Category Archives: Public Policy

Extractives: Dirty Industries, Clean Standards

The TakeAway: New SEC proposals require ethical health, safety, and human rights due diligence by companies engaged in the extractive industries. Extractive industries are by definition a dirty business, but recent legislation and regulatory moves aim to clean them up … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Political Activity, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Public Policy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Corporate Philanthropy: Greenwash or Sustainable Solution?

Part One of Two The TakeAway: Corporate philanthropy, often criticized as mere PR or greenwash, has evolved strategically in ways that advance sustainable value creation. December, the “Big Ask” month for nonprofits, inundates individual and organizational inboxes alike – including … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Sustainability, Public Policy, Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cancún Talks Bridge Trust Deficit

The TakeAway: COP16 climate talks accomplished more than expected, while restoring trust in the international process that can lead to stronger future measures. Despite media reports citing lowered expectations – and fear that Copenhagen’s dysfunctions would spill over to this … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Public Policy, Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Radical Transparency: The Challenge to Sustainability and Democracy

The TakeAway: Reams of information released by WikiLeaks and the Federal Reserve challenge us to rethink our duties to promote sustainable accountability and representative democracy. Debates on the recent WikiLeaks / Federal Reserve data dumps concentrate on the supply side … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Interactive Technology, Media & Entertainment, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

IT Leads ET, But Needs Public Policy and $$$

The TakeAway: Information technology leader Google advances energy technology development, but clean energy progress relies on smart policy and capital flows, too. “Google it.”  Over the past decade, the term has gone viral, as the name of the information technology  … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Public Policy, Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Divesting from Genocide: A Fiduciary Duty?

The TakeAway: Congressional hearing on ways to improve the Sudan Accountability & Investment Act proposes using the UN “Protect, Respect, Remedy” human rights framework to define fiduciary duty. The moral case for flexing investment muscle (from shareowner engagement to outright … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Investor Governance, Public Policy, Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Burma’s History of Freeing “The Lady”

The TakeAway: The release of Aung San Suu Kyi caps a long process of advocacy including state and local sanctions, shareholder activism, and consumer boycott campaigns. Saturday’s release of Burmese pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (fondly called “The … Continue reading

Posted in Human Rights, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The US Military: Partners in Sustainable Peace

The TakeAway: Climate change, clean energy, and humanitarian stability operations are mission-critical components of the Defense Department’s policy doctrine and operational stance. As we hailed our troops on Veterans Day, we should also salute the U.S. military for embracing sustainability. … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Human Rights, Natural Disasters, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The $3 Trillion Socially Responsible Investing Market

The TakeAway: Nearly one out of every eight dollars professionally managed in the US employs sustainability criteria, according to the Social Investment Forum SRI Trends Report. As the US economy slumped into the worst recession since the ‘30s over the … Continue reading

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

The Three I’s of Sustainability Reporting’s Future

The TakeAway: The Global Reporting Initiative leads sustainability disclosure into a new era through Integration, Implementation, and Integrity. Around the world, thousands of organizations rely on the GRI Reporting Framework and its multi-stakeholder approach to sustainability reporting covering the range of … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Interactive Technology, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainability Ratings, Sustainable Investing, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

People Power

The TakeAway: The outcome of Tuesday’s elections will influence public policy on sustainability and financial reform, but individuals can still make a difference. Tomorrow’s elections are expected to yield gains for the Republicans in Congress, which could affect not only … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Corporate Governance, Corporate Political Activity, Corporate Sustainability, Proxy Voting, Public Policy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sustainability News Roundup

The TakeAway: BP’s transparency, the power of proxy advisory firms, and uncontrolled campaign spending BP disaster: truth or “integrated spin”?  | Today’s New York Times and Wall Street Journal report that Halliburton knowingly supplied “unstable” cement to BP to seal … Continue reading

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

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

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

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

A New Actor Steps On To The Stage

By Bob Massie, Publisher, The Murninghan Post The TakeAway: A Brazilian Initiative – The Global Sustainability Forum – Signals New Leadership from an Emerging Power Last week in Rio de Janeiro, one of the leaders of international civil society, Oded … Continue reading

Posted in Climate Change, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

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

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

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

Posted in Corporate Governance, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Electoral Politics: We Get What They Pay For

NOTABLE PEOPLE: Bob Monks and the Battle to Change Corporate America

The TakeAway: Bob Monks believes new corporate governance reforms fall short, but digital tools can help advance accountability goals. Robert A.G. Monks has a long history of pioneering work on corporate accountability.  From his tenure as first Department of Labor … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Interactive Technology, Investor Governance, Notable People, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments