The Social Investment Forum (SIF) submitted a letter to President Obama listing a series of policy proposals, from proxy access allowing shareholders to nominate board candidates to “say on pay” giving investors a vote on executive compensation. SIF also urges the Obama Administration to establish an Office for Innovation in Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR. This idea dates back to the early 2000s, propounded first by Susan Aaronson at the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, and supported by a Government Accountability Office report finding major lack of coordination on federal CSR initiatives. SIF CEO Lisa Woll explains the rationale behind the recommendations, and how they will promote advancement toward sustainability.
Sea Change Co-Host Francesca Rheannon has a modest proposal for building demand for energy efficiency: a Home Energy Savings Equal Opportunity Program.Read the show transcript
Each January for the past several years, Bill has surveyed the top Corporate Social Responsibility news stories of the past year for CSRwire.com, where he is a contributing writer. Here’s this year’s edition:
A “green” recovery from economic and environmental meltdowns; the advent of Shareholder Activism 2.0 with binding resolutions at TARP banks; CSR adopts Web 2.0 strategies for sustainability reporting; is Wal-Mart really green?; and much more…
The economic meltdown of 2008 mirrors the simultaneous environmental meltdown fueled by the climate calamity – both share common roots, and many in the Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) community believe they share a common salvation.Read the show transcript
Barack Obama has said time and again that change comes from the bottom up at least as much as from policy directives from on high. He’s right–and he seems to be giving signs that pressure from below is going to be needed to keep him true to his own campaign promises.Read the show transcript
Today we talk with Hunter Lovins, founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, about the Presidential Climate Action Project. The Sea Change ViewPoint comes from Charlie Cray of the Center for Corporate Policy.
For many people, the election of Barack Obama as the US President stoked hope for big change. The transition to the Obama Administration brings promise of shifts to government regulations and policies to promote sustainability. Long before the election, though, a group of influential sustainability leaders gathered to brainstorm recommendations to the incoming President on tackling climate change. The Presidential Climate Action Project was born,Read the show transcript
Charlie Cray of the Center for Corporate Policy gives his take on the opportunities — and dangers — of the transition to the Obama Administration. Read the show transcript
Over the weekend, President-Elect Barack Obama appointed John Holdren as his Science Adviser, a move applauded by many environmentalists. Holdren is director of the Woods Hole Research Center and teaches at Harvard. Corporate Watchdog Radio has featured him twice. We aired part of his opening address at the 2008 UN Investor Summit on Climate Risk. And in September 2006, he talked with us about the pros and cons of nukes as a low-carbon solution to the climate crisis. This week, we reprise these shows to give a sense of Holdren’s opinions.
CWR News Analysis: Nick Robins of HSBC Analyzes the Poznan Climate Talks and the EU Climate Legislation —
As head of the Climate Change Centre for Excellence at the major UK bank HSBC, Nick Robins attended the recent climate talks in Poznan, Poland. This was the last step for the Kyoto Protocol before talks in Copenhagen in late 2009 negotiate post-Kyoto climate agreements. And, as world leaders met in Poznan, European Union Commissioners hammered out new climate legislation. Robins, co-author with Cary Krosinsky of the new book Sustainable Investing, weighs in on these as well from the HSBC offices in the UK.
CWR ViewPoint: Real or Fake — Christmas Tree, That Is!
[amazon-product align=”right”]1900322412[/amazon-product]While some view the negative impacts of economics and environment as separate, Herve Kempf sees financial inequality and environmental destruction as inextricably linked. The author of [amazon-product text=”How the Rich Are Destroying the Earth” type=”text”]1900322412[/amazon-product], Kempf explains how the wealthy of the world are living unsustainable lifestyles, and everyone else is trashing the earth too trying to keep up with the rich Joneses. The solution? Move away from materialism and growth.
CWR News Analysis — The Greening of Wal-Mart?:
—CSRwire: “Wal-Mart Celebrates Thanksgiving by Sourcing Local Food, Supporting Hunger-Relief, and Buying Wind Power”
—GreenBiz: “Wal-Mart’s New CEO: What Does it Mean for Green?”
—The Green Wave Marches On: Wal-Mart in China
—Grist: “Wal-Mart Comes to the Farmers Market”
—Press Release: “Walmart Gives Consumers Opportunity To Support Local Economies Through Locally Grown Program”
—Cornucopia Institute: Wal-Mart Organics: Market Expansion or Market Delusion?
—Press Release: “Wal-Mart Makes Major Commitment to Renewable Wind Power”
—Wal-Mart Carbon Disclosure Project Response, 2007
—Lee Scott Message in Wal-Mart Sustainability Progress report, 2007
Bloomberg Columnist Jonathan Weil, the first journalist to expose Enron’s cooked books in 2001, recently criticized President-Elect Barack Obama’s appointments to the Transition Economic Advisory Board, pointing out that almost half hail from companies that fried their financial statements or fueled the market meltdown — or both. CWR Co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon chat with Weil about his critique.
At the G-20 Summit addressing the global financial crisis this weekend, the government leaders of the world’s largest economies essentially twiddled their thumbs, punting on setting ambitious goals until April 2009 — when the Barack Obama Administration, which is dedicated to addressing the financial crisis and the climate crisis, is in office. Before the Summit, Worldwatch Institute Senior Researchers Michael Renner and Gary Gardner proposed that the G-20 enact a Global Green Deal, evocative of FDR’s new deal but more audacious in scope and vision. CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Renner about the proposal’s 5 strategies, including transitioning to a renewable energy economy, launching an efficiency revolution, and investing in green infrastructure.
And speaking of green infrastructure, Deutsche Asset Management issued a report calling for the establishment of a “green” National Infrastructure Bank. Bill Baue speaks with Deutsche Climate Change Investment Research Director Bruce Kahn about the report, a followup on the Investing in Climate Change 2009: Necessity and Opportunity in Turbulent Times report CWR covered recently.
CWR News Analysis: Listen
—Pew Research Center on the People and the Environment “A Deeper Partisan Divide Over Global Warming”
—Schwarzenegger Blames Global Warming for Elongated Fire Season
—BBC: “Emissions up in developed nations”
—NY Times: “Pollution Has Leveled Off, but the Figures Have Holes”
—Pam Solo: “Saving Detroit from itself”
—Marketplace: “Obama meant it about C02”
CWR ViewPoint: Listen
The Top BENNY Award for 2008, given to activist campaigns holding corporations accountable by the Business Ethics Network (BEN), went to the Clean Up Ecuador campaign for bringing Chevron to justice for decades of pollution in the Amazon. The campaign is led by the Amazon Defense Coalition and Amazon Watch. Mitch Anderson of Amazon Watch has our commentary today, produced in partnership with BEN.
As icecaps and global markets melt down, localism is rising up as a solution to our ecological and economic crises. United for a Fair Economy and Class Action, two national nonprofits based in Massachusetts that address the inequitable distribution of resources, are sponsoring a workshop entitled “Building a Local Economy that Works for All.” Today, we speak with Class Action Executive Director and United for a Fair Economy co-founder Felice Yeskel, and current United for a Fair Economy Board Chair Prakash Laufer about how the workshop weaves together economic, social, class, and environmental solutions to build a local sustainable economy. We at CWR have spoken with Felice in the past about her book, Economic Apartheid in America. Prakash is former CEO of Motherwear, a catalog company providing clothing for breastfeeding mothers that he co-founded in part on the principles of PROUT, or progressive utilization theory, which envisions a post-capitalist economy that is sustainable and just.
“Barack Obama — a Sustainable President?”
—The Carbon Footprint of Obama’s Campaign
—Obama May Put Renewable-Energy Plan Ahead of Climate Package
—Obama’s potential green team
On September 26, 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy,president of France and the European Union, said, “we must rethink the financial system from scratch, as at Bretton Woods.” On October 22, US President George Bush announced that Bretton Woods II, as it was called, would be held in Washington DC on November 15. The new summit seeks to fix the broken economic order created at the summit of world leaders held in a small New Hampshire ski town as World War II wound down. In today’s ViewPoint, we speak with Hazel Henderson of Ethical Markets about her recent CSRwire commentary, “Advice for Summitteers on Reforming the Global Casino.” This continues our series with Hazel commenting on the market meltdown.