Corporate Knights

Fall 2021

Providing information empowering markets to foster a better world. Corporate Knights produces editorial at the intersection of business and society, with news and analysis about sustainability and corporate sustainability rankings

Corporate Knights
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4 Números

en este número

3 min.

TEACH THE CHILDREN WELL In response to Jennifer Lewington’s article “Are Canadian Schools Raising Climate-Literate Citizens?” I’d just like to say that… teachers’ confidence [in teaching sustainability materials] is critical: every teacher can tackle new paradigms related to their subjects if they have a good mastery of them – teachers are long-term researchers and everlasting students; [they will be at] the core of revolutions to come. Making changes in schools means rethinking common spaces. We can cut our carbon footprint with basic actions, such as less water/paper/energy spending, the use of renewables, eco supply chains for food and beverages served within the schools, [and] promoting non-polluting transportation. But sustainability also means aligning with larger issues, such as those raised by the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals [addressing gender equality, health, well-being,…

2 min.
8 steps

As of June, Canada’s target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 is cemented in law. Now all government and industry leaders will need to work together to amp up their urgency and ambition. Canada committed to slashing emissions by 40 to 45% below 2005 levels within eight years. Here are some ideas on how we can get there. 1. Mandate that all new cars be electric by 2030 (not 2035) And offer 100% rebates to homeowners and workplaces that install electric vehicle chargers, while building at least 10 times more public charging stations across the country. 2. Close the carbon-tax loopholes for the largest polluters Canada’s biggest CO2 emitters pay next to no carbon tax. That needs to change if we want the carbon tax to be effective at driving down emissions. 3. Inject $20…

3 min.
harvard gives in to pressures to divest from fossil fuels (mostly)

From the development of the smallpox vaccine in 1799 to exposing the role of fake news on Twitter in the 2016 U.S. election, few American universities have produced as many advances in human knowledge as Harvard. In September, the elite school chalked up another breakthrough when its embattled president, Lawrence Bacow, announced that working with fossil fuel companies is not the best way to battle the climate crisis. It was a major reversal for Bacow, who has dodged protesters’ demands that Harvard’s US$40-billion worth of endowment funds divest all traces of oil, gas and coal investments. By the end of 2020, Harvard Management Co. (HMC), custodian of the world’s largest endowment, had actually reduced fossil fuel investments from 11% of its portfolio in 2008 to 2%. But as Bacow, a one-time…

2 min.
big food is hiding the carbon footprint of your lunch

Some of the world’s largest food companies talk a lot about their plans to be more environmentally friendly, including bold commitments to (eventually) reduce their carbon footprint. But many of those corporations are failing to disclose information to investors about most of their greenhouse gas emissions, according to a recent analysis by non-profit Ceres. The organization found that out of 50 of the largest food companies in the United States and Canada, only 19 were disclosing at least some Scope 3 emissions. These are emissions in a company’s supply chain that are beyond the company’s direct operations and energy use. They can include the emissions from manufacturing fertilizers and raising livestock to those created when you cook a burger on a grill. Ceres estimates that they can often account for around…

2 min.
does working for a sustainable company make you happier?

According to a recent survey of 3,000 Canadians, more than two-thirds of workers say that it’s important for them to work for an employer that’s socially and environmentally responsible. Unfortunately, only 55% of workers agree that their organizations are both socially and environmentally responsible in their business practices. There is clearly an opportunity here for companies to do better. In recent years, the use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators to measure a company’s performance has exploded in popularity – and with good reason. In addition to mounting public expectations for companies to be “good corporate citizens,” a 2021 meta-analysis conducted in partnership with NYU and Rockefeller Asset Management points to a growing body of evidence that good corporate management of ESG is tied to improved financial performance. But beyond higher stock…

1 min.
mental health index

How important is it to you that you work for an employer that’s environmentally and socially responsible? LifeWorks polls 11,000 workers in four countries every month on the state of their mental health. Here are their Canadian results related to employer behaviour.…