Finance and SRI News

Hold the Beef. More Broccoli Please: Why Hong Kong’s Green Monday Movement Is Building a Flexitarian Globe

(3BL Media and Just Means)- After 13 years of pescetarianism, I might be reconsidering prosciutto and fried chicken. Tragic, to my purist, animal-loving friends, yes. But I feel like I don’t see the industrialization of animal production ending because I substitute tofu for chicken on my bacon-less Cobb salad. When I was a young twenty-something, I quickly gave myself to the anti-climate change, animal-loving campaigners at my university.

The Business Case for B Corps: The Secret’s Out, Part 2

(3BL Media and Just Means) - The movement is growing. Fast. 1,400+ B Corps worldwide. And, the community is partnering together in incredible ways. Sustainable Harvest, for example, a global coffee importer focused on building relationships with farmers, is selling a new coffee, using a 100 percent B Corp supply chain. (More on that story coming soon.) More and more business owners are realizing the value of the B Corp model.

From Wall Street to SRI: Former Goldman Sachs Exec Invests in Triple Bottom Line

(3BL Media and Just Means) - When the bottom fell out of the economy in 2008 and Scott Sadler found himself without a job, he seized the opportunity to make a shift in his career; a change he would not have considered previously. Sadler had developed a solid career in finance and had worked at the VP level with Wachovia Bank and more recently, with Goldman Sachs.

Bringing Women into Africa’s Growth Story

(3BL Media and Just Means)- Yasmin Belo-Osagie and Afua Osei’s paths first crossed when they worked together at McKinsey & Company. But the idea to start a pitch competition and entrepreneurial training organization for women-owned, African companies was birthed a few years later during a women’s conference.

The Problem with Measuring the Future in Minutes: The NRG Story

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - A recent story in the New York Times drew attention to some of the challenges to be faced in making big societal changes, such as overhauling a nation’s entire energy system that had run, relatively undisturbed for close to a hundred years.

It told the tale of the less-than-seamless transformation by NRG Energy, framing it as a cautionary tale with echoes of Icarus, who got a little too close to the sun, only to plunge to his demise with the melting of his waxen wings. The company was a traditional electric utility, a big one, producing massive amounts of power, from traditional sources including, coal, natural gas and nuclear. In 2014, they were the fourth largest emitters of carbon dioxide among the nation’s power companies.

This was a difficult time, with shifting tectonics undermining any sense of stability. The ugly head of climate change had been reared long enough and high enough that it had become impossible for all but fools to deny. Investment money for cleaner sources of power began to flow, sending solar and wind costs plummeting. Fossil fuel giants, seeking to fend off the perceived renewable threat, conducted a successful counter-attack in the form of fracking. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. The US become the world largest oil and gas producer, literally overnight.

What followed was the equivalent of several ocean-going supertankers finding themselves on a collision course, with not enough time to turn around. David Crane was CEO of NRG from 2003 until suddenly he wasn’t at the end of last year. Crane had seen what climate change was going to mean to his industry.  Then he proceeded to do all the right things, or at least what would be considered the right things in a rational world. He made substantial long term investments in renewable power sources such as wind and solar. In doing so, he became recognized as a leader in the growing CSR movement, and a hero to many on the green side of things. But as Crane says in a blog at Greenbiz entitled, “If I was right, why was I fired?” He was trying to transform the company from brown-to-green, but investors didn’t like it.

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