fully electric class 8 truck that is far less expensive to operate than comparable diesel-powered trucks. The Semi consumes less than 2 kilowatt-hours per mile and uses no fossil fuels resulting in significantly reduced operating costs. Tesla claims the savings could amount to more than $200,000 per vehicle in fuel costs for every million miles on the road.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Event - Shareholder Activism Unlocking Shareholder Value

This event will take place on January 25, 2018 at the Time Warner Center, 10 on the Park, 60 Columbus Circle, New York, NY.  The Shareholder Activism  Unlocking Shareholder Value conference brings together activists, board directors and corporate management to discuss the state of play in activist engagement and what to expect in the upcoming shareholder season. The event includes full day of interviews, panel discussions, presentations by practice experts, strategists, advisors, activists and investors makes this one-day program an invaluable gathering, needed to effectively manage through the ever-evolving landscape of proxy fights and settlements.

Friday, November 17, 2017

KXL Pipeline Leak Highlights Serious Dangers and Questionable Economic Value

A leak in the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline occurred just days before Nebraska decides on the fate of a pipeline expansion. The tar sands oil that would be carried by the pipeline are currently being shipped by rail but not at the rate they would be if the $8 billion KXL expansion were built. If the KXL runs at full capacity it could ferry up to 830,000 barrels per day.

There are many reasons to oppose the KXL. The tar sands require more energy to transport by pipe and more energy to refine.  As revealed by oil spills in 2015 and 2016, oil pipelines leak. Tar sands pipelines are even more likely to leak than those that transport conventional oil and when they do, they are harder to clean up. This puts dozens of critical waterways at risk. Tar sands also emit at least 20 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional oil. That is why tar sands pipelines are often referred to as carbon bombs. We can ill afford a surge in greenhouse gases as we ebb ever closer to the upper threshold temperature limits.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Scientists Issue Dire Warnings about Climate Change

A new US report and a recent warning from 17,000 scientists adds to the chorus of those calling for climate action.  On November 3, 2017, US government released its most significant and conclusive climate change report yet. The U.S. Global Change Research Program's fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) is a comprehensive review of leading climate science that was compiled with contributions from 13 federal agencies under the direction of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Further, it was reviewed by the independent National Academy of Sciences and approved by the National Economic Council.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Corporate Actions that Combat Trump's Climate Ignorance

Corporations are opposing the Trump administration and embracing both science and sustainability. Corporations are increasingly adopting science-based emissions reduction targets and increasing their renewable energy investments. Many of these companies also support President Obama's Clean Power Plan which the Trump administration is in the process of dismantling. As part of their efforts to dismantle regulations Trump and the GOP are at war with science.

The position of the current US government is in stark contrast to business leaders who acknowledge that climate change represents a serious material threat. This includes vulnerabilities to resource scarcity and supply chain disruptions. Corporations also have to contend with reputational threats from consumers who may punish laggards.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

The Economist Events Sustainability Summit 2018

The Sustainability Summit 2018 will take place on March 22nd 2018 in London. The event is subtitled, "from responsibility to leadership". If you are only able to attend one major event in 2018 this is one of the events you will want to consider.

Friday, November 10, 2017

HSBC Taking its Sustainability Commitments to New Heights

London-based sustainability leader HSBC, is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services companies. The banking giant is helping the world to transition to a low-carbon economy and promoting sustainable growth. The company's updated climate plan enhances and already strong commitment to meet their social, environmental and governance (ESG) responsibilities. The new plan includes $100B for sustainable financing by 2025.

Over the last ten years HSBC has financed some of the biggest climate-focused infrastructure projects in the world. They are also focusing on reducing their in-house footprint. In the past year alone HSBC has reduced carbon emissions by 9 percent, water usage by 9 percent and energy consumption by 13 percent. HSBC is consistently ranked in the top ten for the financial sector in both performance and disclosure according to CDP Global 500 Climate Leadership Index.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Election Defeats Intimate an End to Trump and the GOP

Voters from Florida to Washington state have rejected Trump's vision by embracing diversity over division. One year after a minority of voters elected Trump, Republicans have been handed a string of electoral defeats. In what is being called a blue wave, women, minority and LGBT candidates secured historic wins.

The elections that took place on November 7, 2017 were a referendum on the performance of both the commander and chief and the GOP.  Americans used the opportunity to reject Trump's vision for the country. In a stunning rebuke, Democrats won decisive victories on a range of social and cultural issues.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Climate Evidence Makes Trump Irrelevant at COP23

As the Bonn Climate Talks commence the world seems to be increasingly ignoring a US commander and chief who does not seem to have the faintest understanding of the most basic aspects of climate science.

At last year's Conference of the Parties (COP 22) delegates in Marrakesh were reeling in the wake of the election of Donald Trump. This is in stark contrast to the euphoria post COP 21 when delegates in Paris were celebrating the momentous achievement of a climate deal. As expected Trump announced that he was withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, however, rather than unravel the deal, nations, cities, corporations, and others steeled their resolve to abide by the accord.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ceres Company Network Gains Two High Profile Members

Ceres is a sustainability non-profit that is host to a Company Network of responsible businesses. The members of this Network are committed to achieving sustainability goals and improving resiliency in their operations and supply chains.

These efforts offer a competitive advantage to companies that are serious about sustainability. Network members also benefit from unique access to investors and other stakeholders who are seeking opportunities in the low-carbon economy.

CERES has engaged in a number of efforts in recent years including calling out the fossil fuel industry, tracking investor resolutions and showing support for the Clean Power Plan. They have also produced a number of publications including a report on the cost of financing the low carbon economy and another that offers risk guidance.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Event - Sustainable Innovation Forum 2017 (SIF17)

The eighth Sustainable Innovation Forum 2017 (SIF17), will take place on November 13th and 14th, 2017 in Bonn, Germany – the home of the UNFCCC.  SIF17 is succinctly described as two days of green economy deal-making. This event gives business leaders and entrepreneurs the chance to meet  face to face with key stakeholders. This event has a proven track record of facilitating relationships between businesses, governments, the UN and NGOs.  The Forum fosters partnerships that accelerate climate change solutions and bring scale to low carbon innovation. Many of the deals forged at this event are helping to make our future more sustainable.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Puerto Rico's Renewable Energy Opportunity (Video)

The devastation to Puerto Rico's energy infrastructure caused by Hurricane Maria opens the door to a powerful opportunity.  The storm wiped out more than 2,400 miles of aging power transmission lines leaving people without power. Almost 80 percent of Puerto Ricans still have no electricity. This gives the people of Puerto Rico a blank slate to imagine the future of energy on the island.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Criticisms of Sustainability Offset by Tangible Results

The growth of sustainability has been nothing short of spectacular but some question the depth of the engagement. Some cynics dismiss it altogether saying sustainability amounts to little more than a public relations exercise. Sustainability is no longer a niche project it is now a mainstream phenomenon.

 Sustainability has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. This is the finding in a survey by Fundação Dom Cabral . This study and many like it point to explosive growth.  We have come so far so quickly. Five years ago sustainability was virtually nonexistent, since then sustainability has grown exponentially.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Puerto Rico Relief Efforts: Companies Doing What Trump Won't

The Trump administration has done very little to help Puerto Ricans after Hurricane Maria so corporations are stepping in to help fill the void. In the face of widespread devastation, thirst, hunger and homelessness, Trump handed out paper towels and attacked San Juan's mayor. Despite the deluded,  narcissistic self-promotion that is Trump's MO, his efforts (or lack thereof) have been a disaster for the island territory.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Mars' Sustainability Leadership Through Science Based Climate Action

While some companies merely pay lip service to sustainability, corporations like Mars are walking the talk and showing others the way forward. Mars Inc. is a company that has shown corporate leadership on a number of fronts. In 2015 Mars was among the companies that endorsed President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan saying it is "good for business". The same year, Mars was one of 10 global food companies who jointly published a letter in which they pledged to accelerate business action on climate change including reductions in greenhouse gases (GHGs). Mars supported supported a positive outcome at COP21 and they were among the signatories of a letter that urged Trump to respect the Paris Climate Agreement.