Well done! Bill Baue is one of the best, most informed commentators in the business, writing in depth on the important “corporate social responsiblity” and “social investing” and “sustainability” issues that affect the private, public and social sectors.
His column here is worth reading again…and printing for your future reference. As the world of business shrinks and we become more of the global village, as the world flattens (thanks, Tom Friedman, for this great symbol of globalization), these “ESG” issues become more important — to shareholder, stakeholder, regulator, lender, corporate executive, etc.
We are a long, long way from the late-1960s and early-1970s, when industry in the United States and Europe (and UK) continued to pump smog-producing chemical compounds into the air, and harmful chemicals were poured out of factories and into streams and rivers and then our oceans. The US EPA was created in 1972 (by President Richard Nixon) and since then the USA has had a book shelf of environmental rules and regulations created (tens of thousands of pages of federal, state and local rules and regulations to govern industrial activities).
But as Bill points out, with all our progress we have a long long way to go before we have uniform standards worldwide, that companies, banks/lenders, regulators, social advocates, investors and others can rely on. The voluntary codes he describes are very encouraging. So is the United Nations’ efforts at standard-setting and voluntary buy-in to UN programs by corporations.
We have come a long way, as stated, and while we may have a long way to go — I am encouraged by all of the initiatives, codes, programs, protocols, etc. that are outlined here.
More good news than bad; the glass is filling up, not emptying. Good work, Bill.
Elsewhere in Accountability Central, there’s a commentary or mine on “ESG” factors for companies — you can read it here:http://www.accountability-central.com/?id=1569 (Your Company’s ESG – Why it Matters.)
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