Weekly Highlights December 8, 2011

Dec 9, 2011 11:30 AM ET

Weekly Highlights December 8, 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:

Cisco Issues 2011 Corporate Social Responsibility Report  
  SAN JOSE, Calif– Cisco has released its seventh annual corporate social responsibility report, which details how the company applies its expertise, technology and partnership strategies to address environmental, social and governance issues.  The 2011 Cisco® Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, underscores Cisco's continued commitment to acting responsibly, operating sustainably, and contributing to the communities in which its employees work and live – and lays out the company's 2012 objectives.

Avon's CSR Report Gives Its Paper, Water & Energy Use a Makeover 
  Makeup is sometimes used to conceal embarrassing flaws. Today, with the release of its latest corporate responsibility report, cosmetics giant Avon opted to reveal more about its sustainability and philanthropic work than in the past. Titled The Beauty of Doing Good and available online-only at the self-assessment covers 2009-2010 and is the third such evaluation in the company's 125 year history.

Tenet Publishes First Corporate Sustainability Report
Tenet Healthcare Corporation has announced it has published its first Corporate Sustainability Report which demonstrates the company's commitment to economic, environmental and social sustainability. Sustainability reporting provides an opportunity for corporations to disclose initiatives, performance progress and goals related to their efforts in creating a more sustainable operating environment. Tenet's complete report is available on the company's website at

ESG / Sustainability

Sustainability Helps Bottom Line: Nature Conservancy   
(Advisor One ) 
Mark Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy, says corporations can help their bottom lines by incorporating sustainability into their business practices. However, if they restrict themselves to philanthropic support, they won't see the difference their charity can make.  Tercek, formerly of Goldman Sachs, spoke about the difference sustainability can make with Christoph Lueneburger, leader of the global Sustainability Practice at Egon Zehnder International, in a video interview released Monday. The discussion was the first in Egon Zehnder's Sustainability Dialogues series with top-level executives, and covered what corporations can do to improve sustainability initiatives and the tough criteria the Conservancy uses to select private sector partners. 

Shale-Gas Drilling to Add 870,000 U.S. Jobs by 2015, Report Say
(BusinessWeek)  Producing natural gas from shale will support 870,000 U.S. jobs and add $118 billion to economic growth in the next four years, according to a report from IHS Global Insight. Gas from shale, which accounts for 34 percent of U.S. output, also will contribute $57 billion in federal, state and local taxes by 2035, or $933 billion in the next 25 years, according to today’s IHS report, commissioned by America’s Natural Gas Alliance, a Washington-based industry group. 

Dyson Inventor Wants To Stop Copyright Infringement In China
(Red Orbit)
  Billionaire inventor Sir James Dyson says that China is benefiting from his copyrights and patents from inventions like the Dyson vacuum cleaner. He said that he has warned China that it risks being expelled from the World Trade Organization (WTO) over copyright breaches. Dyson issued the warning as executives at the company he founded prepare to raise their concerns at an intellectual properly (IP) symposium brokered by the Chinese and British governments this week.  Associated Profiles : World Trade Organization 


Voices from the Shale - 6,000 Attend DEC Public Hearings on Hydraulic Fracturing in New York; Public Comment Period Extended 4 Weeks; The Citizens’ Challenge: Trust an “Untrustworthy Industry?”  
(Mike Benard, featured columnist)
  Nearly 6,000 people attended eight public hearings in four cities on the subject of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, sponsored by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in late-November.  Speaking on the record at these public hearings were nearly 600 individuals who spoke for an allotted 3-minutes each.  Both attendance and speaker numbers are from the DEC.

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Saab banking on Chinese lender
(AsiaOne)  BEIJING -
Swedish Automobile NV (Swan), the Dutch owner of the car maker Saab Automobile AB, said on Monday that it will continue discussions with Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co Ltd and an unidentified Chinese bank about buying a stake in the cash-strapped company. A statement on Saab's website said that its parent, which also owns the luxury Spyker brand, "is in discussions with Youngman and a bank in China about an equity interest in Swan", but the statement did not disclose the name of the bank.  Associated Profiles : State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) Investment Company (China)

Malaysia and Qatar to boost ties with joint effort to set up $2.5 fund   
(AsiaOne)  PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia
- Malaysia and Qatar will set up a RM6.2bil (S$2.5 billion) joint investment fund to boost investment in both countries and in the region. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said each country would contribute RM3.1bil to the fund with details on investments to be worked out later. "At this stage, our agreement pertains to the initial size of the fund," he said at a joint press conference with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad Jassim Jabr Al Thani at Perdana Putra here yesterday.  Associated Profiles : 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB, formerly known as Terengganu Investment Authority)

Norway accused of hypocrisy over Indonesian deforestation funding 
Norway has been accused of climate hypocrisy in Indonesia, where it has won plaudits for financing forest protection even as its state pension fund allegedly secures even greater revenues from logging, plantations, mining and other environmentally destructive practices. Conservation groups say Norway's sovereign wealth fund – thought to be the largest in the world – should set a better example of ethical investment in a country that is experiencing some of the world's worst deforestation problems.  Associated Profiles : Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

Asset Managers

Japan business lobby says Olympus case an outlier 
(Reuters)  TOKYO -
Japan's corporate governance system is not to blame for the huge accounting scandal at Olympus Corp, and foreign investors are unlikely to abandon Japanese firms, an official at the powerful business lobby Keidanren said on Wednesday. Associated Profiles : UBS

Use of green power may outstrip China's 5-year plan  
(China Daily)  Beijing
- The proportion of China's energy that comes from non-fossil fuels in the next four years and beyond will exceed the figure set in the country's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) and other plans, industry experts said. Their forecast was based on the country's continued work to make itself more reliant on renewable sources of energy, they said. Associated Profiles : Global Environment Facility

Social Media Means More Than Salary to Some College Students 
(US News and World Report)
  Gabbi Baker, a student at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is like many college students today: She is an avid user of social media. For Baker, it's a habit more than a hobby; she says she constantly checks her networks for updates, sometimes going less than 10 minutes between visits to her Twitter feed.  Associated Profiles : State Street Global Advisors (SSgA)

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 8, 2011