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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an idea that corporations have to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all
Socially responsible investing (SRI) describes an investment strategy which combines the intentions to maximize both financial return and social good.

green@work : Magazine : Newlines : Sept/Oct 2003

Actions and initiatives worth noting


DJSI Completes Annual Review

Dow Jones Indexes, STOXX Limited and SAM Group have announced the results of the annual review for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI). Effective with the opening of equity markets on September 22, 2003, the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index again includes over 300 companies from 22 countries that lead their industry in terms of corporate sustainability. The pan-European sustainability benchmark—the Dow Jones STOXX Sustainability Index—will include 178 companies from 13 countries. Both indexes will continue to closely mirror the sector distribution of the corresponding mainstream equity benchmarks.

The annual review will be used to make investment decisions by 45 asset managers who have licensed the DJSI family as objective benchmarks for sustainability-driven portfolios. In total, these licensees currently manage over 2.2 billion EUR in DJSI-based funds, structured products, segregated accounts as well as an exchange traded fund that is listed on Euronext.

The assessment results also provide detailed information about recent sustainability developments in the corporate world. Across all industries the integration of economic, environmental and social criteria has moved further up the business agenda and is increasingly incorporated into company strategies and core business operations. Comprehensive sustainability reporting characterized by hard indicators and wider verification, the definition and implementation of global environmental and social standards along the entire value chain, reduction of energy consumption and overall environmental footprint, a clear quantification and strategic management of corporate brands around sustainability issues, as well as a growing emphasis on organizational learning and adaptability characterize many of today’s sustainability leaders.

Additional information about the results of the annual review for the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes is available at assessment/review.html

CEOs Value Environmental Credibility

The chief executive officers of Global Fortune 500 companies polled by a doctoral candidate at Cambridge University predict that environmental and social credibility will have a significant impact on the future reputation and value of multinational corporations.

The survey, released in May by the Judge Institute of Management at Cambridge University, was conducted in late 2002. The survey asks CEOs to rate the significance of seven elements of reputation to the preservation of a positive corporate reputation. The seven elements, in order of rank, resulting from the survey are as follows: leadership and vision, quality, knowledge and skills, social credibility, financial credibility, environmental credibility and emotional connections.

Despite recent financial scandals such as those at Enron and WorldCom, the CEOs surveyed predict that in the near future social credibility will be as important as financial credibility, and environmental credibility will only be marginally less important. Thirty-four of the CEOs from the Global Fortune 500 completed the survey. If combined, the revenues of their respective companies amount to almost $5 trillion.

The environmental survey section was worded as two questions: “In a society framed by growing environmental problems, is the company perceived as adding to the negative legacy that we leave for future generations? Or is it perceived to be creating environmental value, and offsetting the actions of less responsible organizations?”

Five Receive Green Chemistry Awards

Five winners have been named in the 2003 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge awards given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The annual awards recognize businesses and individuals that have discovered innovative ways to significantly reduce pollution at its sources and have used chemistry to improve the environment.

* Shaw Industries, Dalton, GA, was honored for developing its EcoWorx® carpet tile that is safer, contains fewer harmful chemicals than conventional carpet tile and may be recycled into the same product. The tile is also 40 percent lower in weight than traditional hardback carpet tiles, according to Shaw, cutting the amount of raw materials needed.

* Süd-Chemie, Inc., Louisville, KY, developed a process to manufacture solid catalysts that do not release nitrates and use 16 to 20 times less water than traditional processes. Solid catalysts are used in producing hydrogen, clean fuels and other chemicals.

* DuPont, Wilmington, DE, was recognized for developing an innovative, bio-based method that uses renewable resources like corn—instead of conventional petroleum-based processes—to produce the latest building block to make polymers used in clothing, carpets and automobile interiors. Working with joint development partner Genencor International, a microorganism was engineered to use sugars from corn and corn biomass in a fermentation-based process.

* Richard A. Gross, Ph.D., Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, NY, has developed a new, versatile method to make and modify plastics from all-natural materials, such as sugars, using an enzyme from yeast. The method is simple, energy efficient and metal- and solvent-free. The new one-step process contrasts with multiple steps used in the traditional method, thus helping to cut costs and reduce the production of toxic chemicals.

AgraQuest, Inc., Davis, CA, has developed a bio-based, broad spectrum fungicide that is not toxic to humans, animals or the environment. Its Serenade® fungicide effectively controls a broad spectrum of plant diseases, is environmentally friendly and is non-toxic to beneficial insects and non-target organisms.

WRI Lauds APA for Greening Two DC Buildings

The World Resources Institute (WRI) and Think Energy, Inc. applauded the American Psychological Association (APA) and its property manager, Trammell Crow Co., for the purchase of more than 20 million kilowatt hours of green power. APA will buy green power from wind and other renewable resources for its two Capitol Hill office buildings equal to 75 percent of its annual electricity consumption.

“As an APA tenant, this purchase will help WRI meet our public commitment to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2005,” said Jonathan Lash, president of WRI, which is headquartered in one of the buildings. “We invite every major landlord in metropolitan Washington, DC, to follow suit and let our nation’s capital serve as an example of the environmental benefits of green energy.”

Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Co. ( will supply the green power in the form of “renewable energy certificates” (RECs). These certificates represent the environmental benefits created when power from renewable resources such as wind reduces demand from fossil fuels in the nation’s electricity system. The green power purchase represents the energy required to power more than 1,800 homes annually. This commitment will prevent the emissions of 19,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking more than 3,700 cars off the road for a year.

APA and Trammell Crow received assistance from the Green Power Market Development Group (www.thegreenpower, a unique partnership between WRI and 12 major U.S. commercial and industrial companies dedicated to building corporate markets for green power. It worked with Think Energy (www.think, a renewable energy consulting firm, to evaluate green power options and negotiate contract terms.

Connecting Governance and Climate Change

Corporate Governance and Climate Change: Making the Connection
evaluates how 20 of the world’s biggest corporate emitters of greenhouse gases are factoring climate change into their business strategies and governance practices. The report finds that many of the biggest carbon dioxide-emitting companies are not adequately disclosing the financial risks posed by climate change and also are failing to deal with global warming issues in other key corporate governance areas. The profiled companies include the top five carbon emitters in the electric power, auto and petroleum industries as well as five other industry leaders.

A 14-point Climate Change Governance Checklist provides analysis of these companies’ actions in the areas of board oversight, management accountability, executive compensation, emissions reporting and material risk disclosure. It also describes how institutional investors can engage companies on climate change as part of the emerging corporate governance agenda, and includes recommendations for corporate boards/execu- tives and policymakers.

The report was commissioned by CERES and written by Douglas Cogan of the Investor Responsibility Research Center. The report can be downloaded free of charge at

Hydrogen Education Tour Begins

People unfamiliar with hydrogen as a fuel source will have the opportunity to see, learn and experience the future of hydrogen and recent innovations through interactive exhibits and displays. The Hydrogen Education Tour will make its debut in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center on October 11 to 12, with additional stops scheduled for 2004 in Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and other major U.S. cities.

Organized by HydrogenWorks™, a media company devoted to education and public awareness of hydrogen, fuel cells and clean energy, the Hydrogen Education Tour will offer information about production, storage and infrastructure, safety and fuel cell applications of hydrogen.

Ford Motor Co. and the Colorado School of Mines (CSM), a public research university devoted to engineering and applied science, are headline sponsors of the Hydrogen Education Tour. CSM has distinguished itself by developing a curriculum and research program that is geared toward responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources.

Dr. Geoffrey Ballard, a Time magazine “Hero for the Planet,” will serve as a keynote speaker for the tour. Ballard, who founded Ballard Power Systems and co-founded General Hydrogen, has pioneered the hydrogen movement through the development of fuel cell-powered forklifts and hydrogen storage systems.

For more information, visit

UC Adopts Landmark Green Building Policy

Establishing one of the first policies of its kind in the nation, the University of California Board of Regents approved a university-wide policy for the design of “green” buildings and a standard for the use of “clean” energy. The “Green Building Policy and Clean Energy Standard” calls for UC to adopt principles of energy efficiency and sustainability in its capital projects to the fullest extent possible, taking into account budgetary constraints and regulatory and programmatic requirements. In addition, it calls for the university to minimize its impact on the environment and reduce non-renewable energy use by purchasing green power from the electrical grid, promoting energy efficiency and creating local renewable power sources. The policy will be applied to all proposed and existing university facilities.

Keeping America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful, Inc. selected Anheuser-Busch as the 2003 recipient of its annual Vision for America Award in recognition of the company’s comprehensive environmental approach to conducting its business, commitment to environmental causes and many innovations in conservation, recycling, and animal rescue and rehabilitation.

“Anheuser-Busch has an impressive and long-standing record of environmental stewardship that extends back for more than a century,” said Keep America Beautiful president G. Raymond Empson. “Its corporate environmental philosophy is based on a deeply-rooted commitment to support the environment and conserve natural resources.”

Anheuser-Busch, the largest recycler of aluminum cans in the world, is the 18th recipient of the Vision for America Award. Since 1986, Keep America Beautiful has presented this award annually to corporations that have significantly enhanced civic, environmental and social stewardship throughout the United States.

Clean Air for Life Launches Challenge

Clean Air for Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating Californians on how they can positively impact air quality through their vehicle choices, has launched a $250,000 fund-raising drive to raise awareness in California on the strong connection between smog created by car exhaust and respiratory ailments. Clean Air for Life anticipates that up to 90 percent of monies raised during the California Clean Air Challenge will go directly to public service print advertising campaigns in high impact cities, including San Jose, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

In 2002, the four most ozone-polluted metropolitan areas and the five most ozone-polluted counties in the nation were in California. Exposure to ozone even at low levels can have significant health effects, particularly for children and the elderly. According to a 2002 American Lung Association State of the Air Report, the number of children in California who have asthma rose to 600,000, a 160 percent increase since 1980.

For more information, visit www.clean

Civic Hybrid Earns AT-PZEV Status

The 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid is the first-ever hybrid vehicle to earn certification as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) from California’s Air Resources Board (CARB). The 2003 Civic Hybrid, currently sold in California, is the only hybrid vehicle to achieve this stringent emissions level, producing about 90 percent fewer smog-forming engine emissions than required of a typical new vehicle. The Civic Hybrid joins the natural gas-powered Civic GX as the only two vehicles to achieve AT-PZEV status under California’s Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program.

To achieve the AT-PZEV emissions classification, a vehicle must be a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) with zero evaporative emissions and must carry a 15-year/150,000-mile warranty on emissions equipment.

Nanosolar Secures Financing

Nanosolar, Inc., a technology leader in easy-to-handle, low-cost solar electricity cells, has closed $5 million in Series A funding and $1.5 million in venture lease financing earlier this year. Led by U.S. Venture Partners (USVP) and Benchmark Capital, the Series A round also included Stanford University and prominent individual investors. In addition, Nanosolar secured an equipment lease financing from Western Technology Investment. The company plans to use the funds to develop its product and establish key supplier, manufacturing and distribution partnerships. As part of the funding, Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital and Arati Prabhakar of USVP have joined Nanosolar’s board of directors.

Founded in October 2001, Nanosolar’s technology leverages more than 15 years of advanced research and development on self-assembling nanostructures and organic photovoltaics. This technology, originally developed and licensed from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories, allows Nanosolar to optimize organic photovoltaics at the very length scale at which the relevant quantum physics occurs.

The company’s team has attracted world-class experience from all relevant areas of expertise, spanning optoelectronics, surface chemistry, materials science, as well as web coating. Nanosolar also enjoys close collaborations with eminent research and development partners, including Stanford University’s Department of Materials Science and the Sandia National Laboratories, which are also equity stakeholders and intellectual property licensing partners.

In “Boise Office Solutions Help to Enhance and Save Resources,” included the July/August 2003 issue, we reported that Boise Office Solutions conducted a Paper Audit for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We failed to emphasize that the EPA cannot endorse the products or services of specific firms, and urges companies to compare Boise’s products and services with those of other companies before making purchasing decisions. This stance is highly endorsed by Boise, which welcomes all competitive comparisons to its Paper Audit process.

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