High-powered CEOs at U.S.-India Business Council vote to split from U.S. Chamber – The Washington Post

The Washington Post reports that the Chamber of Commerce, Washington’s most powerful pro-corporate lobby, is having its own governance problems as some of its members are uncomfortable with the positions the Chamber is taking and one group is trying to break off.

The board of the U.S.-India Business Council — whose membership includes the chief executives of Pepsi and MasterCard — has voted unanimously to break off from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saying that “recent actions taken by the Chamber have left us with no alternative but to take this vote to formally separate.”The vote by 29 USIBC board members was the culmination of a running battle with U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas J. Donohue that dates back to 2010 and which came to a boil during the recent visit to Washington by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi…

The fight between the USIBC, which has about 350 members, and the Chamber was largely about turf and independence. A member of the USIBC board said that Donohue was unhappy that the USIBC invited Vice President Pence to a meeting because Donohue wanted to invite Pence to a different event.

A person close to the USIBC board said that Donohue also wanted to oust certain members of the USIBC board and install others, moves that would be unprecedented in the history of the council.

Donahue is arguing that the USIBC cannot be split off from the Chamber.

Steven Mufson asks if this is a sign that the Chamber’s influence is slipping. The very size and power of the Chamber has led to schisms over policies on issues like health care and climate change.

Companies like GE, which long relied on the Chamber to be their guide and advocate in Washington, are now as politically sophisticated and connected as the Chamber — if not more so. And in an era that allows virtually unlimited independent political spending, they can form their own more focused, and perhaps more effective, associations. Many lobbyists who represent companies individually think the Chamber has taken on the lumbering character of its aging building, a 92-year-old limestone edifice lined with Corinthian columns overlooking the White House.

Source: High-powered CEOs at U.S.-India Business Council vote to split from U.S. Chamber – The Washington Post

Envonet Simplifies Searches for Corporate Environmental Financial Disclosures – Envonet

Envonet™ has launched a free online web portal to allow easy comparison of corporate environmental financial disclosures. Envonet is a global tool that enables users to quickly access environmental and climate-related financial disclosures that are often buried deep within lengthy financial filings. Equally important, Envonet reveals where corporations have omitted information relevant to investors.

“Investors are urgently seeking more transparency from corporations about their material risks and risk management practices, particularly those related to climate change, but there are no simple tools to assist investors in collecting and assessing this information,” said Greg Rogers, co-founder of Envonet and a long-time champion of corporate financial transparency. “And, when disclosures are compared side by side, the contrast between many European companies and their U.S. counterparts leaps off the page. For investors, it makes evident which corporations are treating climate change as a material financial risk and which are not.”

Users can select several companies and compare their disclosures, side-by-side, such as the example provided at the end of this news release with data from BP, Chevron, Exxon-Mobil and Shell. And with a single click, users can jump to the specific location of disclosures in a corporation’s financial filings, where the information can be read in context.

Envonet displays climate-related disclosures in the areas of governance, strategy, risk management and performance measurement, found in mainstream financial filings (e.g., Form 10-Ks filed with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission). It also features environmental-related accounting disclosures for asset impairments and environmental and asset retirement obligations. Envonet employs the framework developed by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), a private sector initiative chaired by Michael R. Bloomberg, and presented at last week’s G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.

Envonet initially features financial disclosures from 2016 year-end financial filings for 40 listed companies in the electric utility and oil and gas industries across the globe. Utility companies include American Electric Power, CLP Holdings, Dominion Resources, DTE Energy, Edison International, Enel, Entergy, Eversource, Exelon, FirstEnergy, Fortis, Iberdrola, NextEra Energy, PG&E, Power Assets Holdings, PPL, Public Service Enterprise Group, Southern Company, SSE, and Xcel.Oil and gas companies include Anadarko, Apache, BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Concho Resources, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, Eni, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil, Marathon, Occidental, Phillips 66, Pioneer Natural Resources, Royal Dutch Shell, Suncor Energy, Total, Valero, and Woodside Petroleum.

There is no cost to use the Envonet portal, but users must register at http://www.envonet.com for access to the database. A companion social media group on LinkedIn (Climate-Related Financial Disclosure) adds opportunity for discussion and collaborative learning.

Source: Envonet Simplifies Searches for Corporate Environmental Financial Disclosures – Envonet