Connect with us

Economy

Davos: CEOs confident about economy, as top 100 ‘most sustainable’ firms unveiled

Published

on

Business leaders attending the annual World Economic Forum in Davos are feeling more confident about the global economy, five years since the financial crisis.

An annual PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey of more than 1,300 CEOs found that 39% were “very confident” their company’s revenues would grow in 2014, an increase of 3% from last year.

Respondents were also noticeably more optimistic when it came to assessing the global economy, with 44% saying they believe the global economy will improve in the next 12 months, a sentiment shared by just 18% last year. 

However, the survey revealed that CEOs still hold a number of concerns for the future. 

“Even though there is a higher degree of optimism about the global economy, there are still some pretty big challenges elsewhere to do with the volatility of certain economies, concerns around regulation and shifts in technology”, said Dennis Nally, chairman of PwC International, while presenting the survey at the forum.

Forty-seven per cent said they were worried about the strength of the recovery in developed markets, while 46% are also worried about the slowdown in high growth emerging markets.

After watching a debate between bank executives and their critics, almost 40% of the Davos audience also said that bankers still hadn’t made markets safer.

In other news from the Swiss municipality, Australian bank Westpac was awarded the title of “world’s most sustainable company” in a ranking compiled by Canadian researchers Corporate Knights.

The firm said in a statement, “Westpac has a long history of leadership and innovation in corporate sustainability. It was the first bank to join the Australian government’s Greenhouse Challenge Plus and the first financial institution in Australia to create a matching donation programme.”

The bank was the first in Australia to establish an environmental policy over 20 years ago, and is a leading partner of the Climate Partners Network with the Climate Institute.

“It is wonderful recognition of the work of our people to help create a sustainable future and deliver long-term value for our customers, employees, shareholders and the community”, Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly said.

Under its sustainability strategy, Westpac has committed up to $6 billion (£3.18 billion) for lending and investment in clean technologies and environmental services.

However, in August the bank’s environmental credentials were questioned when it emerged Westpac was the guarantor of a controversial logging project that reportedly threatens thousands of acres of rainforest in the Solomon Islands 

Its inclusion wasn’t the only time eyebrows were raised. Statoil (fourth) and Shell (51st) both appear in the list, despite having drilled for fossil fuels in the vulnerable Arctic region in recent years. Adidas (eighth), Coca-Cola (43rd) and Enbridge (75th) are all also included, despite criticism over labour rights, adverse health effects and tar sands respectively.

Corporate Knights noted that the world’s 100 “most sustainable” companies had outperformed the broader market by an average of 3.2% over the last year.

“The results speak for themselves. Topping a well-diversified benchmark is not easy, but the Global 100 has managed to squeak out marginal outperformance across a turbulent period in the history of the capital markets”, chief executive Toby Heaps said.

“We attribute this excess return to the growing investment relevance of core sustainability themes, including water scarcity, rising energy prices and growing competition for human capital.” 

Further reading:

Climate change, sustainability and ‘human values’ on agenda as Davos kicks off

Davos: an environmental conflict in the media

Inspiring innovation in sustainable finance: FT/IFC Conference

Economy

Report: Green, Ethical and Socially Responsible Finance

Published

on

“The level of influence that ethical considerations have over consumer selection of financial services products and services is minimal, however, this is beginning to change. Younger consumers are more willing to pay extra for products provided by socially responsible companies.” Jessica Morley, Mintel’s Financial Services Analyst.

Consumer awareness of the impact consumerism has on society and the planet is increasing. In addition, the link between doing good and feeling good has never been clearer. Just 19% of people claim to not participate in any socially responsible activities.

As a result, the level of attention that people pay to the green and ethical claims made by products and providers is also increasing, meaning that such considerations play a greater role in the purchasing decision making process.

However, this is less true in the context of financial services, where people are much more concerned about the performance of a product rather than green and ethical factors. This is not to say, however, that they are not interested in the behaviour of financial service providers or in gaining more information about how firms behave responsibly.

This report focuses on why these consumer attitudes towards financial services providers exist and how they are changing. This includes examination of the wider economy and the current structure of the financial services sector.

Mintel’s exclusive consumer research looks at consumer participation in socially responsible activities, trust in the behaviour of financial services companies and attitudes towards green, ethical and socially responsible financial services products and providers. The report also considers consumer attitudes towards the social responsibilities of financial services firms and the green, ethical and socially responsible nature of new entrants.

There are some elements missing from this report, such as conducting socially responsible finance with OTC trading. We will cover these other topics in more detail in the future. You can research about Ameritrade if you want to know more ..

By this report today: call: 0203 416 4502 | email: iainooson[at]mintel.com

Report contents:

OVERVIEW
What you need to know
Report definition
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The market
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
The consumer
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Competition from technology companies
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
What we think
ISSUES AND INSIGHTS
Creating a more inclusive economy
The facts
The implications
Payments innovation helps fundraising go digital
The facts
The implications
The social debt of the financial crisis
The facts
The implications
THE MARKET – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Ethical financial services providers: A question of culture
Investment power
Consumers need convincing
The transformative potential of innovation
Consumers can demand change
PUTTING FINANCIAL SERVICES IN AN ETHICAL CONTEXT
An ethical economy
An ethical financial sector
Ethical financial services providers
GREEN, ETHICAL AND SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ISSUES IN FINANCIAL SERVICES
The role of investing
Divestment
The change potential of pensions
The role of trust
Greater transparency informs decisions
Learning from past mistakes
The role of innovation
Payments innovation: Improving financial inclusion
Competition from new entrants
The power of new money
The role of the consumer
Consumers empowered to make a change
Aligning products with self
THE CONSUMER – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
For financial products, performance is more important than ethics
Financial services firms perceived to be some of the least socially responsible
Competition from technology companies
Repaying the social debt
Consumer trust is built on evidence
Overall trust levels are high
THE ETHICAL CONSUMER – SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE ACTIVITIES
Payments innovation can boost charitable donations
Consumer engagement in socially responsible activities is high
Healthier finances make it easier to go green
SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE COMPANIES
37% unable to identify socially responsible companies
Building societies seen to be more responsible than banks….
….whilst short-term loan companies are at the bottom of the pile
CONSUMER TRUST IN THE BEHAVIOUR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES COMPANIES
Overall trust levels are high
Tax avoidance remains a major concern
The divestment movement
Nationwide significantly more trusted
Trust levels remain high
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS GREEN AND ETHICAL FINANCIAL PRODUCTS
For financial products, performance is more important than principle
Socially conscious consumers are more concerned
CONSUMER ATTITUDES TOWARDS TRANSPARENCY
Strategy reports provide little insight for consumers
Lack of clarity regarding corporate culture causes concern
Consumers want more information
THE ROLE OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS IN SOCIETY
The social debt of the financial crisis
THE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FIRMS
For consumers, financial services firms play larger economic role
Promoting financial responsibility
CHALLENGER COMPANIES AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Consumer trust is built on evidence
The alternative opportunity
The target customer

Continue Reading

Economy

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

Published

on

By

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

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Trending