On Our Minds

On Our Minds

ESG Can Improve Corporate and Investment Performance

There’s long been a debate about the role of business in society, which I’ll address in a later post. For now, let’s stick with related question of whether it pays for an investor to focus on ESG. There’s a … Read More

Death by Survey

Over the past year we have spoken with dozens of companies about ESG performance and disclosure. Sustainability teams are thinly staffed and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of surveys, requests for information, and the alphabet soup of reporting frameworks … Read More

July 2018

Best Buy Should be Dead, but it’s Thriving in the Age of AmazonBloomberg

Some bricks and mortar retailers are adapting well to the new normal.

Governors can Determine the Future of WorkCommentary

States use creative solutions to address the future of work as “laboratories of democracy.”

Building Trust as Boards Make Long-term Strategic Investment DecisionsHigh Meadows Institute

Business leaders insist on the business case for ESG investments.

Now in Sight: Success Against an Infection that BlindsThe New York Times

This enduring cross-sector partnership illustrates the kind of social, and economic, impact that the private sector can help drive. Paula Luff, Inherent's Director, Sustainability & Impact, helped create and lead this program while she was at Pfizer.

Climate Vulnerable Countries Face $168 Billion In Higher Debt CostsForbes

A discussion of the risk premium added to borrowing costs attributable to climate-related issues.

Please ‘Disrespect’ Your Senior Management TeamJefferies Insights

An open letter to Jefferies employees shared publicly regarding the value of questioning any company’s leadership.

June 2018

Demystifying the Alphabet Soup of Reporting FrameworksEthical Corporation

Some guidance on the numerous reporting framework acronyms.

Short-Termism Is Harming the Economy

An opinion piece from Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett regarding the costs of managing to quarterly earnings.

Surprises from the 2018 Proxy SeasonHarvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

An analysis of the trends in 2018’s proxy season.

Disposable America: A History of Modern Capitalism from the Perspective of the Straw. SeriouslyThe Atlantic

A history of the disposable straw, the environmental controversy surrounding it, and broader lessons on capitalism.

The Story of Coal in the 21st Century, in One Amazing MapVox

An overview of an interactive map depicting the development of coal power plants since 2000.

May 2018

We Made Plastic. We Depend On It. Now We’re Drowning In ItNational Geographic

A look at the global environmental impact of plastic, 40 percent of which is used just once before being discarded

Elon Musk’s Unusual Compensation Plan Isn’t Really About Compensation at AllHarvard Business Review

An analysis of the strategy behind the world’s largest CEO pay package--and one of the most unique.

Harvard’s Reinhart Says Emerging Markets Are in Tougher Spot Than During ‘08 CrisisBloomberg

A professor discusses her view of where EM markets are in the cycle.

Why Starbucks’s Bias Training, Despite Skepticism, Is an Important StartThe New York Times

An opinion piece about the value of Starbucks’s bias training.

April 2018

The Fix for ‘Extractive Capitalism’Top 1000 Funds

A professor’s view on how to improve capitalism, the “world’s largest co-operative system.”

Is ‘Being Green’ Rewarded in the Market?: An Empirical Investigation of Decarbonization and Stock ReturnsStanford Global Project Center Working Paper

An empirical analysis that demonstrates the alpha generation of a lower carbon investment portfolio.

Divided We LeadHarvard Business Review

A look at the increasingly public role many CEOs are playing in weighing in on controversial political and social issues.

March 2018

Counting Down to Day Zero in Cape TownThe New Yorker

How Cape Town and its residents are coping with an unprecedented water shortage, and its implications for business.

McDonald’s Becomes the First Restaurant Company to Set Approved Science Based Target to Reduce Greenhouse Gas EmissionsGlobe Newswire

Setting a self-imposed emission target and deadline is an intriguing leadership step for a company with McDonald’s visibility.

Merck C.E.O. Ken Frazier on Death Row Cases and the Corporate SoulThe New York Times

Merck’s CEO reflects on his career and the role of CEOs today.

A Meditating Truck Company: What Investing in Company Culture Really Looks LikeThrive Global

A look at the radical, productive culture of the electric truck company, Chanje.

February 2018

Are Hospitals Becoming Obsolete?The New York Times

An opinion piece about why the movement away from hospitals is a good thing.

BP Says Oil Demand to Peak by Late 2030sFinancial Times

One of the largest oil companies in the world predicts 300 million electric vehicles on the road by 2040, up from 3 million today.

Walmart and Dick’s Raise Minimum Age for Gun Buyers to 21The New York Times

Two of the US’s largest retailers voluntarily take a leadership stance on gun sales.

January 2018

Amazon HealthStratechery

Ben Thompson describes the theory for the Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-JPMorgan long game.

Larry Fink’s Letter to Portfolio Company CEOs

The world's largest index fund manager calls on companies to foster long-term value.

Why People Conveniently ‘Forget’ that Child Labor Made their JeansMoneyish

Consumer behavior differs based on natural human tendencies.

Japan Inc.: A Corporate Culture on Trial After ScandalsFinancial Times

Data falsification highlights need for a “chief quality officer” to matter as much as chief financial officer.

Improving Workplace Culture, One Review at a TimeNew Yorker

How Glassdoor and sites like it provide radical transparency into corporate cultures.