ESG Archive

Apr 26, 2018
What companies can learn from Amazon’s shareholder letter
By any measure, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ 4,300-word annual letter to shareowners, which was released last week, is a long document. But Bezos only devotes about half of his letter to report the company’s results.  Interestingly, the other half of the letter is devoted to a treatise on customers and high-performing staff: what defines them, how high performance is manifested, whether this skill is learned or taught, and why and how a large company should continuou...
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Apr 12, 2018
Putting the S in ESG
  'I don’t know who put ESG together, but it makes no sense,’ says Mikkel Skougaard, group sustainable development senior expert – and former IRO – at Hungarian energy giant MOL. ‘Yes, it’s all non-financial data, but looking from a risk point of view, E, S and G cover completely different risks that have nothing to do with each other. E is an exte...
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Apr 09, 2018
#MeToo: How general counsel can prep companies for allegations
The rise of the #MeToo anti-sexual assault and harassment movement has brought into focus the fact that incidents seemingly resolved in the past are just as ripe as new incidents - if not more so - to quickly make the news and prompt shakeups within an organization. As general counsel work to ensure their companies are well positioned to address allegations of assault and harassment, the view should be just as much a retrospective as it is prospective – with value...
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Mar 29, 2018
Okapi signs new ESG specialist from ISS
Alexandra Higgins has joined proxy solicitation firm Okapi Partners as managing director, with a focus on governance and compensation issues, as well as other areas of ESG. She was previously with ISS, where she served as vice president and head of US partner advisory services, according to a statement announcing her appointment at Ok...
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Mar 22, 2018
Institutional investors eye gun control
Until now, gun control in the US has largely been a concern from a corporate governance and IR perspective just in terms of faith-based investors - but the high-profile public debate since the Parkland school shooting in Florida may be changing that. Several large financial institutions have in recent weeks broken with precedent and publicly committed to engagement with portfolio companies around gun control, signaling that this may join human rights and political l...
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Mar 12, 2018
How to improve your board’s sustainability game plan
In the second part of a series on boards addressing ESG matters, Denise Kuprionis and Pamela Styles suggest ways governance teams can work to make sure their board is on track 1. Be the leader. Explain to your colleagues that sustainability must be on the agenda. A good way to get out in front as a leader is to publish formal board ESG policies and describe your committee oversight structure. 2. Focus on what sustainability means at your company. Narrow your...
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Mar 08, 2018
E&S overtake governance among US shareholder proposals
Environmental and social (E&S) shareholder proposals – covering issues such as climate change and political spending –outnumbered governance proposals in the US last year for the ‘first time in a generation’, according to ISS Corporate Solutions.    In 2017, E&S proposals accounted for 54 percent of all ESG proposals in the US, whereas in 2012 they accounted for 39 percent, according to data ISS Corporate Solutions has shared with Corporate Sec...
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Mar 06, 2018
What directors are asking about sustainability
Sustainability is increasingly being considered as a material risk – and opportunity – issue by investors, elevating it to a subject that must be discussed in the boardroom. To help you prepare your board, we’ve listed the top six questions directors have asked us recently about sustainability-related matters.  1.              Our board is comfortable with its governance (G) efforts. Do we need to expand our attention to ...
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Feb 28, 2018
Execs, more than boards, responsible on sustainability, Ceres finds
Large US companies are increasingly making executives responsible for their sustainability efforts – but less than a third of boards have written instructions for tackling what is an area of growing concern to investors, according to new research. The Ceres study finds that 65 percent of the companies assessed identify in their public disclosures a senior-level executive charged with ensuring the firm meets its sustainability targets. This is up from 42 percent in...
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Feb 14, 2018
ISS expands data points it will consider
ISS, the world’s largest proxy advisory firm, has announced two new developments that will change how it provides voting recommendations to investors: a new acquisition and the launch of the E&S QualityScore. First, ISS has acquired EVA Dimensions for an undisclosed fee – a move that will provide its clients with ‘a cutting-edge holistic means of assessing and defining performance of their portfolio companies,’ ISS president and CEO Gary Retelny says in ...
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