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May 28, 2014
One Blog and Two News Briefs
    by Robert Kropp

The author reflects upon personal responses to climate change, Trillium Asset Management withdraws resolution at Lowe's, and Sustainalytics research is now on Bloomberg.

Four articles that I wrote for Social Funds during the last week or so might together represent a turning point for my life as a writer. Using a sustainable investment platform whose readers are as committed to environmental and social justice as they are to investment returns, I thought it imperative that I share my increasingly personal and I hope creative response to the tragedy that civilization is here in the twenty-first century.

I shared a meal with a sensitive and I dare say enlightened friend yesterday, during a break between two of her life drawing classes. As is often the case our conversation revolved around basic relatedness and shared responsibility, the urgency with which human beings must face the consequences of what they have wrought upon this planet and all the life it supports, upon each other, and especially upon ourselves. It is like regarding the reflection of our illusion of reality through a convex mirror: through the seeming distortion we no longer see people going about their lives but representatives of a relentlessly murderous race. With each form of life we usher into oblivion our own feet get that much closer to the threshold. The door to life is closing behind us.

In the documentary The Wisdom to Survive (my review of which was one of the four articles that appear to have set me on at least a slightly altered path), environmental activist Joanna Macy observed that we could not be living in more interesting times than these. She takes an ultimately optimistic view of our predicament, believing that the growth in consciousness that we certainly capable of attaining will indeed happen in time. Although agreement that we will do so is far from unanimous and scant evidence exists of humanity's willingness to open ourselves up to what amounts to a spiritual transformation, many more would agree that the capability exists.

And who knows? Perhaps events, as the effects of climate change worsen and obscene wealth inequality leads more and more people into contemplating an upheaval of the system, will force us into such a massive transformation.

Trillium Asset Management withdraws resolution at Lowe's.

Trillium Asset Management announced this week that it has withdrawn a shareowner resolution filed with Lowe's after the company agreed to establish quantitative targets for the reduction of its Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Scope 2 emissions, or emissions from purchased electricity, represent the largest percentage of Lowe's emissions. The company has agreed to set a target of a 20% reduction in Scope 2 emissions by 2020. Trillium reports that Lowe's has also agreed to energy efficiency and waste reduction targets in its 1,830 stores and distribution centers in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Sustainalytics research is now on Bloomberg.

The environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investment research firm Sustainaly tics announced this week that its research assessments are now available to the more than 320,000 subscribers of the Bloomberg Professional service.

Sustainalytics' research provides investors with in-depth assessments of approximately 1,600 companies, ranked against their industry peers across 15 sustainability performance indicators.

“The inclusion of ESG information on platforms such as Bloomberg is yet another positive indication of the mainstreaming of sustainability in capital markets,” said Michael Jantzi, CEO of Sustainalytics. “Having corporate ESG performance data housed alongside more traditional financial information allows investors to more easily integrate ESG factors into their fundamental analysis.”

"We have seen the number of customers using ESG data increase at an annual rate of 48%,” said Curtis Ravenal of Sustainalytics. “It is becoming a critical element in the decision making process of investors.”

Robert Kropp can be contacted at


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