Weekend Briefing No. 18

2014’s most sustainable companies. This week Globescan and SustainAbility released a survey conducted by expert stakeholders from business, government, NGOs, and academia across 87 countries shows measuring the world’s most sustainable companies. Unilever, Patagonia, Interface and Marks & Spencer are viewed as leaders in corporate sustainability. Read about other companies that made the list in this Guardian article.


Fossil fuel divestment. In the 1970’s &1980’s students pressured colleges and university to divest their holdings in South African companies to protest Apartheid. This generation of students is using the same tactic to pressure their universities to divest in companies that own fossil fuel. Last week, Stanford’s Board of Trustees voted to free its $18.7 billion endowment from investments in 100 publicly traded coal companies. The decision marks the largest victory yet for the nationwide fossil fuel divestment movement, now active at 400 college and universities around the country. To date, nine smaller colleges, 22 municipalities and many other religious groups and foundations have signed on.


1,000 B Corps. This week the 1,000th business has become B Corp certified. B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk – it’s a consumer facing certification for socially and environmentally responsible businesses. Each B Corp certified company has passed a rigorous social and environmental assessment by B Lab and must publically display its performance. Learn more about B Corp certification by watching this VIDEO.


STEM to STEAM. In the last few years there has been a huge push for Science, Tech, Engineering and Math (STEM) education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics asserted that STEM jobs are “the future of the economy” and the STEM industry is projected to grow about 13% between 2012 and 2022. But, The STEM to STEAM initiative, is sparking a conversation about how valuable creativity and innovation are to our economy—and how those qualities are nurtured by arts education. A STEAM-centered education also develops skills in collaboration, communication, and dynamic problem-solving. That’s what CEOs say they need when hiring.