February 2020 Newsletter


February 2020 Newsletter

Throughout the next decade, more businesses will need to focus on implementing annual sustainability reports for their companies, and to report on them in a transparent manner for future stakeholders. These reports and their highlights have an impact with long-term implications for most businesses. In this newsletter we also look at our first Workplace Focus, TD Bank, in which we examine how they are taking the proper steps to be a leader in sustainable banking.

The Importance of Sustainability Reporting in a 21st Century Economy
One of the more commonplace practices for major corporate businesses is issuing an annual sustainability report, occasionally referred to as an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report. The turn of the millenium brought about a change in the mindset of global businesses; in order to create an impact, the bottom line can't be profit alone. The creation of the Millinium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000 by the UN, and later the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 helped provide a blueprint that governments and businesses alike could abide by in order to collaborate and reduce the risks that certain issues have created.
Businesses typically report on two different sets of standards:
  • GRI (Global Reporting Initiative)
  • IIRC (International Integrated Reporting Council)
Two other common ones include the CDP and the SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board).

Most businesses, particularly corporate and multinational businesses, have the resources to measure data and create these reports. Research from the Sustainable Investments Institute (Si2) shows that 78% of the S&P 500 issued reports. These reports included research on companies' efforts in environmental and social impact. Examples of this can include initiatives in the local community and within the workplace.

One of the key metrics in reports is that of the employee satisfaction in a company. Diversity, employee support, promotion potential, and opportunities for minorities are just some of the variables that are taken into account when reporting on these results. This data is used to evaluate the overall performance of the company, and gives great insight to potential stakeholders and future employees.

Sustainability reports should not be limited for large corporations to publish. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) should also consider the importance and  make the effort to be involved and issue annual reports if they haven't already, so that they promote transparancy among any entity who'd be interested in collaborating with them. IF SMEs do not have the internal resources to create a report, a viable option would be to outsource to organizations that would create one on their behalf.

Workplace Focus: TD Bank (Canada & US)

An exemplary business that demonstrates sustainable initiatives within the workplace and the community alike is TD Bank.  Toronto-Dominion Bank as it is known in Canada, and its subsidiary TD Bank in the US, is one of the Big Five banks in Canada and is the seventh-largest in the US. As seen in their branding, the color green doesn't represent their profit, but their focus on maintaining a "green" environment both inside and outside of the bank.

  • Environmental: TD has issued $1 billion in green bonds, funding infrasturcture projects that have LEED certification. TD is also working to help propel innovative ventures from businesses that want to promote clean energy technology in North America. In addition, TD has also reduced their paper use and have been involved in responsible investing.

  • Social: TD is a large promoter of diversity in the workplace, offering opportunities to minorities in both the US and Canada. In 2020, TD Bank was listed among the Top 50 Employers for the Disabled by Careers and the disABLED. It was also listed among the top employers for LGBTQ employees by the Human Rights Campaign in their Corporate Equality Index for 2020. TD has also provided financial literacy programs in the US in which an estimated 19,000 people attended.

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