Corporate Knights Fall 2020

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 Edities

in deze editie

3 min

OUT OF THIS WORLD? The summer issue’s cover graphic of COVID comets pummelling Earth is striking. But does it give the right message? Roberta Staley’s article in the same issue explains that, far from being an act of God, the pandemic is human-caused. We have intruded into natural habitats and profited from wildlife trafficking that often jams animals into tiny cages. It is human activity that encourages viruses to jump between species. Prevention of more pandemics requires saving and restoring natural habitats, limiting human-wildlife interactions and halting wildlife trafficking. The cost would be a tiny fraction of another pandemic’s immense toll to lives and economies. But these actions can happen only if we recognize the true causes and not blame bad luck or ETs. —Elizabeth Snell, Guelph, ON NOT SO GREEN I regularly read…

5 min
the time is now

As leaders of major corporations in Canada, we are focused on our country’s safe road to recovery. Canadians are experiencing significant economic hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic – challenges that will continue for months and possibly years. Around the world, countries have adopted unprecedented policies during this crisis. Canada’s federal and provincial governments have acted boldly and creatively with their emergency relief measures, with positive results. However, for a full-scale recovery, even bolder action will be needed. We have the opportunity to emerge from this moment with a resilient economy that creates prosperity for more Canadians. We will get there by working together with all the industries that have led us to where we are as a nation today — from natural resources to telecommunications, manufacturing and financial services. We must…

3 min
news briefs

BIDEN’S CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION For every action, said Isaac Newton, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So it’s only fitting that Donald Trump’s fossil-friendly administration ended up spawning the most aggressive environmental program ever developed by a presidential candidate: Joe Biden’s $2-trillion climate plan. Win or lose, Biden’s “Clean Energy Revolution” gave new hope to activists who have seen country after country (including Canada) pass the buck on climate change. At last a major-party candidate was acknowledging the crisis by committing himself to a detailed plan (19 pages long) that addresses not just carbon emissions but a whole ecosystem of related issues, including housing and social justice. Best of all, Biden positioned his policy not as a gruelling struggle but as a shining opportunity to make the world healthier, fairer and more…

2 min
where’s the beef tax?

The true cost of your favourite steak or chop may be much higher than the price you pay at the store. Thanks to the potential health risks of eating meat – higher incidences of obesity, heart disease, cancer and premature death – as well as the environmental devastation caused by mass-market meat production, society gets stuck with the tab every time you bite into a Whopper or a roast. Now a growing chorus of researchers is pushing for a combination of carbon taxes and “sin taxes” to mitigate meat’s impact – and the result may curb your appetite. “There’s increasing consensus that we cannot achieve the Paris Climate Agreement unless we deal with factory farming – a sector emitting more greenhouse gases than all the world’s planes, trains and cars put together,”…

2 min
companies that pay fair wages weather downturn better

Determining just what makes a company socially responsible involves an ever-growing list of factors, from producing safe, reliable products and minimizing pollution to community development and protecting consumer privacy. But according to Just Capital, a New York–based association that measures and promotes positive business practices, there’s one indicator that the public considers most important: how companies invest in their workforce. In simplest terms: do firms pay their employees a fair wage – or the lowest amount they can get away with? Just Capital compared the financial performance of companies that pay relatively high wages to all their workers against industry peers that don’t offer premiums. Grinding through those companies’ financials through the economic downturn, job title by job title, Just Capital’s researchers found that the top 20% of firms enjoyed a 6.5%…

3 min
carney comes home to lead esg investing crusade

Canada’s globe-trotting financial guru has come home – with a mission that couldn’t be more global. Mark Carney is the plain-speaking former governor of the Bank of Canada who guided the country unflappably through the 2008 financial crisis before he was lured away in 2013 to run the Bank of England until early this year. There he confronted two even tougher tests, steering the U.K. economy through Brexit while urging the global financial community to face up to the climate crisis. His term up (after a few extensions), but far from retirement at 55, Carney is still looking to make an impact. Even before he returned home to Ottawa earlier this year, the United Nations named him Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, focusing on mobilizing private finance to help meet…