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UN responsible investing body threatens to kick out laggards

One in 10 of the signatories to a UN-backed responsible investment initiative have been placed on a watchlist for failing to show they are taking their commitment seriously enough, amid wider criticism of the body itself by investors. The Principles for Responsible Investment will put 185 of its 1,967 signatories on notice in the next fortnight after an annual audit suggested they had not demonstrated a minimum standard of responsible investment activity. The body did not disclose the identities of those on the list but said it included members of various sizes and across all regions. Just under a fifth of those falling short are asset owners, with most of the rest being asset managers. “It

Labor group: Pay gap between CEOs, average workers has widened -- again

The average pay of a S&P 500 company CEO rose 6 percent last year to $13.9 million, or 361 times more than the average worker made, according to the AFL-CIO. The labor group said the ratio between CEO and worker pay was 42-to-1 in 1980, 107-to-1 in 1990, and 347-to-1 last year. “It’s no surprise that it has gone up again this year,” AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Liz Shuler said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday. “CEOs are experiencing pretty much an historic windfall these days,” she added. The labor group has been comparing CEO pay with U.S. Labor Department data for the pay of the average production and non-supervisory worker for more than 20 years. The average pay for the rank-and

Chicago Summit with The Century Foundation

Michael Frerichs, the Treasurer of Illinois, will kick off the Century Foundation Chicago Summit, the fourth event as part of the Heartland High Wage America initiative. Treasurer Frerichs' office actively manages approximately $28 billion. While his accomplishments are many, Treasurer Frerichs will focus on reinvesting in productive, good paying jobs in Chicagoland and the state, and will talk about his work on: Human Capital Management issues, which are relevant to manufacturing and all businesses, especially given the need for reporting standards on company workforces and labor practices Supply Chain Management issues are relevant, particularly given the international attention being pai

Investing in a Just Transition

Below is a presentation I made at the UN-PRI West Just Transition conference in Vancouver I’m really pleased to be with you today. I wanted to talk this morning on some of my experiences in working in regions in crisis, places where economic disruptions, some caused by public actions on environmental issues, have resulted in business closures, mass worker dislocations and community distress. So, I first wanted to ask you, how many of you have lost your jobs at some point? Family members or friends? There is a growing body of literature and best practices on “just transition.” I highly recommend “Alberta unveils its Just Transition plan for coal workers,” which can be found on the web as o

The Future of Super Lies in Responsible Investing

A new report from KPMG suggested super funds investing more responsibly may be key to long-term performance and sustainability. KPMG’s Super Insights Report 2018 provided commentary on several issues the superannuation sector is currently facing, including securing the assurance of growth and sustainability. Climate risks both “foreseeable” and “actionable now” The report placed particular emphasis on the threat posed by climate risk, along with the immediacy and relevancy of the threat; APRA Executive Board Member Geoff Summerhayes said climate risks were foreseeable, material, actionable now, and distinctly financial in nature. Additionally, the report noted the link between climate-awaren

DC Mayor Bowser, AFL-CIO HIT, Building Trades, Developers And Community Celebrate Opening Of Portner

WASHINGTON, May 14, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust (HIT), North America's Building Trades Unions (NABTU), developers, community leaders and city officials attended a ribbon-cutting on May 10 to celebrate the opening of Portner Flats. The development brings 96 units of affordable housing to the popular U Street Corridor in Northwest. Portner Flats is an eight-story, 96-unit, 100% affordable housing development built on the site of the dilapidated Portner Place development at 1440 V Street NW. It was developed by a partnership between Somerset Development, the Jonathan Rose Companies, and New Community Partners. T

'Too Good To Fail': Big Ideas For A Big Bank With Values

People are distrustful of big banks, perhaps today more than ever before. It only takes a look at the financial crisis and subsequent trillion-dollar bailoutof banks that were deemed “too big to fail,” or more recently the systemic fraud at Wells Fargo, to understand why. In a quest to scale a different kind of bank, in December 2017, New York’s Amalgamated Bank announced its plan to acquire San Francisco’s New Resource Bank. The $58.5 million purchase would create a first of its kind “platform for a nationwide, values-based financial institution.” Amalgamated Bank has a 94-year history of building a bank to serve the needs of workers. Founded by a union called The Amalgamated Clothing Worke

Unions look for jobs to go with their infrastructure investments

As they push for more infrastructure spending, some unions also are flexing their financial muscle to make a direct connection between union jobs and where $500 billion in union pension assets are being invested. "We are making sure all of our resources are utilized to support our mission, not to undermine it," said Sean McGarvey, North America's Building Trades Unions president, at a Washington legislative conference in mid-April. "We are getting smarter and taking control of our own destiny. If we recognize the value and power of our retirement funds ... we can drive job creation today and for generations to come." All 14 building trades unions will insist that their pension funds are inve

Electric buses are coming, and they’re going to help fix 4 big urban problems

Hear how quiet that is? Proterra There is a ton of hype around electric cars right now, for understandable reasons. Several snazzy new models have been released recently, range continues improving, and ambitious cities are pledging to get rid of gas and diesel cars altogether. It’s a heady time. But here’s a little appreciated fact: Personal vehicles are probably the most challenging to electrify cost-effectively. (Dragging one or two passengers around over long distances in a 2-ton vehicle takes a lot of energy.) The case for electrification is actually stronger for other types of vehicles. At the top of the list: buses! City transit buses are ideal candidates for electrification. For one t

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