Illinois State Treasurer: Sustainability Report

Michael W. Frerichs of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office has released the 2019 Annual Sustainable Investment Report.  An excerpt: – Passage of the Illinois Sustainable Investing Act – Spearheaded by Treasurer Frerichs, Illinois became the first state in the nation to pass a law establishing a framework for public fund managers to integrate sustainability factors in their…

Climate Change Is a Business Risk – MarketWatch

A new report from Ceres, a global sustainability nonprofit where I serve on the board, describes the systemic threat that climate change poses to financial markets. The impacts—storms, wildfires, rising sea levels, and more—are multiplying, intensifying, and combining in ways that affect asset valuations, public health, worker productivity, and economic stability. The report provides more…

How Investors Are Addressing Racial Injustice – The New York Times

Socially responsible investing has been putting billions of dollars to work for social change for decades. In some cases, the strategy means avoiding certain sectors. Religious organizations, for instance, steer clear of alcohol, firearms, tobacco and other “sin” stocks. Some investors focus on companies that are already socially responsible to help them thrive, while starving…

Society isn’t working: Larry Summers

Larry Summers has been wrong about so many things over so many years (remember how he prevented Brooksley Born from even inviting comment on the regulation of the sub-prime securities that caused the financial crisis when he was Secretary of the Treasury.). Here he is wrong again in saying that a lack of confidence and…

A Framework for Management and Board of Directors Consideration of ESG and Stakeholder Governance

From Marty Lipton — given his past support for using non-financial measures to insulate executives from accountability, we are skeptical. Nevertheless, nice to hear. Corporations that adopt stakeholder and ESG principles, with the implicit agreement of their shareholders achieved through active communication and engagement, will be best positioned to achieve sustainable growth over the long…

Redesigning Corporations: Incentives Matter

In the 21st century, capital is so much easier to raise that we should no longer have to sacrifice other public goods or the collective common interest in order to facilitate fund-raising. Our corporate laws should reflect this fact, but do not. With the “free” tailwind of today’s easy capital-raising, corporations have become massive in…

A Successful Season for SASB-Based Shareholder Resolutions

Timed to the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) season, shareholder advocacy non-profit As You Sow filed seven shareholder resolutions, on behalf of individual proponents, that specifically requested material disclosure compliant with environmental and social corporate reporting standards published by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB). SASB standards are explicitly designed to reflect financially material aspects…

So, Maybe Not So Much on the Stakeholder Commitment

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—following a lobbying offensive by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce—recently announced that Senate Republicans’ top COVID-19 response priority is sweeping corporate immunity legislation that would make it nearly impossible to sue corporations for COVID-19-related legal claims by workers, consumers, or patients. Corporate immunity could give employers a free pass to flout worker…