Weekly Highlights December 15, 2011

Dec 16, 2011 12:00 PM ET

Weekly Highlights December 15, 2011

US Sustainability & Corporate Responsibility Reporting Announcements
Governance & Accountability Institute is the US Data Partner for the Global Reporting Initiative.  Here are Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility reports as they are issued in the US:

Anvil Knitwear's 2010 CSR Report
2010 was a challenging year as we navigated rising cotton prices, production increases, limited budgets and the implementation of stage two of our AnvilSustainableManufacturing (ASM) initiative. Despite these challenges, 2010 is notable for the success both in social and real dollar savings shown by the ASM pilots at our cut and sew plants and the other resource savings initiatives at our textile plant. In addition, our employee environmental task forces have responded to our ASM challenges with increasing ingenuity in identifying conservation opportunities throughout the organization. Finally, our sustainability platform is driving new business.

SunOpta Issues Inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report
(MarketWatchSunOpta Inc. , a leading global company focused on natural, organic and specialty foods, today announced the release of its inaugural Corporate Social Responsibility Report. The report is intended to provide key economic, social, and environmental information to SunOpta's stakeholders including customers, employees, consumers, shareholders, business partners, community members, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. The report covers the operations of SunOpta Inc, including wholly owned subsidiaries and joint- venture operations, excluding Opta Minerals Inc. The report is available on the Company's Website ( and complements other information about the Company.

Inuit  - Sustainability Report Shows how Intuit Goes Green  
(The Intuit Network) 
From carpooling to video conferencing, and from better packaging to fewer printers, Intuit and its employees are finding innovative ways to help the company and its customers become more environmentally sensitive. Those are just a few of the examples contained in Intuit’s first Sustainability Report, documenting the company’s progress since launching a corporate-wide program in 2007.

ESG / Sustainability

Climate deal just a 'plan to make a plan'  
(Asia News
)  It has been hailed by some as ground-breaking for getting all countries to agree to work together.  But environmental NGOs, or non-governmental organisations, in Singapore are not enamoured with the outcome of the recently concluded United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa. On top of harbouring little hope that the annual conference would yield a legally binding agreement for all nations, they say the deal to work towards such an agreement is hardly ambitious enough to protect the world from irreversible climate change.  Associated Profiles : Conservation International 

Water Will Be the Critical Limiting Factor of 21st Century Production  
(Triple Pundit)
  Morgan Stanley’s Global Investment Committee recently released a report in which it argues that the “perfect storm” of declining water supply and rising demand are likely to make water the critical limiting resource of our time. The report, entitled “Peak Water: The Preeminent 21st Century Commodity Story,” paints a convincing picture of a world that is on the brink of a severe water crisis. It also offers hope by presenting new technological solutions and opportunities emerging in response. Facing rising costs and dwindling supply, businesses and utilities will be forced to invest in water infrastructure and technology, making the industry ripe for growth.

Climate Bond Standard Launched by Investors, NGOs; Goal: Assure Integrity of Green Claims for Investors, Governments  
(The Climate Bonds Initiative)
  London, England --- The Climate Bonds Initiative released the final approved text of the prototype Climate Bond Standard. The Standard is designed to be a screening tool for investors and governments to support investment in delivering a Low Carbon Economy. Bonds complying with the Standard will be certified as ‘Climate Bonds’— a mark that assures their contribution to the delivery of a Low Carbon Economy. Jack Ehnes, CEO of Standards Board member CalSTRS, said, “We are looking for investment-grade returns that also address climate change. The Climate Bond Standard will allow us to know that investment opportunities put before us will be the right ones to build a Low Carbon Economy.”  Associated Profiles : Carbon Disclosure Project, Investor Group on Climate Change - Australia / New Zealand, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), Ceres

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Pensions strikers 'pointing a gun at taxpayers' heads' says Lord Hutton
(Daily Mail
State workers are ‘pointing a gun at taxpayers’ heads’ due to the crippling cost of their gold-plated pensions, the pensions tsar warned. Lord Hutton of Furness, the former Labour cabinet minister, said changes are urgently needed to stop the public sector pensions’ bill spiralling out of control. Associated Profiles - Pension Protection Fund - United Kingdom

Dutch fund sues JPMorgan over mortgage pools   
(Business Insurance/Reuters) 
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has been sued by Stichting Pensioenfonds  ABP, a pension fund for public employees in the Netherlands, over residential mortgage-backed securities it purchased.  The fund bought the pools of home loans based on false and misleading statements, according to the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.  Associated Profiles : Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP

Libya wealth fund cash to finance rebuilding   
(Khaleej Times)
Some of the over-large cash component of Libya’s $65-billion sovereign wealth fund will be put to work financing post-Gaddafi reconstruction, leaving time for a full review of its less liquid investments.  “I expect an immediate shrinkage of the size of the fund,” Rafik Nayed, acting chief executive of the Libyan Investment Authority, or LIA, told Reuters in an interview. “My feeling is that there will be large investments required in the near future and international reserves will be used to do that, especially as the oil production has not fully recovered.”    Associated Profiles : Libyan Investment Authority

Asset Managers

Analysis: Little appetite in Japan for major post-Olympus reform
Japan is unlikely to make sweeping reforms to rules on corporate governance in the wake of the Olympus Corp accounting scandal because of a largely hostile business lobby and a lack of political will to clip the wings of top executives. The $1.7 billion scheme to hide two decades of investment losses at Olympus is one of Japan's worst accounting frauds and highlights long-standing criticism of lax corporate governance, yet analysts say only minor reform is  likely.  Associated Profiles : TIAA-CREF (“T-C”)


Employee Sustainability Engagement Survey Highlights Green Corporate Trends  
(Huffington Post
Do employees support and engage with corporate sustainability strategies? According to a new report, it depends. Brighter Planet, an organization which uses "hard numbers and raw data" to explore opportunities and trends in sustainability, has released the results of its second biennial survey on employee engagement with sustainability, and discovered several important trends.  Associated Profiles : MSCI Group (NYSE: MDX)

Sustainability in China: Report Details How Companies Are Responding to a National Priority
(PR NewsWire)  The Conference Board, the global research and business membership organization, today released a ground-breaking report on the comparative sustainability practices currently being adopted by Chinese enterprises and multinational corporations doing business in China. Based on a survey of 476 firms encompassing over 2,250 offices and production sites, Business and Sustainability in China: Company Responses to a National Priority details the steps private companies are taking to align with the Chinese government's intensifying focus on sustainable development after three decades of accelerated GDP growth that largely neglected environmental preservation.  Associated Profiles : MSCI Group (NYSE: MDX)

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 December 15, 2011