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Economy

Summit On Creating Sustainable Companies Is Launched Today

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Frank Bold is hosting the Creating Sustainable Companies Summit today bringing together leading thinkers, businesses, policymakers and civil society in Brussels to uncover the future for the next generation of corporations and future of corporate governance.

Keynote speeches will be delivered by Věra Jourová, EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality; John Kay, well known author, economist and columnist at Financial Times; and Richard Howitt, MEP and incoming CEO of the International Integrated Reporting Council. In total, more than 30 high level speakers and over 140 participants will discuss a corporate governance framework that fosters the creation of inclusive and sustainable businesses. See the complete list here: http://summit2016.purposeofcorporation.org/#speakers.

On this occasion, a major report entitled Corporate Governance for a Changing World: Report of a Global Roundtable Series will be released. Following the outcome of a global consultation as part of the Purpose of the Corporation Project, the report aims to capture long-term sustainable value and identify desired outcomes and principles of corporate governance fit for the challenges of the 21st century. Over the past two years, more than 260 leaders in business management, investment, regulation, academic and civil society communities were brought together at events in Breukelen (the Netherlands), Brussels, London, New York, Oslo, Paris, and Zurich.

The report is available here: http://www.purposeofcorporation.org/corporate-governance-for-a-changing-world_report.pdf

The role of corporations in contemporary society
After the financial crisis, there has been considerable debate about the role of corporations in society. It has become broadly accepted that corporations – particularly the world’s largest publicly traded corporations – should be governed with respect for the society and the environment. This is because corporations are dependent on the broader institutional and systemic framework within which they operate for their long-term survival. In addition, the most pressing of society’s problems cannot be solved by regulation alone without contributions from corporations, such as the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The current model of corporate governance has led companies to focus on maximising short-term shareholder value. This has a range of unintended consequences: inappropriate focus on the short-term, excessive executive pay, underestimation of systemic risks and undermines corporate resilience by redirecting corporate resources away from innovation, development, and human capital. Ignoring the long-term interests of corporations and of the society also hurts investors and end beneficiaries with a long-term horizon for their investment, mostly people who are saving to fund retirement or support their children’s education.

In 2012, John Kay, keynote speaker at the summit, wrote : “Short-termism, or myopic behaviour, is the natural human tendency to make decisions in search of immediate gratification at the expense of future returns, decisions which we subsequently regret”.

With this context in mind, the global roundtables series sought to answer a number of central questions. The results have been synthesised in the report:

  • How can corporate governance contribute to robust long-term value creation for companies?
  • What is the role of stakeholders, including shareholders, in fostering a long-term focus on sustainable behaviour?
  • What incentives for short-termism exist in law, corporate governance codes and business practice?

Developing a new governance model
The report presents a summary of reflections on these questions and best practices in seven areas:

  • Embedding purpose in the governance structure of the corporation.
  • Clarifying fiduciary duties to restore the focus to long-term value creation.
  • Strengthening the role of the board to pursue a broad and long-term view of corporate purpose.
  • Revising incentive structures for directors and executives.
  • Engaging stakeholders in corporate governance.
  • Improving shareholder engagement to foster patient capital.
  • Integrating intangibles, non-financial capitals and ESG matters into corporate accounting and reporting models.

The report presents an emerging comprehensive approach to corporate governance that can assist corporations to develop a broad understanding of their purpose, as well as build a corporate strategy that will deliver long-term sustainable value, build organisational resilience, and sustain a strong social license. This approach can be beneficial to a wide set of stakeholders who take part in or are affected by corporate governance, as it aligns corporate strategy with the broader interests of society by taking account of systemic risks such as climate change and growing inequality.

Economy

A Good Look At How Homes Will Become More Energy Efficient Soon

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energy efficient homes

Everyone always talks about ways they can save energy at home, but the tactics are old school. They’re only tweaking the way they do things at the moment. Sealing holes in your home isn’t exactly the next scientific breakthrough we’ve been waiting for.

There is some good news because technology is progressing quickly. Some tactics might not be brand new, but they’re becoming more popular. Here are a few things you should expect to see in homes all around the country within a few years.

1. The Rise Of Smart Windows

When you look at a window right now it’s just a pane of glass. In the future they’ll be controlled by microprocessors and sensors. They’ll change depending on the specific weather conditions directly outside.

If the sun disappears the shade will automatically adjust to let in more light. The exact opposite will happen when it’s sunny. These energy efficient windows will save everyone a huge amount of money.

2. A Better Way To Cool Roofs

If you wanted to cool a roof down today you would coat it with a material full of specialized pigments. This would allow roofs to deflect the sun and they’d absorb less heat in the process too.

Soon we’ll see the same thing being done, but it will be four times more effective. Roofs will never get too hot again. Anyone with a large roof is going to see a sharp decrease in their energy bills.

3. Low-E Windows Taking Over

It’s a mystery why these aren’t already extremely popular, but things are starting to change. Read low-E window replacement reviews and you’ll see everyone loves them because they’re extremely effective.

They’ll keep heat outside in summer or inside in winter. People don’t even have to buy new windows to enjoy the technology. All they’ll need is a low-E film to place over their current ones.

4. Magnets Will Cool Fridges

Refrigerators haven’t changed much in a very long time. They’re still using a vapor compression process that wastes energy while harming the environment. It won’t be long until they’ll be cooled using magnets instead.

The magnetocaloric effect is going to revolutionize cold food storage. The fluid these fridges are going to use will be water-based, which means the environment can rest easy and energy bills will drop.

5. Improving Our Current LEDs

Everyone who spent a lot of money on energy must have been very happy when LEDs became mainstream. Incandescent light bulbs belong in museums today because the new tech cut costs by up to 85 percent.

That doesn’t mean someone isn’t always trying to improve on an already great invention. The amount of lumens LEDs produce per watt isn’t great, but we’ve already found a way to increase it by 25 percent.

Maybe Homes Will Look Different Too

Do you think we’ll come up with new styles of homes that will take off? Surely it’s not out of the question. Everything inside homes seems to be changing for the better with each passing year. It’s going to continue doing so thanks to amazing inventors.

ShutterStock – Stock photo ID: 613912244

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Economy

IEMA Urge Government’s Industrial Strategy Skills Overhaul To Adopt A “Long View Approach”

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IEMA, in response to the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, have welcomed the focus on technical skills and education to boost “competence and capability” of tomorrow’s workforce.

Policy experts at the world’s leading professional association of Environment and Sustainability professionals has today welcomed Prime Minister Teresa May’s confirmation that an overhaul of technical education and skills will form a central part of the Plan for Britain – but warns the strategy must be one for the long term.

Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor at IEMA said this morning that the approach and predicted investment in building a stronger technical skills portfolio to boost the UK’s productivity and economic resilience is positive, and presents an opportunity to drive the UK’s skills profile and commitment to sustainability outside of the EU.

Commenting on the launch of the Government’s Industrial Strategy Green Paper, Baxter said today:

“Government must use the Industrial Strategy as an opportunity to accelerate the UK’s transition to a low-carbon, resource efficient economy – one that is flexible and agile and which gives a progressive outlook for the UK’s future outside the EU.

We welcome the focus on skills and education, as it is vital that tomorrow’s workforce has the competence and capability to innovate and compete globally in high-value manufacturing and leading technology.

There is a real opportunity with the Industrial Strategy, and forthcoming 25 year Environment Plan and Carbon Emissions Reduction Plan, to set long-term economic and environmental outcomes which set the conditions to unlock investment, enhance natural capital and provide employment and export opportunities for UK business.

We will ensure that the Environment and Sustainability profession makes a positive contribution in responding to the Green Paper.”

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