Author Archives: Marcy Murninghan

Sustainable Prosperity and the American Dream

The TakeAway: What can the sustainability movement in the US do to address chronic unemployment and record levels of poverty? Sustainability hinges not only on environmental stewardship and social justice (the higher-profile defining aspects of the term), but also on … Continue reading

Posted in Public Policy, Wage Gap | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Sustainability News Roundup

The TakeAway: Sustainable finance, ForeclosureGate, and new leadership for Society of Corporate Secretaries offer challenges and hope. Ceres report on water shortage | The impact of water problems on the municipal bond market may seem boring, but tell that to … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Political Activity, Proxy Voting, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Companies Failing to Engage Stakeholders Online

The TakeAway: New rankings on corporate online CSR communication and engagement classify US firms as “below average” Companies are failing to take full advantage of interactive technology for stakeholder engagement and reporting sustainability performance.  That’s the primary finding of the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Interactive Technology, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainability Ratings, Web 2.0 | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Say-on-Pay: A Bird’s Eye View

The TakeAway: New SEC rules on executive compensation advisory votes take steps toward broader board-shareholder engagement. On Monday afternoon, the SEC proposed rules for Say-on-Pay (shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation) and golden parachutes (big payouts to executives dismissed after … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Who Pays the True Cost of Environmental Damage?

The TakeAway: Institutional investors need to assert their ownership power to offset environmental costs and push for sustainable companies and public policy. Despite the worldwide recession, the economic crisis isn’t the only cause of financial losses affecting innocent bystanders.  There’s … Continue reading

Posted in Biosphere Economy, Climate Change, Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Investor Governance, Natural Disasters, Public Policy, Sustainable Investing | 2 Comments

Sustainability News Roundup

The TakeAway: This week’s notable news features items on advances in integrated reporting, clean energy, sustainable investing, and women in business Despite the Monday holiday here in the US, it’s been another busy week on the sustainability front.  Among the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Political Activity, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Sustainable Investing | 2 Comments

Follow the (Corporate Campaign) Money

The TakeAway: Shareholder activists and researchers focus on corporate political donations, while more than 80 percent of S&P 500 companies fail to provide spending information “Follow the money” was a catchphrase of the 1976 movie All the President’s Men, the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Political Activity, Corporate Reporting, Media & Entertainment, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Welcome to the USA, GRI!

The TakeAway: The Global Reporting Initiative, with the support of the global Big Four audit firms, launches “Focal Point USA”. Good news for sustainability in the US!  Today, the Amsterdam-based Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) announced that it’s opening an office … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Board Risk Oversight: Bridging the Corporate-Investor Governance Divide

The TakeAway: New International Corporate Governance Network risk oversight guidelines emphasize joint corporate and investor accountability. Bacon and eggs.  Oil and vinegar.  Peanut butter and jelly.  Corporate and investor governance.  The first three duos are well known, but few appreciate … Continue reading

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Notable News Roundup & Recommended Reading

The TakeAway: Proxy access, human rights, and ethics among important topics of the week—plus, 2 books on improving performance. Lots of news that’s fit to print this week, but we didn’t have room—so before the long Columbus Day weekend here … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Wanted: US Leadership in Sustainability Reporting

The TakeAway: The US played a pioneering role in sustainability reporting, but we currently fall short in advancing it. The US has “the largest and most technologically powerful economy in the world,” according to the CIA World Factbook, and traditionally … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

It’s Raining Ratings!

The TakeAway: In response to the boom in corporate sustainability ratings, SustainAbility releases the second report in its four-phase “Rate the Raters” project. Last month, when JustMeans and CRD Analytics released their Global 1000 Sustainable  Performance Leaders list (the latest … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Sustainability, Sustainability Ratings | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The Long Drive To Increase Fuel Efficiency and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The TakeAway: The Obama Administration proposes to increase Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards—perhaps to 62 miles per gallon by 2025. Despite Washington’s political gridlock, with cap and trade and climate change legislation on indefinite holds, late last week the … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Citizens United: The Aftermath

The TakeAway: This year’s Supreme Court decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates of money in politics, eroding public trust in government as well as shareholder value. “Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!” the Marshal of the Court called out today, marking the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

This Week’s Notable News and Recommended Reading

The TakeAway: We survey developments in fair labor and proxy access, and review Joe Nye’s book on the nature of leadership. After almost three months and more than 60 posts, we at The Murninghan Post realize there’s just too much … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Proxy Voting, Public Policy | 1 Comment

Sustainability and Good Governance: A Work In Progress

The TakeAway: Two new reports advance convergence of governance and sustainability, but gaps  between formal responsibility and actual performance still need crossing. The rising popularity of the term ESG (environmental, social, and governance) suggests common ground between sustainability and corporate … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Investor Governance | 1 Comment

Power to the People: Mutual Funds and Corporate Reform

The TakeAway: Mutual funds continue to gain power and influence on corporate governance and accountability, which has yet to be fully tapped. Mutual funds are quietly emerging as a key tool for corporate reform, as they bridge populist power and … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Proxy Voting, Public Policy | 4 Comments

Corporate Obligation, Sustainable Development, and Human Rights

The TakeAway: A variety of efforts on policy and regulation work to assure a world economy that is more stable, inclusive, and sustainable, despite occasional setbacks. Last week’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Summit provided a glimpse into how far we’ve … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Public Policy, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Governance Galore

The TakeAway: New York Stock Exchange proposes ten corporate governance principles for management, boards, and shareholders—and suggests the need for regulating proxy advisory services. What comprises good corporate governance and investor stewardship?  These questions continue to pop up as regulators, … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Interactive Technology | 2 Comments

… Something Borrowed, Something Green

Part Three of Three Parts The TakeAway: A growing number of foundations achieve sustainability and social justice goals through program-related and mission-related investing. In 2007, the Los Angeles Times ran a series of stories about the Bill & Melinda Gates … Continue reading

Posted in Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Something Old, Something New…

Part Two of Three Parts The TakeAway: Organized philanthropy wakes up to new opportunities for connecting their grantmaking ideals to their investments, thereby addressing problems more comprehensively Earlier this week, a group of foundation presidents, treasurers, and trustees – representing … Continue reading

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A Movement Takes Hold

Part One of Three Parts The TakeAway: Yesterday’s More for Mission national conference represents a giant step toward unification of portfolio investing across asset classes in pursuit of social and financial prosperity. On Tuesday almost 150 foundation officials, investment advisors … Continue reading

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The New Fiduciary: Stewardship and Sensibility

The TakeAway: Changes in financial regulations place new responsibilities on institutional investors, requiring new forms of engagement, education, and behavior. These days, financial and corporate governance reform advocates have concentrated a lot of attention on corporate boards, and for good … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Investor Governance, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing, Web 2.0 | 4 Comments

A Tale of 3 Cities: Key Events on the Sustainable Prosperity Agenda

The TakeAway: An overview of this week’s events on climate change, corporate governance, and fiduciary duty. It’s a busy week for sustainable prosperity, as people journey to New York City, San Diego, and Cambridge to share insights and forge solutions … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Corporate Governance, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing | Comments Off on A Tale of 3 Cities: Key Events on the Sustainable Prosperity Agenda

Drawing Swords: The Battle Over Proxy Access

The TakeAway: As the Federal Register publishes proxy access rules, we survey arguments against shareholder rights. Earlier today, the Federal Register published new rules governing proxy access that will take effect November 15th.  The proxy access rule, approved by the … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | 7 Comments

State Law, Supply Chains, and the End of Slavery

The TakeAway: Pending California law seeks to end slavery and trafficking in business supply chains, part of a renewed broader trend of state-level action to address global sustainability and social justice issues. When thinking about corporate reform toward sustainability and … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Electoral Politics: We Get What They Pay For

The TakeAway: Three proposals to preserve the integrity of democracy from unlimited corporate political contributions. As angry voters flock to primaries in the first major vote since January’s Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the question of how corporate political contributions … Continue reading

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Climate Skeptics’ Arguments Crushed By Global Bank

The TakeAway: Deutsche Bank powerfully rebuts arguments used by climate deniers, and snubs US for lagging on climate policy and clean energy investments. Climate deniers faced another massive debunking of their flimsy claims in last Tuesday’s release of a white … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Corporate Sustainability, Sustainable Investing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Finance Offers Meeting Point for Discussion With Islam

The TakeAway: The CSR and SRI communities can discover shared values with Islamic finance over goals of sustainability, prosperity, and justice. The frenzy surrounding a Southern preacher’s threat to burn the Koran – on the eve of the ninth anniversary … Continue reading

Posted in Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Turbo-Charged: How Web 2.0 Fuels the Power of Stakeholder Engagement

The TakeAway: CSR stakeholders want companies to use interactive tools for more real-time reporting, responsiveness, and relationship building. We live in a turbo-charged world of instant communication continually bombarding us, but we have yet to grasp the social and psychological … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Interactive Technology, Stakeholder Engagement, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments