Human rights campaigners have criticised the London Stock Exchange Group for including G4S on ethical investment indices, after the British security company was accused of contributing to human rights violations. The FTSE4Good index, run by the London Stock Exchange Group’s FTSE Russell subsidiary, has included G4S for the past three years. During that time, G4S, one of the world’s largest public sector employers, with 546,000 employees in 90 countries, has been at the centre of multiple controversies over its treatment of workers as well as the users of its services. In September, it said it will end its involvement in the immigration and asylum sector following a scandal at a detention centre near Gatwick. Norway’s $1.1tn (£850bn) government pension fund last week announced it had excluded shares in G4S from its investment portfolio, after its ethics watchdog found an “unacceptable risk of the company contributing to systematic human rights … [Read more...] about London Stock Exchange criticised for including G4S on ethical index
Business ethical standards
Supposedly environmental stock market indices used to help investors allocate hundreds of billions of pounds in investments include some of the world’s biggest contributors to fossil fuel pollution. Index providers including FTSE Russell, MSCI, S&P Dow Jones Indices and Stoxx all run indices that take into account environmental, social and corporate governance concerns known as ESG. FTSE Russell, owned by the London Stock Exchange, says it has a “hard exclusion” for coal companies from its FTSE4Good ethical indices, after it was decided that the most-polluting major fossil fuel did not fit its criteria for a sustainable future. However, major coal producers including BHP and Anglo American are included because they are listed as “general mining” firms rather than coal companies. FTSE Russell refused to provide the Guardian with a full list of index constituents but publicly available factsheets indicate that 34 oil and gas related companies account for … [Read more...] about Just how ethical is ethical investment?
After three and a half years as CEO of the global branding and business strategy agency Wolff Olins, Ije Nwokorie has stepped down, leaving former chief operating officer Sairah Ashman to take his place. (Nwokorie will stay on at the company to mentor client teams.) advertisement advertisement With 23 years working at Wolff Olins, Ashman has a deep familiarity with how the company–whose recent work includes branding for Zocdoc, Grubhub, and 3M–is run. But with an interest in new technologies and a recent masters degree in digital sociology, she is also poised to offer a fresh perspective on the future of branding. One area of focus for Ashman is artificial intelligence and how businesses will be more nimble than government to set the ethics standards for new technologies. Wolff Olins is partnering with leaders in AI, she said, and is interested in helping shape business strategies for new technology companies (for example, by … [Read more...] about Wolff Olins’s New CEO On Branding, AI, And The Future Of The Design Agency
The British arms firm BAE Systems has accepted guilt and agreed to pay penalties in the US and the UK totalling several hundred million pounds to settle all the long-running corruption allegations against it. Under the deal, announced simultaneously in London and Washington, BAE will pay $400m (£255m) in the US and £30m in the UK. In the US, the company will plead guilty to offences of false accounting to settle bribery allegations made over the enormous al-Yamamah arms deals with Saudi Arabia stretching back more than 20 years, as well as corruption allegations over arms deals in central Europe. The deal with the Serious Fraud Office in the UK covers one arms contract only, under which an overpriced military radar was sold to Tanzania. The SFO said some of the cash would become "an ex gratia payment for the benefit of the people of Tanzania". The settlement vindicates a long campaign fought by the Guardian, which began a series of exposures of BAE's criminal conduct more … [Read more...] about BAE pays fines of £285m over arms deal corruption claims
When Goldman Sachs and billionaire Paul Tudor Jones announced a partnership three months ago to help socially conscious investors support “just business behavior”, they promised that their new index fund would generate solid returns for savers while directing their investment dollars towards truly humane companies. “Capitalism should be a positive force for change,” said Jones in a press release announcing the fund, which is designed to track an index of socially responsible companies identified by his non-profit Just Capital. “Its future will be driven by a new definition of corporate success that is aligned with the values and priorities of the public.” The partnership comes as pension funds, university endowments and other institutional investors increasingly seek to put their financial weight behind ethical and sustainable corporate behavior. So far, the rebrand seems to be working: the Just fund debuted in June to rave reviews from the financial … [Read more...] about Is Goldman Sachs’ new fund really just greenwashing stocks?
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