Searching for Solutions to Ocean Plastics

Over the past year, the public, regulators and investors have expressed growing concerns about the problem of ocean plastics. While some organizations have pledged to address the issue, our analysis of 4,575 companies in the sectors that generate most of the plastic waste on the planet reveals that less than 1% of these firms mention the phrase “ocean plastic” or “ocean health” in relevant corporate documents. This finding suggests a low level of strategic awareness about ocean plastics among companies exposed to the issue despite clear interest among consumers, law-makers and investors.

Palm Oil and Deforestation: a missed window of opportunity for the RSPO?

In August 2018, 90 institutional investors representing USD 6.7 trillion in assets sent a letter to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) expressing their concern over deforestation and the disconnect between leading corporate policy commitments and the RSPO standards.

Social Media Regulation: Latest developments and future trends

The internet’s burning issues have taken center stage, as regulators globally push for a crackdown on social media. In the wake of the 2016 US presidential election, tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google were criticized for having allegedly permitted the propagation of so-called “fake news” on their platforms.

How Prepared are Australian Companies for the Modern Slavery Act?

Australia is being scrutinized for lagging on climate action and for a string of scandals in its financial sector, but the country will soon be a leader in fighting human rights abuses and modern slavery practices, as it is set to become one of few countries in the world to adopt a historic Modern Slavery Act (MSA).

Shareconomy – a path to sustainability

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.

Whistleblower Protections in Europe: Considerations for Investors

All organizations have hidden vulnerabilities. Whistleblowing exposes fraud and other financial crimes, thereby giving society an opportunity to act against misbehaviour. Globally, whistleblowers have helped save lives, recover billions of dollars, and protect the environment and local communities.

IPCC Releases Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.

Smart Beta ESG - The Next Big Thing in Asset Management?

Smart beta is all the rage these days. According to data from Morningstar, global assets under management in smart beta strategies hit USD 1tn last year, up from USD 136bn in 2007.[i]

Hope from San Francisco

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.

Crop spray pic

Glyphosate and Non-Selective Herbicides – Are companies managing regulatory risks?

On 10th August 2018, Monsanto (acquired by Bayer in June 2018) was ordered to pay USD 289 million in damages, in the first lawsuit alleging the herbicide glyphosate causes cancer to go to trial in the US. As of July 2018, the number of outstanding lawsuits related to glyphosate reported by Bayer had jumped to 8,000.

Coal pipes

Energy and Climate Policy in Australia: Out of Touch and Out of Time?

Just before the leadership spill two weeks ago, Australia’s former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull discarded the carbon emissions reduction target contained in the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). The proposed legislation was aimed at reforming the country’s electricity market and addressing the “energy trilemma” of ensuring emissions reduction, grid reliability and power price affordability.

Why 23 August 1791 is still relevant today

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.

Net Neutrality: Caught in a web of lobbying and regulatory uncertainty

In June 2018, the US Federal Communications Commission repealed the network neutrality rules (Open Internet Order) that required Internet Service Providers (ISPs)[1] to treat all content on the internet equally, and to not discriminate based on any characteristic, such as who owns or created the content.[2] Specifically, ISPs were not allowed to block, slow or give preferential treatment to certain content. In this blog, we explore the implications of this repeal to users and investors, particularly in light of the recently announced mergers between distributors and content creators in the US.

Industry expert Jon Hale shares his views on attempts to discredit sustainable investing

In a new Medium article highly worth the read, Jon Hale, Global Head, Sustainable Investing Research at Morningstar, writes about recent misleading attacks on the credibility of ESG assessments and sustainable investing. He takes aim at a critical report from The American Council for Capital Formation, a Washington D.C. policy group financed by the National Association of Manufacturers, the fossil fuels industry and various other corporate lobbying organizations.

First strikes against ‘killer robots’

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.

The 2018 UK Corporate Governance Code – A refreshed view on corporate governance

On July 16th, the Financial Reporting Council released the revised UK Corporate Governance Code,[1] which will take effect on 1 January 2019. The new Code focuses on the relationship between companies, their shareholders, stakeholders and corporate culture. It is shorter and sharper and sets higher standards of corporate governance.

The future of food – part 2 of 2

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.

Beyond footprinting: How can investors manage carbon risks in their portfolio?

Institutional investors are facing increased pressure from customers, regulators and civil society to become more responsive to the threat of climate change. Over the last few years, there have been several developments that encourage investors to integrate risks associated with climate change into their decision-making (see timeline below). In addition to the impact of their investment, they need to address the effect climate change will have on their investment. This will manifest in both physical risk – through floods, draughts, extreme weather events, etc. – and carbon risk (also referred to as transition risk).

ESG Risks of Cannabis Cultivation: Energy, Emissions and Pesticides

On October 17, 2018, Canada will become the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis, ushering in a new era for the legal marijuana market.

The future of food – part 1 of 2

This blog originally appeared on GES International’s website and has been republished following Sustainaltyics’ acquisition of the company on 9 January 2019. See the press release for more information.