Yale announces collaboration with WBCSD to improve corporate reporting

From Eurekalert   (Don’t we all want our corporate investments to be “inclusive“) ~ctm

Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

Recognizing the critical role that private capital flows will play in moving society toward a more sustainable future, Yale University has launched the Yale Initiative on Sustainable Finance (YISF). This new academic effort will provide high-quality research on the flow of capital into sustainability-oriented projects and sustainable companies.

As the private sector increasingly acknowledges the need to move toward an efficient and inclusive economy, companies, investors and governments are asking for research and guidance on how they can best transform practices, shift investments and measure the impact of sustainability efforts in the corporate world, and, more specifically, in the realm of finance.

YISF will engage faculty from Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), Yale School of Management (SOM) and Yale Law School (YLS). The project proposes a multi-dimensional approach to investigate challenges in sustainable finance. YISF anticipates extensive interactions with market participants, leading scholars and non-profit organizations. These partnerships will strengthen YISF’s efforts to identify, develop and disseminate new ideas broadly through research, workshops and roundtables.

YISF will focus on three initial sustainable finance issues:

impediments to the movement of mainstream capital into sustainability-related projects needs of sustainability-minded investors standards in the burgeoning Green Bonds market

“Perhaps nothing has held back movement toward a sustainable future more than the lack of money being invested in projects that take environmental considerations into account and recognize the inter-dependence between sustainability and financial performance,” said Dan Esty, co-director of YISF and a professor at F&ES and Yale Law School. “YISF will get to the heart of issues related to financial flows in support of the sustainability agenda.”

Housed at the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, YISF will be co-led by Todd Cort, a faculty member with joint appointments at SOM and F&ES. “Our aim is to move swiftly toward meaningful conclusions that are relevant and timely for application in the market,” Cort said.

The Yale Center for Business and the Environment provides a platform for generating, incubating and launching innovative action at the intersection of business and the environment. The Center joins the strengths of F&ES and SOM with an extensive network of internal and external thought leaders at the business-environment interface. The Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy advances fresh thinking and analytically rigorous approaches to environmental decision-making across disciplines, across sectors, and across boundaries.

As a starting point, YISF is working with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) to help clarify the concept of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) materiality for companies. YISF will bring together Yale’s research expertise and WBCSD’s convening power in their common efforts to improve the relevance of sustainability information in corporate reporting.

WBCSD is a global, CEO-led organization of over 200 leading businesses working together to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world. We help make our member companies more successful and sustainable by focusing on the maximum positive impact for shareholders, the environment and societies.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Yale University as a renowned seat of learning. Our work with YISF is aimed at strengthening the quality and relevance of ESG information so that companies are better informed on their ESG impacts and dependencies, leading to more effective disclosure to facilitate better decision-making in the capital markets. Our ambition is to drive capital towards more sustainable investment and the creation of longer term value,” said Rodney Irwin, Managing Director of Redefining Value at WBCSD.

YISF will kick off on Sept. 22 during a launch symposium for the Journal of Environmental Investing’s special issue on “The State of ESG Data.”

This project is part of the Conservation and Financial Markets Initiative, a five-year effort of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that aims to leverage the power of mainstream financial markets in order to help drive the food sector away from practices that degrade natural ecosystems.

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Tom Halla
September 22, 2017 6:06 pm

Perhaps the most cynical proposal since the Catholic Church stopped selling indulgences. At least I hope it i cynical, as otherwise Yale has definitely drunk the Koolaid.

Sheri
Reply to  Tom Halla
September 23, 2017 5:52 am

Yale drank the entire vat of Koolaid. They are as far left as you can get—Gore worshippers and Gaia worshippers.

john
Reply to  Sheri
September 23, 2017 9:51 am

Yup.
https://news.yale.edu/2011/03/03/endowment-invests-maine-wind-power-project
Forcing what the folks there didn’t want then, and certainly not now.

john
Reply to  Sheri
September 23, 2017 1:02 pm

Enter Yale alumn Jay Cashman and good friend/ convicted Massachusetts politician, Sal Dimasi:
https://www.google.com/amp/s/patch.com/massachusetts/boston/amp/26787112/sal-dimasi-new-bedford-why-they-do-not-want-him-out-of-jail
Also search Jay Cashman renewables Maine.

john
Reply to  Sheri
September 24, 2017 5:26 am

Angus King/Yale/Bayroot
I wonder whether this will also finally get some sunlight on the mysterious Delaware registered highly secretive partner of King’s in this deal – “Bayroot”, perhaps named after the college drinking game of same name. Of course that just might make sense as after a couple years or so it was finally revealed who this company was – the ultra well endowed Yale University Endowment Fund.
Like they needed Joe and Jane Taxpayer to guarantee them that they couldn’t lose?
Funny too how Yale prides itself as a savior of the planet and behind the shroud of their Bayroot shell.
See above King wind farm congressional investigation.

john
Reply to  Sheri
September 24, 2017 5:34 am

Bayroot was the secretive Yale shell company involved in the Angus King wind fiasco…Here is what they are up to now.
https://news.yale.edu/2017/06/20/university-statement-northern-pass-hydropower-transmission-line

john
Reply to  Sheri
September 24, 2017 5:47 am
john
Reply to  Sheri
September 24, 2017 5:57 am
john
Reply to  Sheri
September 24, 2017 10:32 am

I am not done… Sino Forest and Wagner/Yale have a serious f-ing problem now…
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/article35690109.ece/BINARY/Sino-Forest.pdf
Will be penning an article shortly.

Geoff Sherrington
September 22, 2017 6:15 pm

In the 1970s, pimply faced young nutters used to mouth aspirations just like those reported at Yale.
We used to counter these with reality and keep them in check
Post-2000, those who should have been keeping in check have dropped the bundle.
I say shame on them for social irresponsibility.
They have let the foot of drivel talk through the door so that even grown ups at Yale now think it is super.
I weep, but I blame learned societies the most for giving credence to stupidity. Geoff.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
September 22, 2017 7:48 pm

There’s money in drivel. The right combination of buzzwords opens up funding pipelines.

barryjo
Reply to  chaamjamal
September 23, 2017 10:55 am

My thought exactly. This is just another “gimmee” bunch bellying up to the trough.

Sheri
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
September 23, 2017 5:55 am

Agreed, Geoff. I point this out often. We are what we are because people did not care enough to do anything about it. This lead me to believe that this is what America wants to be. I blame no one but Americans for the mess and assume it will stay that way because it’s what America wants. It’s sad, but there’s little one can do once this level is reached.

MarkW
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
September 23, 2017 7:15 am

Somewhere around the mid to late 1970’s, the young nutters started taking over these academic institutions.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  MarkW
September 26, 2017 10:58 am

I don’t think that was an accident.

Barbara
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
September 23, 2017 7:03 pm

Geneva Environment Network, Geneva, Switzerland
WBCSD
Description includes:
Est.1995
President& CEO Peter Bakker
Non-Governmental & Business Organization
Includes web-address.
http://www.environmenthouse.ch/?q=en/green_guide/world-business-council-sustainable-development
There are some 70 organizations in the Geneva Environment Network. Coordinated by UNEP.

Warren Blair
September 22, 2017 8:01 pm

Left wing Calasocialists . . .
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
http://leftexposed.org/2016/09/moore-foundation/

TA
September 22, 2017 8:02 pm

From the article: “This project is part of the Conservation and Financial Markets Initiative, a five-year effort of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that aims to leverage the power of mainstream financial markets in order to help drive the food sector away from practices that degrade natural ecosystems.”
Windmills are certainly degrading the natural ecosystems.
Does this mean an object of the project is to eliminate windmills? If their efforts went towards saving the million of animals killed by windmills annually, I would be willing to make a little donation towards that cause.
Yeah, I know that’s not what they are talking about.

Sheri
Reply to  TA
September 23, 2017 5:58 am

Natural ecosystems are ones being improperly used by someone other than the planet saviors. You know, like corporations (from which Yale hopes to get money….) and evil oil companies. Planet saviors can clear cut the California Redwoods and it’s just fine because “they care”.

Barbara
Reply to  TA
September 23, 2017 6:50 pm

The wind people should look at REN21 operating out of Paris, France. Big worldwide wind organizations are members of REN21 and so is Greenpeace. REN21 is affiliated with the United Nations.
REN advocates for the rapid deployment of renewable energy such as wind and solar.
The U.S.government is also a member.
http://www.ren21.net

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
September 24, 2017 10:15 am

UNECE
Re: UNECE and REN21
More on UNECE and renewable energy deployment at:
https://www.unece.org/energy/re.html

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
September 24, 2017 1:53 pm

CTV News, Canada, June 17, 2015
Re: REN21 Annual Report, Paris, France
‘Renewable energy growth outpaces fossil fuels’
http://ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/renewable-energy-growth-outpaces-fossil-fuels-1.2427639
Internet search: REN21 + Canada for more information.

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
September 24, 2017 6:02 pm

Re-Energising the Future, COP21, December 2015
Renewable Energy Track
Press Release: 6 December 2015
Re: REN21 and Gov.Brown
‘Re-Energising the Future: Renewable Energy Solutions for Climate Change’
http://ren21.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/JOINT-PRESS-RELEASE-UPDATE-REN21.pdf

Barbara
Reply to  Barbara
September 24, 2017 6:07 pm
Bob
September 22, 2017 8:17 pm

What puffery! Sustainability cannot even be defined, let alone established, but these fools want to make sure that the public treasury is looted for social projects, and private capital should be mandated to pay for something that doesn’t exist. Shades of carbon taxes…
These people are masquerading as academicians when they are really hard core socialists. Are all academicians communists like these? Send them to Venezuela and maybe they can figure out just how sustainable a socialist society really is.
These people need real jobs so that they do real work to understand private capital.

sy computing
September 22, 2017 9:39 pm

Wait…what???
“This project is part of the Conservation and Financial Markets Initiative, a five-year effort of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation that aims to leverage the power of mainstream financial markets in order to help drive the food sector away from practices that degrade natural ecosystems.”

Sheri
Reply to  sy computing
September 23, 2017 6:01 am

Speaking of natural and foods, Trix cereal is “reintroducing” Trix with artificial colors and flavors. Seems that natural junk was not wanted and consumers made it clear by not buying the “healthy” version (after originally flooding social media with protests that the company ignored). The poor company has been forced to resume with the artificial colors and flavors, alongside what will presumably be a much smaller section of the “natural” junk no one wants.

dan no longer in CA
Reply to  Sheri
September 23, 2017 6:33 am

Rattlesnake venom is natural. Oleander leaves are natural, and fatal if you eat a few. Being “natural” is not equal to being “good for you”.

Chris
September 22, 2017 9:44 pm

Correct me if I am wrong but simply providing capital in the form of equity investment is no guarantee of a return on that investment. Perhaps the YISF has overlooked managerial finance and should attend a real business school before investments are made.

Art
September 22, 2017 10:22 pm

“Perhaps nothing has held back movement toward a sustainable future more than the lack of money being invested in projects that take environmental considerations into account ”
————————————————-
Uh-huh. They might pause to consider that people invest money in order to make money, and environmentalism costs money. This brings to mind the saying, “A fool and his money are soon parted”.

Patrick MJD
September 22, 2017 11:04 pm

I think Bill Clinton and Hillary went to Yale. There is a rare picture of them looking like hippies with Hillary smoking taken in the 60’s.

September 22, 2017 11:58 pm

What a load of drivel. Has it been generated by a Corporate BS Generator?
If it mentions “sustainability” or “green”, then you know it is likely to be a scam.

September 22, 2017 11:58 pm

What a load of drivel. Has it been generated by a Corporate BS Generator?
If it mentions “sustainability” or “green”, then you know to avoid it like the plague.

September 23, 2017 3:24 am

I don’t even know what to say about this load of BS. I’ve got nothing. Maybe “unimaginable” even six months ago. Where is the world headed?

arthur4563
September 23, 2017 4:03 am

I doubt that there has ever been a word so widely used and yet so misunderstood as sustainability.
Although applied to such things as water, mostly it is used to characterize energy – supposedly a sustainable energy source is one which is never depleted. The big question becomes one of why we should care if an energy soure is sustainable or not. Suppose all fossil fuels disappear in exactly 100 years. Since none of the sustainable energy generating equipment lasts more than roughly 35-35 years, what can possible be gained by adopting a sustainable energy generator at this point in time, as opposed to 90 years from now, when facing fossil fuel exhaustion? Of course, there is no advantage and one can say that the likelihood that sustainable energy generators 90 years from now are better than those today is quite high. So therefore, installing sustainable energy generators today has no intrinsic value WRT fuel depletion. An energy enerator should be chosen for several reasons – economics, side effects – environmental , such as air pollution or visual pollution or side effects , such as disruption of the grid and generating a need for overcapacity
because of unreliability, etc. Sustainability, with respect to energy production, actually has no value whatsoever, but provides a lot of negative reasons for rejecting such energy generation. And sustainability cannot be equated with emission-free power. Nuclear power is just as, if not more emission-free than solar and wind, and emerging technologies such as molten salt reators, do not depend upon fosile fuel backup to the extent that wind and solar require, thus is, in effect, a much
more emission-free power source. And the environmental and geographic footprint of these new reactors is absolutely miniscule compared to the enormous footprint of wind, for example.
The environemnt is far better served by using these reactors than deploying visually offensive and
unbelievably extensive wind farms. And they will never run out of fuel as far as humans are concerned, be it Thorium or Uranium. They are, in effect, far more sustainable than wind and solar.
And cheaper as well.

oeman50
Reply to  arthur4563
September 23, 2017 8:53 am

“Sustainability” is all about how the user of term feels about it, not what it actually is. I know about a sustainability effort at a local company where the subject of Styrofoam vs. paper coffee cups was researched. Everyone assumed the Styrofoam was bad. Turns out it takes more energy, including the oil used to produce the polystyrene, to make a paper cup. So what does the company use now? Paper cups…

james whelan
September 23, 2017 4:41 am

The BIS under the present chairmanship of Carney ( BoE) is spearheading this global approach. They have produced economic investment criteria which MUST be followed by the Central Banks who in their turn INSIST on its use by all commercial banks. These investment criteria now include ‘climate change’ as part of the test.
I think its too late to change any of this. Governments around the world have embraced this approach to extract more ‘rent’ from their citizens. Banks, Insurance Companies and other financial organisations embrace it to cream off new commissions and fees. Its now part of the fabric of our societies. The MSM hype about ‘disasters’ , the latest curve-fitting ‘forecasts’ from NASA-DISS etc, are just designed to keep the citizens fearful enough to accept this as a price to pay for ‘living’. Hopefully after I have left this mortal coil, citizens will no longer have the freedom of movement we enjoy, the communal electric ‘pods’ will only move so far along pre-agreed routes; power ( heating and light) will be rationed. There are indications that the average mental state of most citizens by then will embrace this ‘security’ in their new ‘hive’.
This ‘savage’ is glad he is old enough not to see the full flowering of this ‘brave new world’.

Tom
September 23, 2017 5:06 am

…initial sustainable finance issues: impediments to the movement of mainstream capital into sustainability-related projects needs of sustainability-minded investors standards in the burgeoning Green Bonds market. “Perhaps nothing has held back movement toward a sustainable future more than the lack of money being invested in projects that take environmental considerations into account and recognize the inter-dependence between sustainability and financial performance

In other words, how can we get these stupid investors to put their money into something that will NEVER be profitable?

james whelan
Reply to  Tom
September 23, 2017 5:29 am

Tom, unfortunately its designed to be profitable for the ‘rent seekers’ the banks etc. The taxpayers, the utility customers will pay the ‘rent’. All those $bns created by the Central Banks after 2008 have to earn their crust. This is the way they are doing it. By accident or design, it will change the structure of western societies at the same time, making them more ‘controllable’.

Sheri
Reply to  james whelan
September 23, 2017 6:12 am

Concentration of wealth in individuals makes this possible too. Buffet, Soros, Gates, Zuckerberg, Steyer, Musk, Anschutz all have enough money to push people in whatever direction they want. (As noted above in my comment, not all such pushes are successful—never mess with breakfast cereal.) They have no concerns about profitability, their wealth is beyond that need. They also can invest in what they deny others. Oil and gas have not been divested. Playing both sides is easy.

barryjo
Reply to  james whelan
September 23, 2017 11:01 am

“rent seekers”, like the ones who push wind mills and bird fryers???

James Bull
September 23, 2017 6:10 am

So by dressing it up in fancy un-understandable language they hope people will fall for it and put their hard earned into it…Not me
I had someone stop me and ask if I would think about investing in renewable energy projects They were a bit confused when I said I was already an unwilling investor and subsidiser of many such scams so I didn’t fancy doing it willingly as they only were profitable whilst backed up by large amounts of TAX payer funded subsidies.
James Bull

John Mauer
September 23, 2017 6:14 am

Dan Esty is married to Elizabeth Esty (D), the U.S. Congresswoman for Connecticut’s 5th congressional district. Interesting perspective.

Editor
September 23, 2017 6:55 am

Will someone please define “sustainable development”?
I had a family member run off to a “Sustainable Farming” commune in Costa Rico — jabbered on about it forever, but all they did was what the indigenous people has done for thousands of years, clear a plot, plant it, and harvest it. Never could answer the question “But what’s the ‘sustainable’ part?”

Graemethecat
Reply to  Kip Hansen
September 23, 2017 9:38 am

Do they really think “Slash and Burn” agriculture is sustainable?

Editor
Reply to  Graemethecat
September 23, 2017 6:06 pm

Graemethecat ==> Well, they don;t actually burn at the Sustainable Agriculture Farm – they use a brush hog and chain saws, then tractor mounted rototillers……

September 23, 2017 7:23 am

The biggest impediment to sustainable finance is that it isn’t profitable absent subsidies. Yale will fancy that up, but won’t be able to hide the truth.

Gary Pearse
September 23, 2017 11:37 am

Companies already put this kind of stuff on their website pages without having to really change anything. The world gov folks don’t care. Its optics useful for selling the taxpayer on parting with more cash and submitting to control.

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