Evidence of the increasing effects of climate change is building, as are the investing opportunities and changes in consumer habits linked to environmental concerns and resource use. Here are select dispatches about the companies responding to customer demands and climate risk, the ESG investors and their advisers, and the policy-makers, enterprising individuals and scientists preparing for tomorrow.
Worldwide walkout . This Friday, Sept. 20, young people and their supporters in major cities will walk out of schools and offices to demand immediate, more-aggressive action on climate change. It’s expected to be the largest such demonstration to date. A follow-on action is expected in some cities on Sept. 27.
Students and adults will “demand an end to the age of fossil fuels,” a stance that coincides with the climate-change summit being held at the United Nations in New York beginning on Sept. 23.
In March, students took to the streets in over 2,000 cities asking adults to take responsibility for the climate crisis. Smaller strikes followed in May, June and August. The strikes were inspired by Swedish teen and social media phenom Greta Thunberg and other “Fridays For Future” activists. Some employees from Amazon.com Inc. /zigman2/quotes/210331248/composite AMZN +1.72% , Alphabet Inc.’s /zigman2/quotes/205453964/composite GOOG +0.86% /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +1.08% Google and Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +1.02% are expected to participate .
Thunberg, who sailed rather than flew to the U.S. for the UN confab, addressed American lawmakers this week telling them it’s time to “take real action.”
In New York at least, cutting class on behalf of climate change will be an excused absence , the school district said last week.
Here’s a snapshot of the major global and U.S. cities were rallies are expected , courtesy of CNET.
Sustainability Index update. S&P Dow Jones Indices, together with SAM, the business unit within RobecoSAM, which specializes in environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, ratings and benchmarking, have recently announced the results of the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) review. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the DJSI World as a Wall Street tool for measuring corporate ESG practices.
The three largest (by free-float market capitalization) additions to the DJSI World this year are: Google-parent Alphabet Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202490156/composite GOOGL +1.08% , CVS Health Corp. /zigman2/quotes/209664499/composite CVS -1.49% and U.K.-based multinational health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC /zigman2/quotes/206856088/delayed UK:RB +1.23%
The three largest deletions are: Citigroup Inc. /zigman2/quotes/207741460/composite C -2.54% , Royal Dutch Shell PLC /zigman2/quotes/202698439/delayed AR:RDS -2.91% , 3M Co. /zigman2/quotes/205029460/composite MMM -0.24% .
Rethinking ‘plastic.’ American Express /zigman2/quotes/203805826/composite AXP -3.05% is unveiling a number of commitments to combat marine plastic pollution, it says, including the introduction of the redesigned Green Card as the first credit card made primarily from reclaimed plastic. It is also promoting efforts to help clean up 1 million pounds of ocean plastic through work with nonprofit Parley for the Oceans and a social-media campaign called #BackOurOceans.
Stinson Parks III, the financial services company’s vice president of global social media communications, told AdWeek , “Advancing our sustainability initiatives is an area where we’ve made significant progress lately, including becoming a carbon-neutral company and using 100% renewable energy. Along these lines, we’ve continued to see our card members, partners and global colleague base engage with the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans, which is why we are taking another step to help protect our planet with the announcement of a series of initiatives designed to back our oceans.”
Air pollution passed on . Air pollution particles have been found on the fetal side of placentas, indicating that unborn babies are directly exposed to the black carbon produced by auto emissions and fuel burning, research published in the journal Nature Communications showed .
The research is the first study to show the placental barrier can be penetrated by particles breathed in by the mother. The link between dirty air and increased miscarriages, premature births and low birth weights is well established, but this study suggests the particles themselves may be the cause, not solely the inflammatory response the pollution produces in mothers.