State of Green Business

GreenBiz 350 Podcast

Episode 159: Director-investor disconnect, financing the circular economy transition

Week in Review

Tune in around 5:41 for a roundup of news.

  1. How Marsh and McLennan, Allianz and other insurers are responding to climate change risks
  2. Corporate directors downplay ESG issues, defying directors
  3. Built to last: The business case for living buildings in 2019

Featured Stories

Inside the job of a sustainability professional (19:05)

"We never really have the same day twice. Often, we're exploring new opportunities to expand our use of sustainable fuel, low-carbon fuel that's going to power our aircraft in the future, typically using a waste feedstock to power them." And then, there's the job of turning that "story" into a brand differentiator. Introducing the new "What I Do" series, with insights about how corporate sustainability professionals get the job done. This episode features Aaron Robinson, senior manager of environmental strategy and sustainability for United Airlines.

How to communicate sustainability as a competitive advantage (25:44)

While nearly half of U.S. companies are communicating with investors about sustainability, they are doing so in ways that reinforce the notion that environmental, social and governance strategies are "nice to have" rather than integral to decision-making. Forward-thinking companies are looking at ways to cast it as a competitive advantage. Insights from Kristen Lang, director of company network activities for nonprofit Ceres.

The circular economy and sustainable finance (33:17)

Nearly 62 percent of U.S. companies are planning to put a circular production in place or already support one. That’s one of the high-level findings of a report released earlier this month by ING, the Dutch-born financial services company. The research represents the views of executives in four sectors: automotive, consumer electronics and telecommunications, food and agriculture, and health care. And it demonstrates a huge shift in thinking over just the past year. We discuss the data with Anne van Riel, head of sustainable finance for the Americas region.

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