Weekly Highlights June 23, 2011

Jun 24, 2011 11:45 AM ET Weekly Highlights June 23, 2011

ESG Performance Factors are important to a growing number of asset owners and managers.  The ESG framework – considering environmental and energy issues and impacts, the company positioning and actions on social/societal issues, and effective corporate governance (or not) – is a style…an approach…an expanding set of guidelines….a framework…depending on the analyst and investor and their embrace of ESG factors in investment decision-making. 

ESG is not about intangibles or the non-financials – these factors are very tangible to investors and stakeholders.  Yes, the financials are critical for all investors – but corporate performance on ESG factors is now a proxy for the quality of corporate management for many investors.  And quality of management (and board) directly impacts the financials – determining access to capital markets, cost of capital, attractiveness to investors, buy-sell-hold decisions, and more.

In these Highlights we offer the results of our continuous global scanning for news, commentary and research on ESG issues – for investors, and for the information of corporate boards, senior executives and managers.  These are selections from the hundreds of public reports and original content contained in our Sustainability HQ™  platforms.

We invite your comments, questions and inquiries.  The Team at G&A Institute – your Sustainability Headquarters.

ESG / Sustainability

Water Management Must Be At The Core Of ESG Strategy 
(Source: WaterOnline) Only a tiny fraction of the world's biggest companies are adequately managing the various risks they face from water shortages, drought and pollution, according to new research from independent environmental, social and governance (ESG) research provider EIRIS. Under a current business-as-usual scenario water demand is set to outstrip supply by 40% by 2030. This has the potential to put USD 63 trillion of global GDP at risk by 2050. Associated Profiles : Water Environment FederationWater.orgEiris

States, companies must ensure human rights, UN expert says  
(Source: Deutsche Welle)  The United Nations called on American professor John Ruggie to develop a means of meshing human rights and business practices. After six years of work, his ideas met with approval by the UN's Human Rights Council.  John Ruggie: States and companies are responsible. But what we have lacked in the past is a clear understanding of exactly what it is that states should do and exactly what it is that companies should do. Companies typically say that they will abide by national law.  Associated Profiles : UN - Global Compact

Geo-manipulation may be scary and necessary 
(Source: GuelphMercury) “We are getting into very risky territory,” said Christiana Figueres, head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, last week. But she acknowledged that we may have to go there anyway. She was talking about geo-engineering, the manipulation of the world’s climate to avoid catastrophic warming. Nobody actually wants to do that.  Associated Profiles : Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC)

SEC could file civil charges against some raters: report 
(Source: MSN) U.S. regulators could file civil fraud charges against some credit rating agencies, and settle with more Wall Street banks, for their role in developing mortgage-bond deals that helped trigger the financial crisis, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. Associated Profiles : Standard & Poors

This is just a sample of four articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights.  You can view the full Highlights by using the following links.  Sustainability | ESGHighlights for the Week of June 23th 2010