Environment / Forestry
Major Pension Funds Still Funding Deforestation (07/29)
Friends of the Earth and As You Sow create a free online database to help educate individual investors about which retirement funds continue to invest in companies engaged in deforestation for palm oil production.
Financing Food Justice a Priority for ICCR Members (10/25)
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility commemorated the recent World Food Day by calling for sustainable food systems and palm oil sourcing.
ConAgra Joins Movement to Eliminate Deforestation (08/16)
Green Century Capital Management and the New York State Common Retirement Fund withdraw a shareowner resolution after the packaged food giant agrees to eliminate palm oil suppliers engaged in deforestation from its supply chain.
Indigenous Rights Help Prevent Deforestation (08/04)
A report by the World Resources Institute and the Rights and Resources Initiative concludes that autonomous decision-making by native peoples results in improved community benefits and greater carbon storage.
General Mills to Report on Supply Chain Emissions (07/29)
The company agrees to report on and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain, joins Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy, and becomes a signatory to the Climate Declaration.
Investors Applaud Palm Oil Sourcing Policy Announced by Smucker's (07/18)
Clean Yield Asset Management and Green Century Capital Management withdraw shareowner resolution after company commits to environmental protection by sourcing only deforestation-free palm oil.
Book Review: The Sixth Extinction: an Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert (05/26)
The New Yorker staff writer travels through space and time to assert that a mass extinction is underway, this time at the hands of human agency. Second in a two-part series.
Third National Climate Assessment Published (05/06)
In its new report, the US Global Change Research Program asserts that the effects of climate change have already become a present day concern, and announces the launch of a website to help Americans receive reliable scientific information.
Kellogg's Commits to Deforestation-Free Palm Oil (02/20)
Green Century Capital Management withdraws shareowner resolution after the food processing company agrees to source only deforestation-free palm oil by next year.
Price Externalities, Report Tells Companies and Investors (04/26)
A new analysis from Trucost estimates that unpriced externalities cost the global economy at least $7.3 trillion per year, and finds that no companies in high impact sectors would be profitable if they had to account for environmental costs.
Dole Hit with Lawsuit Alleging Environmental Destruction (11/17)
The Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman files a lawsuit against Dole for knowingly purchasing bananas from growers whose operations have destroyed wetlands and poisoned water sources with pesticides in Guatemala.
Court in Ecuador Approves Seizure of Chevron Assets (10/19)
Chevron says it will appeal decision clearing the way for seizure of $200 million of assets in Ecuador as payment toward a $19 billion judgment for environmental damage in the country.
BankTrack not Satisfied with new Draft of Equator Principles (10/12)
While acknowledging that the new draft is an improvement, the Netherlands-based NGO finds insufficient commitments by signatory banks to transparency, human rights, and climate change mitigation.
Certified Coffee to be on Menu at Smucker's (08/08)
A resolution from Calvert Investments and Trillium Asset Management, supported by 30% of shareowners in 2011, is withdrawn after Smucker's agrees to targets for purchases of certified coffee.
Rio+20 Ends without Binding Agreements (06/23)
Sustainable investors who consider regulatory action to be essential are likely to be disappointed by the absence of agreements addressing climate change and corporate reporting.
More Stakeholders Call for Meaningful Action at Rio+20 (05/25)
The International Institute for Environment and Development outlines a three-point plan to ensure that government negotiators account for the needs of local communities through sufficient aid and realistic valuation of natural capital.
Concerns Grow over Slow Pace of Sustainable Development (05/22)
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development publishes a report in advance of next month's Rio+20 Conference, warning that a radical adaptation in the use of natural capital is required.
Race Between Sustainability and Over-Consumption Continues (05/16)
The third annual MIT survey of corporate executives suggests that sustainability is increasingly a management agenda item, while a report from WWF finds that global consumption patterns are still unsustainable.
UNDP Reports on Outlook for Sustainable Development in Asia-Pacific (05/10)
Exploring both widespread poverty and the impacts of climate change on the region, the report warns that the private sector and other stakeholders must act in order to galvanize government action.
Corporate Disclosure of Forest Footprints Is Improving (02/13)
The Forest Footprint Disclosure Project publishes its third annual survey of voluntary corporate disclosure of risks and opportunities associated with forest risk commodities.
Ecuadorian Court Upholds $18 Billion Judgment Against Chevron (01/06)
In addition to upholding the judgment for environmental damages in Ecuador's Amazon rainforest, the court also criticized Chevron's efforts to undermine the trial.
What Happened at COP17? (12/12)
Negotiators leave Durban without a plan to stop climate change but with an agreement to pursue a binding pact, and investors look for signs that support increased investment in climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Global Emissions Break Records in 2010 (12/05)
Scientists at the Global Carbon Project find that despite a persistent economic downturn, emissions from burning fossil fuels increased 5.9% in 2010 and reached highest level recorded in at least the last 800,000 years
Media Company Launches Carbon Offsets Portal (08/15)
REDDcarbonCredits seeks to inform sustainable investors about carbon offsets to decrease deforestation, which is responsible for 20% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.
Shareowner Support for Environmental Resolutions Continues to Grow (06/28)
Tracking by Ceres of this year's environmental resolutions reveals that the average support for hydraulic fracturing proposals increased to 40% in 2011, up from 30% in 2010.
Michael Conroy on Activist Campaigns and the Certification Revolution (06/02)
SocialFunds writer Bill Baue speaks with Michael Conroy about his new book, Branded! How the “Certification Revolution” is Transforming Global Companies
Growing Up Green: Winslow Offers New Mid-Cap Green Mutual Fund (11/13)
As the green market place expands, Winslow launches a mutual fund to capitalize on middle-sized growth companies that offer green solutions.
Biofuels: Keeping Good Intentions on the Right Path (06/27)
With the biofuels industry growing by leaps and bounds worldwide, controversy is erupting over whether this important new energy source is truly as sustainable as it claims to be.
Ecosystem Depletion Presents Businesses with Risks and Opportunities (11/29)
Four prominent environmental and business organizations report on the business risks and opportunities associated with ecosystem crises such as climate change and water scarcity.
Shareowners Push TimeWarner on Movies Depicting Smoking, Recycled Paper, and Pay Disparity (08/09)
Part two of this two-part article documents steps forward made by TimeWarner, as well as areas where shareowner activists continue to press for progress.
Missouri Farmers Union Credit Union Supports Sustainability in Low-Income Rural Areas (07/10)
The new credit union supports cooperative entrepreneurial models that advance social responsibility and environmental sustainability in low-income agricultural regions.
Winslow and Jupiter Launch Global Green Fund Using Only Positive Environmental Criteria (06/12)
The Jupiter Green Investment Trust pioneers cross-continent collaboration and evolution from negative screening to positive sustainability criteria.
Ecological Community Loan Pool Directly Links Ecologically Minded Investors to Eco-Preneurs (05/23)
The portal created by Ecostructure Financial tweaks the community development financial institution model to allow investors to lend directly to startups solving environmental problems.
US Banks Sink to the Bottom of the Barrel on Latest Sustainability Ratings from Oekom (03/14)
Most US banks fail to disclose enough information on their social and environmental performance to qualify for analysis, and only four of 21 analyzed earned above D-level grades.
SEC Forces Chevron, Dow, and CVS to Include Shareowner Resolutions on Their Proxies (03/07)
Part two of this two-part article examines no-action activity thus far in the 2006 proxy season, focusing on attempts to apply the personal grievance rule and expand a new risk assessment rule.
Resolution Withdrawals Signal Success in Shareowner Advocacy Early in 2006 Proxy Season (03/06)
Part one of this two-part article examines withdrawal of resolutions on climate change, sexual orientation nondiscrimination, political contributions, and HIV/AIDS policies.
Two New Indexes Help Wean Us From Oil Addiction Via Clean Energy and Cleantech (02/10)
The WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index tracks clean energy companies internationally, while the Cleantech Index tracks cleantech companies in the US.
A Light Bulb Turns On: Goldman Sachs First Investment Bank to Adopt Environmental Policy (11/30)
The policy matches the robustness of other such policies recently adopted by global financial institutions, but the status of Goldman Sachs as an investment bank brings added significance.
Wal-Mart Embraces Sustainability: Does the SRI Community Buy It? (10/26)
Socially responsible investors cautiously applaud Wal-Mart for committing to social and environmental sustainability, but remain highly skeptical about actual implementation.
New Study Shows Benefits of Sustainable Forestry Certification (07/27)
Third-party verification leads to measurable improvements in the protection of forests, wildlife, and stakeholder rights.
Virgin Trees in Kleenex: Greenpeace Lambasts Kimberly-Clark Fiber Sourcing (05/06)
Between 15 and 30 percent of K-C tissue products fiber originates from the Canadian Boreal Forest, according to a Greenpeace report, and only 19 percent of its fiber is recycled.
JPMorgan Chase Environmental Policy Triggers Tipping Point for US Bank Sustainability (04/29)
The JPMC policy surpasses environmental best practice established by Citigroup and Bank of America in some areas, but also lags these sustainability leaders in others.
Weyerhaeuser To Screen Shareholder Questions at Annual Meeting Tomorrow (04/20)
Shifting from the standard open-mic Question and Answer format, the CEO will act as gatekeeper for shareholder questions, a practice viewed by shareholders as restricting their rights.
Comparing Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase Policies: Which Stems Illegal Logging in Indonesia? (03/08)
Before providing funding, financial institution policies requiring documentation certifying legitimate timber sourcing may help promote sustainable logging in Southeast Asia.
Latin American Forest Products Company Illustrates Best Practice Sustainability Reporting (01/04)
Terranova issues its second Global Reporting Initiative-based sustainability report, exhibiting many exemplary practices such as stakeholder engagement and external verification.
How Sustainable Is the Asia Pulp & Paper Sustainability Action Plan? (06/30)
WWF Indonesia calls off its partnership with Asia Pulp & Paper after the company fails to implement commitments to end sourcing of illegal timber (part three of a three-part article.)
Indonesian Forestry and International Finance Move Toward Sustainability (06/24)
A profile of Asia Pulp and Paper and ABN AMRO focusing on their efforts to reverse environmental, social, and financial devastation through sustainable practices (part two of a three-part article).
How Unsustainable Forestry Practices in Indonesia Impact Sustainable Practice in the US (06/23)
Part one of a three-part article exploring the complex global relationship between sustainable and unsustainable forestry practices.
Are the Equator Principles Sincere or Spin? (06/04)
A report calls into question whether signatory banks are complying with the Equator Principles.
New Bank of America Policy Sets Best Practice on Climate Change in US Bank Sector (05/26)
Environmentalist organization Rainforest Action Network helps usher Bank of America into the vanguard of US banks improving their environmental responsibility.
Shareowner Resolution Withdrawn as JP Morgan Chase Addresses Environmental Risks (05/14)
A group of socially responsible investment advocates withdrew a shareowner resolution from JP Morgan Chase when the company established an office of environmental affairs.
Shareowner Resolution Calls Costco on Cultural Crimes in Mexican Site Development (01/08)
Shareowners express concern that Costco, which demolished a culturally significant site in Mexico to build a store, may be demolishing its reputation in the process.
Boise's Plan to End Old Growth Harvesting: Trend-Setting or Too-Little, Too-Late? (09/04)
Boise Cascade bans logging old growth forests in the US and deters it elsewhere, but other companies may not jump on this bandwagon if its time has already passed.
UN to Hold Corporations More Responsible for Human Rights and the Environment (08/26)
A UN sub-commission adopted a resolution calling for transnational corporations to be held more accountable for human rights protection and environmental stewardship.
National Wildlife Federation and Amnesty International USA Embrace SRI (02/11)
Two well-known advocacy organizations have made a commitment to lowering the wall between their program activities and their investments.
Prince Albert of Monaco Helps Launch a New Sustainability Fund (02/07)
Instead of investing directly in equities, this new "fund of funds" from Monaco invests in SRI and sustainability funds.
Green Banking (01/23)
Ten exemplary "green banking" enterprises were honored recently, highlighting the growth of environment-friendly community investing.
Sierra Club Launches SRI Mutual Funds (01/15)
The Sierra Club is harnessing its name recognition and expertise on corporate environmental performance with its launching of an SRI equity mutual fund and an SRI balanced mutual fund.
Staples Commits to Recycled Paper (11/15)
Spurred by social investors and environmental groups, Staples announces an environment-friendly paper procurement policy.
New Tool Quantifies Corporate Environmental Performance (08/20)
London-based TruCost launched a single-framework rating tool that allows for a quantitative comparison of companies' environmental performance.
Rio + 10 Series: Business Action Addressing Biodiversity is a Rare Species (08/09)
The Center for Environmental Leadership in Business’ Energy and Biodiversity Initiative represents one of very few business actions that support biodiversity conservation.
Rio + 10 Series: Two UNEP Reports Chart Past, Present, and Future Course of Sustainable Development (07/13)
Assessments of the progress since the Rio Summit guide the blueprints for the Johannesburg Summit.
Investment Partnership Has SRI Mandate (07/11)
The Global Environment Fund Group manages four funds and is a majority owner of a South Africa-based forestry company.
Rio + 10 Series: A Brief History of the Earth Summits--From Rio to Johannesburg (06/14)
SocialFunds.com presents a historical snapshot of the Rio Summit and surveys some significant developments leading up to the Johannesburg Summit. (the second in a series of articles leading up to the Johannesburg Summit)
Aquatic Cellulose Uses Robotic Technology to Harvest Trees Underwater (06/13)
Canadian company offers an environment-friendly alternative to traditional forestry and a socially responsible alternative to other forms of underwater tree harvesting.
Rio + 10 Series: A Brief History of the Earth Summits--From Stockholm to Rio (06/07)
SocialFunds.com examines the significant events, theories, and people that contributed to the first two global summits on human interaction with the environment. (the first in a series of articles leading up to the Johannesburg Summit.)
WILD Awards Reward Socially and Environmentally Responsible Advertising (04/25)
The Third Annual WILD Awards recognized companies, ad agencies, and individuals that support wild animals and nature in their marketing.
Companies Skirt Disclosure of Environmental Liabilities (04/08)
New study echoes social investors' call for the SEC to strengthen its rules regarding corporate disclosure of environmental liabilities.
Book Review: Eco-Economy (02/15)
Pioneering environmentalist Lester R. Brown fuses ecological consciousness into economics to create "eco-economy," an economic system that would preserve natural resources while continuing to generate wealth.
Swiss Insurance Company Invests in Sustainability (01/25)
The reinsurance giant Swiss Re supports sustainability not only in its business practices but also in its investments, and has one portfolio committed exclusively to sustainability.
UK Bank Offers Green Mortgages (01/14)
Financial institution efforts to be more environment-friendly are proving popular with customers.
GEMI Elevates Environmental Consciousness from the Bottom to the Top Line (12/03)
The Global Environmental Management Initiative releases a new report promoting environment-friendly methods of enhancing corporate performance.
Dutch Banks Act to Save Tropical Rainforest (11/19)
Three major Dutch banks have announced they will restrict loans for palm oil plantation development in Indonesia that results in tropical rainforest destruction.
EPA Program Recognizes Better Corporate Environmental Performance (11/02)
Performance Track motivates and rewards businesses that exceed EPA's environmental standards.
Norm Thompson Outfitters Dedicated to Greener Catalogs (10/26)
Norm Thompson Outfitters' partnership with Alliance for Environmental Innovation results in the use of recycled paper in all of their catalogs.
Religious Leaders Address Staples Shareowners (09/12)
Letter presented at annual meeting urges office product retailer to increase use of post-consumer recycled paper in its products.
Labor Standards Resolutions Garner Support in 2001 Proxy Season (07/11)
Ten international labor and human rights proposals that came to vote this year received 10 percent or more support from shareowners.
Companies Using NAFTA to Undermine Legitimate Regulations (06/12)
New report explains how the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments' ability to regulate in the public interest is being eroded by NAFTA's Chapter 11.
Magazine Industry Is Wasting Forests (05/24)
New study finds magazines use almost no recycled paper and publishers have an incentive to overproduce wastefully.
Winslow Launches New Green Mutual Fund (05/16)
The Winslow Green Growth Fund will seek small- and mid-cap companies with superior environmental performance.
Major UK Fund Manager to Require Environmental Reporting (04/19)
Institutional investors are increasingly seeing the need for environmental disclosure.
Environmental Groups Endorse Shareholder Resolutions (04/12)
Environmental advocates ask for support for pro-environmental resolutions at a wide range of companies.
Shopping for Responsibility (04/02)
Internet site is helping consumers base shopping decisions on values.
Top Ten Wood Product Companies Could Help Make Global Sustainable Forestry a Reality (03/20)
A new World Wildlife Fund report states that the largest wood processors and buyers could tip the balance toward sustainable management of the world's forests.