Companies vs. NRA and one million reasons to conserve what we already have
The recent school shooting in Florida has brought corporate social responsibility to the mainstream media. Here are two pieces that caught my attention that provide two very different perspectives...consider it a point/counterpoint on companies, the NRA and gun safetey.
"The fact that companies, rather than Congress or the courts, are shifting in response to political activism in the United States says something profound—about American tribalism, the demise of political cooperation, and the rise of a sort of liberal corporatocracy. Within a 12-hour period, Delta Airlines went from defending its relationship with the NRA as “routine” to requesting that the association “remove our information from their website.”
“Corporations boycotting NRA should be boycotted,” the conservative commentator Mark R. Levin wrote. Indeed, Think progress reported this week that FedEx continues to support the NRA and so other companies are boycotting FedEx.
The choice for companies is simple and stark: Suffer the slings and arrows of liberal activism, or endure the rage and resentment of spurned conservatives. “Politicians assume they can wait out the outrage, but national companies have to respond to the immediacy of demand."
Counterpoint: Corporations only break with the gun industry when it is cheap and easy (The Washington Post) "It’s smart but not especially brave to see on which side your bread is buttered....what happened this past week was not a brave moral stand by America’s corporate sector. The companies understand that it is a transaction — and consumers should understand that, too.""
Impact Investing is an $8 trillion dollar industry in the U.S. (US SIF, 2016). I got to talk this week with Casey Clark, 2007 Smeal Finance grad, who helped to create the impact investing function within Glenmede which has over $40 billion of assets under management. He told me about an interesting web-resource, impactivate, an information clearinghouse for those interested the "expression of their values through their investments." (previously posted on TripleBottomLion)
"The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) released a new report that maps global and regional Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting trends. Over the past 10 years, the number of voluntary reporting requirements around the world has increased from under 10 to 182, with 80% being issued by non-governmental organizations. This underscores that ESG issues are rising in importance for the finance community and business."
"Mass mortality events (MMEs) are single, catastrophic incidents that wipes out vast numbers of a species in a short period of time. MMEs are among the most extreme events of nature. They affect starfish, bats, coral reefs and sardines. They can push species to the brink of extinction, or throw a spanner into the complex web of life in an ecosystem. And according to some scientists, MMEs are on the rise and likely to become more common because of climate change.
The most thorough study of its kind published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2015 uncovered 727 accounts of MMEs involving 2,407 animal populations since 1940. It found that not only are reports of MMEs on the increase – by about one event a year – but the number of animals killed in each event is on the rise for birds, fish and marine invertebrates.
The study found that disease was the biggest factor in MMEs, playing a role in a quarter of them. Around 19% were directly linked to human behaviour such as pollution. Factors linked directly to climate – including extremes of hot and cold, oxygen stress and starvation – collectively contributed to about a quarter."
"The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is an iconic reminder of the remarkable conservation effort that is taking place every day, around the world and around the clock - an effort to conserve the seeds of our food crops," said Marie Haga, executive director of the Crop Trust. The vault storing the world's most precious
seeds is taking delivery on Monday of seeds that will take it to the one million mark. The number of deposits amounts to 1,059,646. This number excludes emergency withdrawals of about 90,000 seeds needed to make up for precious samples stranded in Syria due to the conflict there. (Inset image from Futura Science)"
""A former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya has made waves after he spoke out about his “tremendous guilt” over growing the social network, which he feels has eroded “the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other.” Pralihapitiya is now the founder and CEO of Social Capital whose "mission is to advance humanity by solving the world’s hardest problems. By harnessing technology to address core human needs, we aim to drive a bottom-up redistribution of power, capital and opportunity."