Weekly Highlights November 3, 2011 Weekly Highlights November 3, 2011

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Governance & Accountability Institute's Weekly Highlights November 3, 2011 #Sustainabilty #ESG
Monday, November 7, 2011 - 10:05am

New Profiles Added to SHQ - USPPF

ESG / Sustainability

Levi's Launches Sustainable-Cotton Jeans  
(Source: Apparel
As one of the largest denim producers in the world, Levi Strauss & Co. wanted to make a difference in people’s lives that extended beyond fashion. As part of this strategy, the company is releasing 2 million pairs of jeans made with sustainably grown cotton to help reduce the company’s environmental impact and improve the lives of cotton farmers. The new jeans are made of a blend of “Better Cotton,” grown as part of the Better Cotton Initiative, and other fabrics. This mission first began in 2007, when the company performed a lifecycle assessment to see what the environmental footprint was for a single pair of jeans—from growing the cotton for the denim to design, production and wear, until the consumer ultimately discards them. Going into the study, the team assumed it would be the continual washing by the owner throughout the life of the jeans that caused the most environmental harm, but they were surprised to learn it was actually growing the cotton that had the most impact

Crime, punishment, and the shame of being a Madoff  - text/video
(Source: CBS NewsWhen news broke that Bernard Madoff had swindled thousands of people out of billions of dollars, many assumed that his family must have known all along. But Madoff's wife Ruth and son Andrew tell Morley Safer they were blindsided when Madoff finally confessed that he'd been running a giant Ponzi scheme. In their first television interviews, they describe how their once-happy family was completely destroyed.

Exposing the CSR Pretenders
(Source: CSRWire Talkback)  
Can Big Tobacco ever be responsible? British American Tobacco (BAT) have engaged in extensive stakeholder consultation exercises and, since 2001, their businesses in more than 40 markets have produced Social Reports, many of which have won awards from organisations as diverse as the United Nations Environment Programme, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants. BAT has also been ranked in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, FTSE Ethical Bonus Index and Business in the Community (BITC) Corporate Responsibility Index, and they funded Nottingham University’s International Centre for CSR.   Associated Profiles : UN - Global Compact

Not the time to play politics with climate change 
For the clueless or cynical diehards who deny global warming, it's getting awfully cold out there. The latest icy blast of reality comes from an eminent scientist whom the climate-change skeptics once lauded as one of their own. Richard Muller, a respected physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, used to dismiss alarmist climate research as being "polluted by political and activist frenzy." Frustrated at what he considered shoddy science, Muller launched his own comprehensive study to set the record straight. Instead, the record set him straight. Associated Profiles : Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)


Occupy Wall Street – answers to some, but not all the questions.  (Source:  Ken Cynar, Executive Vice President of the Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc)  For weeks now small groups of people have been carry placards and pitching tents and occupying somewhere:  Wall Street, Dublin, London, Oakland, Seattle, and more communities in the United States.  And the “occupy” movement is spreading to other cities – London’s St. Paul’s church is “occupied” at this writing. People have assembled to protest something ...well, what that is, I am not quite sure.  So, I started a quest to find out who they are, what specifically they were protesting -- and what do they want to happen as a result of their protests.  Associated Profiles : Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Exclusive: Poor nations a ray of hope for crisis-weary G20 
(Source: CBS 6)
 Simple reforms would eliminate much of the risk of investing in poor countries, unleashing billions of dollars of pent up cash and providing a welcome boost to the world economy, a report to be presented at this week's G20 summit will say. Tidjane Thiam, charged with pulling together the report, believes world leaders will seize on a plan to spur infrastructure investment in developing countries that includes reform of The World Bank and its regional counterparts but does not tap crisis-weary taxpayers.  Associated Profiles : China Investment Corporation

Norwegian pension fund rocked by third quarter loss  
(Source: City Wire)
 The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global reported its second weakest quarter results ever as it was rocked by the effects of the global economic downturn. The fund, which is the world’s second largest sovereign wealth fund, lost 8.8% - or €37 billion in euro terms - over the third quarter of 2011. The market value of the fund also dropped €7 billion to €339 billion.  Associated Profiles : Norwegian Government Pension Fund – Global (Statens pensjonsfond – Utland) , Norwegian Government Pension Fund - Norway


The Sovereign Wealth Fund Controversy  
(Source: The Daily Sun)
  The recent unilateral inauguration of the controversial Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) by the Federal Government in defiance of opposition from state governors has set the stage for what may turn out to be a long-drawn legal tussle between the two arms of government. Although there appears to be pockets of support for the SWF among state chief executives, their umbrella body, Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) headed by Rivers State Governor, rule of Rotimi Amaechi, dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court on October 24. Associated ProfileExcess Crude Account (Nigeria)

Asset Managers

146 Banks Desperate for a Bailout
(Source: The Street
There are now 146 undercapitalized institutions on the TheStreet's Bank Watch List, with preliminary third-quarter data now available for roughly 91% of the nation's banks and thrifts. FNB United Corp| FNBN DOWNTennessee Commerce Bancorp Inc.| TNCC First Mariner Bancorp Inc.| FMAR Based on third-quarter regulatory data supplied by SNL Financial for the nation's banks and savings and loan associations -- and factoring-in 21 bank and thrift failures since TheStreet's previous Watch List was published on August 16 -- 146 institutions were undercapitalized according to the regulatory guidelines that apply to most institutions.   Associated Profiles : The Carlyle Group

Europe's economists react to shock Greek referendum
(Source: CityWire

Just as the eurozone looks to be getting some proper medicine, Greece gets a bullet to its head. This time, the Greek government holds the trigger. Will Greece leave the eurozone? What are its alternatives to meeting debt obligations? We spoke to the eurozone economists to find out. 

Associated Profiles : HSBC Global Asset Management


This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights.  You can view the full Highlights by using the following links.  Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of November 3, 2011