Ceres Sustainability Podcast
An ongoing conversation with investors, corporations, policy makers and public interest groups about how they are adapting business strategies and financial markets to address the risks and opportunities of climate change and other sustainability issues.









May 2008
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Chances are your pants have probably been more places than you have. From cotton grown in India, zippers manufactured in China and apparel factories in Guatemala, the apparel industry relies on a complex and sophisticated series of relations to get their clothes to a store near you - the global supply chain. But global supply chains carry serious environmental and labor challenges that apparel and other industries must attend to if they truly want to be sustainable.

Michael Kobori, Vice President of Global Supply Chains at Levi Strauss & Co. spoke with the Ceres Podcast about how the company is incorporating these issues into its sourcing decisions in order to create a more sustainable supply chain for its products.

[Music: Jack Rose, "Linden Ave Stomp" from Two Originals of Jack Rose (VHF, 2004)]

Direct download: LevisSupplyChain.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:48am EDT

Water is essential for life. We rely on it for nearly everything from simple daily uses like drinking, cleaning and cooking to large-scale commercial needs like agriculture, high-tech manufacturing and energy production. But, according to a recent report by UNESCO, if current trends continue the quantity of water available to everyone could drop by as much as 30 percent over the next 15 years. Figuring out how to balance the needs of communities, corporations and ecosystems may well be the most important sustainability challenge of the 21st Century.

This week, we talk with Jeff Connelly, VP of General Electric’s Global Supply Chain and Water and Process Technologies Division, about the technological solutions being implemented in order to conserve and recycle the earth’s most valuable resource.

[Music: Iag Bari, "Doina" from Fanfare Ciocarlia (Piranha, 2001) and The Standells, "Dirty Water" from The Live Ones! (Sundazed Music, 2001)]
Direct download: GeneralElectricWatercast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:14am EDT

Corporate disclosure of risks and liabilities is something that helps investors make informed decisions about where they put their money. A handful of institutional investors, including CalPERS, CalSTRS, the NY State Comptroller and the Florida State Board of Administration, among others, filed a petition with Ceres and the Environmental Defense Fund last September (2007) requesting that the Securities and Exchange Commission require companies to disclose risks to their businesses from climate change. The general idea is that once a risk is analyzed and disclosed, that risk will eventually get managed. The SEC petition was recently updated this June (2008).

This podcast is a "recast" of the New York City Bar Associations Environmental Law Committee Environmental Law Interview with Ceres staffer Anne Kelly, Director of Ceres Corporate Governance Program, on the original SEC petition.

[Music: Amon Tobin, "Searchers" from Out From Out Where (Ninja Tune, 2002) and Ry Cooder, "Green Dog" from My Name is Buddy (Nonesuch, 2007)]
Direct download: 072208AnneKelly.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

It seems everyone is going green these days, from green investing to green marketing to green consumerism. There is no doubt that we must transition to a cleaner, greener economy if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change. But as alternative energies and clean technologies become more popular and prevalent in society, we need a new workforce to build, maintain and support this new economy. Where will this new workforce come from? And how do we ensure that we have the labor and skills needed to support a new energy future powered by clean technologies?

Ceres recently caught up with Van Jones, President of Green for All and director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, to discuss how new technology and energy solutions to the climate crisis can also help solve urban poverty, unemployment, and inequality in our workforce.

[Music: Thievery Corporation, "Liberation Front" from The Richest Man in Babylon (Universal Music Division Barclay, 2002) and Michael Franti and Spearhead, "Yes, I Will" from Everyone Deserves Music (Reincarnate Music, 2003)]
Direct download: VanJones062308.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:25pm EDT

A growing movement of investors are pressing companies to provide more information about "off-balance" sheet issues, such as the impacts of climate change to the corporate bottom-line. Instead of just screening portfolios, or divesting stock, more and more investors in the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) community are exercising their proxy power by filing and voting on shareholder resolutions that seek to improve corporate governance and sustainability practices while ensuring profits.

Lance Lindblom is President of the Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF) and a leader in the SRI movement. Lindblom talks to Ceres about how NCF leverages their $500 million foundation endowment to improve corporate accountability.

[Music: Calexico, "Fake Fur" from The Black Light (Quarterstick, 1998) and Brian Eno, "The Big Ship" from Another Green World (E.G. Records, 1975)]
Direct download: LanceLindblomMay2008.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:26pm EDT

On February 14, 2008, investors representing over $22 trillion joined Ceres and the United Nations Foundation at the UN Headquarters in New York City to discuss the physical and financial risks of climate change and the opportunities and solutions to mitigate that risk.

Presenters included Harvard University's John Holdren, Khosla Ventures' Vinod Khosla, Ceres president Mindy Lubber, United Nations Foundation president Timothy Wirth.

[Video editing and music composition by Synthesis Media (www.synthesismedia.ca)]
Direct download: InvestorSummitVideohigh.mp4
Category:general -- posted at: 4:01am EDT

In the world of investments, clean technology is seen as a boutique business - but that is starting to change. This year alone, $150 billion of new capital went into new energy sectors like solar, biofuel and wind. Mainstream investment firms, like State Street Corporation with over $2 trillion in assets under management, are bringing cleantech out of the shadows.

This week we're joined by Bill Page, VP of Environmental, Social and Governance Investments at State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), to talk about the emerging cleantech market and SSGA's Global Environment Opportunity Strategy (GEOS).

[Music: Nortec Collective "Funky Tamazula" from Tijuana Sessions No. 3 (Nacional Records, 2006) and Lighting Bolt "The Faire Folk" from Ride the Skies (Load Records, 2001)]
Direct download: BillPage.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:04am EDT

To mitigate the worst effects of global climate change, we need to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. One of the cheapest ways to reduce emissions is to reduce our demand for energy by promoting better efficiency in our industrial processes, our homes and our appliances. But can businesses and investors make money by reducing demand?

Diana Farrell, Director of the McKinsey Global Institute, made the case for investing in energy efficiency at the recent UN/Ceres Investor Summit on Climate Risk.

[Music: Vieux Farka Toure "Tabara" from Vieux Farka Toure (Modiba 2006) Radiohead "Weird Fishes/Arpeggi" from In Rainbows (Self-release, 2007)]
Direct download: DianaFarrellonEnergyEfficiency.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:06am EDT