Weekly Highlights September 15, 2011

Sep 16, 2011 3:00 PM ET

Weekly Highlights September 15, 2011


ESG / Sustainability

Green action now part of leading global firms: Carbon Disclosure Project (Economic Times) -  MUMBAI: The 2011 annual CDP Global 500 report, published on Wednesday, reported for the first time in the 10 years since the survey begun more than two-thirds (68%) of leading global businesses have embedded climate change actions in their business strategies, a 20% jump on 2010. The CDP Global 500 report, which examines carbon reduction activities at the world's largest public corporations, also found 45% of companies are now reducing and reporting reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions, a marked increase on last year when it was just 19%.  Associated Profiles : Carbon Disclosure Project

More Bad News for Global Warming True Believers   (FrontPage Mag) A stunning report by a panel of international scientists casts doubt that man is the cause of global warming or climate change. The study concluded that “natural causes,” not anthropogenic (man-made) causes, “are very likely to be dominant.” This finding flies in the face of crucial climate policies and actions by President Obama and congressional Democrats. Associated Profiles : Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) 

Socially Responsible Investing: Very Profitable!  (The Motley Fool)  History hasn't always been kind to investors who try to earn profits while keeping their consciences clear. Companies need to stay solvent, and no matter how much good a company does, it won't survive in the marketplace if it doesn't make a profit. Many in the business community are rightfully skeptical of "purpose over profits" mantra.

Google reveals its carbon footprint, promotes wind energy and solar power  (Reve Wind)  Currently, very little of the world’s power is from renewables like wind turbines and solar energy. "We're working on changing that by buying electricity directly from wind farms near our data centers."  Currently, very little of the world’s power is from renewables like wind turbines and solar energy. We're working on changing that by buying electricity directly from wind farms near our data centers. Associated Profiles : The Climate Group

Sustainability from the CEO Perspective  (Forbes)  In 1987, the term ‘sustainability’ officially shifted from financial to environmental when Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland in a key United Nations report coined the original definition, “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs.” Two decades later, we’ve come full circle and corporations are seeing the financial power and business case of focusing on the environment.

US Pension Funds
CalPERS Targets $800 Million for Investment in California Infrastructure (CalPERS)  SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) Board of Administration today earmarked up to $800 million for investments in California infrastructure over the next three years.  CalPERS plan calls for investments in both public and private infrastructure including, but not limited to, transportation, energy, natural resources, utilities, water, communications and other social support services.  Associated Profiles : California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) 

Transition at New York State Common Retirement Fund  (Empire  State News)  ALBANY - State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that Raudline Etienne, Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of the New York State Common Retirement Fund since March 2008, will leave her position effective Thursday, September 15.  Ms. Etienne will be taking a position as Senior Director at Albright Stonebridge Group.  DiNapoli also announced that Marjorie Tsang, currently the Assistant Comptroller for Real Estate Investments, will serve as interim CIO of the Fund.  Associated Profiles : New York State Common Retirement Fund

Kansas pension gap may more than double  (Kansas  TOPEKA — Fixing Kansas' underfunded state pension system will take far more money than previously thought, members of a panel formed to recommend those changes are finding. Tougher accounting rules expected next year will force the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System, or KPERS, to raise its current $8.3 billion projected shortfall in meeting long-term pension obligations over the next 30 years, David Draine, a senior researcher at the Pew Center on the States, a Washington, D.C., public policy think tank, told the panel at its first full day of information gathering last week. Associated Profiles : Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS)

Sovereign Wealth Funds
Doubts over China white knight role in Italy crisis  (The Standard)  Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti met Chinese officials last week, including the head of its sovereign wealth fund, a Treasury spokesman said, after the Financial Times reported that Rome had asked China to buy "significant" quantities of its bonds.  But there were doubts in the market over whether China would actually invest in Italian assets. Associated Profiles : State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) Investment Company (China)

On thin ice: Abu Dhabi wealth fund ADIA wary on global growth  (Kipp Report) Rising government debt levels and inflationary pressures in emerging economies will cast a shadow on global economic growth, sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) said in its 2010 annual review. The fund, whose assets range from Citigroup bonds to a stake in London’s Gatwick Airport, expects economic growth to remain “hesitant” in the near-term but said it was confident equity returns will revert back to historical levels of 6-8 percent in a post-recovery phase. Associated Profiles : Abu Dhabi Investment Authority

Up and Up and UP  (China Daily) Inflation is running away, and by the looks of things if consumers don't curb their spending, things will only get worse. SL Luo reports. "Sugar's up, salt's up, everything's up. Up, Up, Up."  So goes one of Canto-pop idol Samuel Hui Koon-kit's smash hits of the 1970s, mirroring the hard times Hong Kong had to endure as inflation spun out of control back in those days. Associated Profiles : Associated Profiles : Hong Kong (China) Monetary Authority -- Investment Portfolio  

Asset Managers
Brazil is concentrating on growth  (UV10, Brazil)
Brazil has renewed strength as an investment opportunity as a result of its recent interest rate cut, it has been claimed. HSBC Global Asset Management said that it expects there to be further cuts to the interest rate as Brazil tries to avoid the effects of a global downturn, with the bank predicting a fall to 10.5 per cent in 2012
Associated Profiles : HSBC Global Asset Management

Asia Stocks Set for Lowest in a Year on China Bailout Reluctance  (BusinessWeek)
Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index set for its lowest close in more than a year, after the Chinese premier said economies “must put their own houses in order” and not rely on bailouts from China. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index earlier swung between gains and losses after French lenders dismissed concerns over their access to funds, easing concern that Europe's debt crisis may lead to a freezing of credit markets. 
Associated Profiles : Credit Suisse Group AG

Blackstone CEO: US Spirit, Confidence Is Broken  (NewsMax)
The nation’s spirit and confidence have been pushed to the breaking point as economic growth has crawled to a halt, says Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman, co-founder and CEO of Blackstone Group, an asset management and financial services firm. “We actually have to re-launch America. It’s not just taxes, it’s not just spending, there’s a spirit and confidence that has been strained to breaking point,” Schwarzman told CNBC. 

Associated Profiles : The Blackstone Group

This is just a sample of som e 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 September 15, 2011