Friday, December 9

Sustainability

Financial Greenwashing for Dummies (and other related concepts)
All Posts, Sustainability

Financial Greenwashing for Dummies (and other related concepts)

By Edward Ding Sustainability, ESG, GBPs. What do any of these things actually mean? Before we can get into a discussion about financial greenwashing, we first need to understand the meaning of “green” and a few other ideas. Our first definition is of principles related to ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance. “Environmental” refers to how a business affects the world’s natural resources, especially in terms of climate change; “Social” refers to a business’ relationship to the communities and people that it serves, employs, or coexists with; “Governance” refers to the way a business regulates itself, prevents wrongdoing, and ensures ethical corporate behavior. Businesses must act responsibly in all three of these areas if they aim to be sustainable organizations: to be...
The Financial Implications of Divesting
All Posts, Sustainability

The Financial Implications of Divesting

By: Rohan Upadhyay On February 16th, Dores Divest filed a legal complaint - alongside students at Stanford, Yale, MIT, and Princeton - with the Tennessee attorney general to compel Vanderbilt to divest from fossil fuel investments. The complaint invoked the Tennessee Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA), which states that nonprofit funds must invest responsibly with regard to the community’s well-being. They argue that Vanderbilt disregards this principle.  To learn more about the motivations, arguments and goals of the complaint, I spoke with Miguel Moravec, a co-founder of Dores Divest. I also spoke with Joshua Doh, a student organizer for the group who also interned at Commonfund Capital where he gained insight on endowment investing.  H...
Is Fossil Fuel Divestment a Legal Responsibility?
All Posts, Sustainability

Is Fossil Fuel Divestment a Legal Responsibility?

By: Rohan Upadhyay Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash Dores Divest, alongside the Climate Defense Project, recently filed a legal complaint to Tennessee’s attorney general to compel Vanderbilt’s Board of Trust to divest from fossil fuels. Similar complaints came from students at Princeton, MIT, Stanford and Yale to their respective attorney generals.  The complaint argues that:  “Under the Tennessee Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act, the Board of Trust has a fiduciary duty to invest with… charitable purposes…  [which] distinguishes non-profit institutions from other investors. It is problematic, then, that the Board… has invested… in the fossil fuel industry — raising a serious question of conflicts of interest… as wel...
Carbon Offsets Industry Set to Soar from Carbon Neutrality Market Orientation
All Posts, Sustainability

Carbon Offsets Industry Set to Soar from Carbon Neutrality Market Orientation

By: Geneva Bass As firms and consumers brace against the Climate Crisis, the market for carbon offsets soars to new heights. Saturday, November 6th, 100,000 people flooded the streets of Glasgow, Scotland in climate protest as world leaders convened for COP26. Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg denounced COP26 as “a failure” and “a two-week-long celebration of business as usual.”  "The eyes of all future generations are upon you,” Thunberg told world leaders two years ago at the UN Climate Summit on September 23, 2019. “And if you choose to fail us, I say - we will never forgive you." The same month, the Guardian reports that over 6 million people across over 4,500 locations and 150 countries participated in protests and strikes to bring awareness to climate change...
The Current “Global” Energy Crisis and Why the US Has Not Been Affected
All Posts, Sustainability

The Current “Global” Energy Crisis and Why the US Has Not Been Affected

By: Ron Ye India and China, mainly reliant on coal for electricity, are suffering from a coal shortage. The price of natural gas in Europe is skyrocketing. Much of Lebanon is suffering from power outages. These pose some questions. Why are so many regions suffering from energy problems? Is there a global energy crisis? Why has the US seemingly not been affected by it? To answer these questions, we must analyze each of these regions.  India 70% of India’s electricity comes from coal. What is concerning about this fact is that India has nearly depleted its coal reserves. A cause is that India’s energy demands jumped after their COVID lockdown ended. Although India's domestic coal production has been rising in recent years, the annual monsoon disturbs the transportation and min...
Navigation in the Uncertainty: How Should We Pursue Sustainability?
All Posts, Sustainability

Navigation in the Uncertainty: How Should We Pursue Sustainability?

By: Eric Wang The discussion about sustainability has become a hot issue in the society and company management field. However, though it attracts much appreciation and applause for the movement, critics have emerged from society's multilevel. A detailed analysis of them may help the movement innovate and redirect to head in the right direction. One of the most well-known to the sustainability concept would be the increasing trend of opposition to globalization. Critics suggest that sustainability is simply an elite game that only adapts to the developed countries' settings. Thus, it may not bring as many benefits as imagined worldwide since there are such huge discrepancies between each part. However, researchers have pointed out that more progressive policy making in environmental ...
ARE “GREEN BANKS” THE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE?
All Posts, Sustainability

ARE “GREEN BANKS” THE SOLUTION TO CLIMATE CHANGE?

By: Rohan Upadhyay President Biden plans to fight climate change and create jobs via infrastructure spending. However, to make America green, the economy must go green: corporations and banks must move towards renewables. Some institutions are considering sustainability. Global banks invested $1.9 trillion in renewables during 2016-2018 after the Paris Accords. 5 American banks also pledged to end Arctic drilling investment. Yet, this transition isn't complete. 33 global banks invested $1.9 trillion in fossil-fuels between 2016-2019. US banks invested double in fossil-fuels over renewables during 2016-2018. Furthermore, the UN initiative to encourage renewable investment - Principles of Responsible Investing - did little to change investors’ portfolios.  Though institutio...
6 Ways to Become a More Sustainable Consumer
All Posts, Sustainability

6 Ways to Become a More Sustainable Consumer

By: Jaime Svinth Consumerism-- we all do it, we all make a living off of it, and, quite frankly, our economy runs because of it. But, it’s 2020, and it’s time to get smart with our consumerism. When it comes to supporting the good of our world- both its people and the environment- we all can contribute, one dollar at a time.  However, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with knowing where to begin making sustainable choices. For some of us, we have already shifted towards supporting more ethical brands and ditching plastic straws, but, for others, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few easy tips to help you become the smartest consumer you can be: Start Small With so many options and a culture that asks so much of us, a lot of pressure to consume ethically c...
Nuclear Energy: The Bridge to a Cleaner Future
All Posts, Sustainability

Nuclear Energy: The Bridge to a Cleaner Future

By: Trevor Jones When you read the headline of this article, what came to mind? Giant Simpsons-esque cooling towers looming over an indistinct grey building? People’s homes and lives crumbling away because of the Chernobyl disaster? Overly complex diagrams of atoms and blueprints of a maze of machinery? For as long as it has existed, nuclear energy has been cloaked in mystery and fear, becoming a polarizing political issue worldwide. The argument against nuclear energy is more than valid: the looming risk of an accident and nuclear waste’s impact on the environment are the two most common reasons to oppose this source of energy. The benefits are significant, too, as nuclear energy provides a stable, consistent, relatively safe, and long-term cost-effective solution to energy without...