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Mar 25, 2009

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The Impact of Source Documentation & Data Visualization o...

In the first part of this two-part interview,I discussed with Benjamin Whitney, Lead Analyst at Justmeans, how the new program Justmeans Insights is changing how we understand corporate ESG (environment, social and governance) performance and global rankings. The second part dives deeper into the true power of data visualization and demonstrates the impact of this new tool. I've also included some of the graphics that I made using the tool. http://www.justmea hat-Impact-of-Sour ce-Documentation-D ata-Visualization- on-CSR-Analysis/50 408.html  (Nov 2, 2011 | post #1)


Data Visualization Empowers Stakeholders

Newsweek recently released their third annual Green Rankings, in which they rank the 500 biggest companies in America and 500 of the biggest companies in the world. According to Newsweek, "The data -- crunched in cooperation with Trucost and Sustainalytics, two leading environmental-rese arch firms -- assess companies' environmental footprint (including greenhouse-gas emissions and water use); management (including environmental policies, programs, and initiatives); and disclosure (including company reporting and involvement in transparency initiatives). Underlying data are drawn from a variety of sources, including the companies themselves, and vetted for reliability." [1] So the underlying data is reliable, but how useful is the actual ranking? Among US companies, according to the Green Rankings, IBM is #1, Office Depot is #8, Ford Motors is #22 and American Express is #25. But what do those numbers really mean, especially considering that these firms represent vastly different industries? Justmeans Lead Analyst Benjamin Whitney has a background in data visualization, specifically in the role that information plays within a sociocultural context. He also has experience designing knowledge management systems. In the following first part of a two-part interview, I asked Benjamin some questions about the concept of global rankings and the project he's been working on: Justmeans Insights, a new and innovative data visualization tool that allows users to compare a company's ESG (environmental, social and governance) performance to that of their peers in the same sector. The companies included have a market capitalization of at least USD $1 billion. LINK: http://www.justmea his-Justmeans-Insi ghts-Uses-Data-Vis ualization-Empower -Stakeholders-Insp ire-Transparency/5 0404.html  (Nov 2, 2011 | post #1)


Firing Humans, Hiring Machines: Jobs Cut As Global Roboti...

In the 2004 sci-fi action film I, Robot, Will Smith asks a robot, "Can a robot write a symphony? Can a robot turn a canvas into a beautiful masterpiece?" Robots may not be able to do what Mozart and Picasso are famous for, but they can perform menial and repetitive tasks, like handling containers in greenhouses, which is exactly what Charles Grinnell intends to have his robot do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. His company, the Massachusetts-base d Harvest Automation, develops robots for automating agricultural jobs. They recently took in $2.5 million in a debt and warrants offering, following two venture capital rounds over the past two years that raised USD 5.3 million.[2][3] In a statement released on August 5, the company noted that "current labor trends and aggressive federal and state legislation are driving labor shortages and creating legal issues for growers across the country." READ MORE: http://www.justmea ns-Hiring-Machines -Jobs-Cut-As-Globa l-Robotics-Market- Surges/49434.html  (Aug 21, 2011 | post #1)

Financial Markets

CRISA and Regulation 28: South Africa Boosts Sustainable ...

So far, 2011 has been a banner year for sustainable investing among South Africa's institutional investors. In March, the National Treasury issued a revamped version of Regulation 28 of the Pension Funds Act, which regulates R 1.1 trillion (USD 152.5 billion) in private pension funds and R 1 trillion (USD 138 billion) in the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), South Africa's first signatory to the international Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).[2] The revised Regulation 28, which went into effect on July 1 and will become mandatory in January, makes it clear that the South African government is serious about sustainable investment. It outlines a fund's fiduciary duty to "give appropriate consideration to any factor which may materially affect the sustainable long-term performance of a fund's assets, including factors of an environmental, social and governance character." READ MORE: http://www.justmea ation-28-South-Afr ica-Boosts-Sustain able-Investing/494 64.html  (Aug 21, 2011 | post #1)


Air Force: Science and Regulation Dovetail to Give Wind P...

Investors engaged in socially responsible investing (SRI) and sustainable investment, and in particular those interested in the future of wind energy, have some reasons to smile, thanks to new scientific research and federal regulations. READ MORE: http://www.justmea cience-Regulation- Dovetail-Give-Wind -Power-a-Boost/493 90.html  (Aug 19, 2011 | post #1)

Business News

Following the Sustainable Paper Trail: Reducing Deforesta...

The loss of rainforest depletes major environmental services, most notably the storage of carbon dioxide, making Indonesia one of the world's major contributors to anthropogenic climate change. Additionally, the loss of rainforest also means the loss of critical habitat for countless species, including several endangered species, such as tigers, leopards, elephants and orangutans. The private sector must make the right paper sourcing decisions to help combat this alarming trend. READ MORE: http://www.justmea ustainable-Paper-T rail-Private-Secto r-Key-Reducing-Def orestation-in-Indo nesia/49303.html  (Aug 14, 2011 | post #1)

Business News

Masipag: Going Beyond Sustainability in the Philippines

"Masipag " is the Filipino word for industrious, a term that has often been used to describe the Filipino worker and a trait that has made the Philippines a growing destination for foreign direct investment (FDI). READ MORE: http://www.justmea ng-Beyond-Sustaina bility-in-Philippi nes/49295.html  (Aug 14, 2011 | post #1)

Financial Markets

Welcome To Mongolia: What the S&P Downgrade Means for Eme...

In the almost four months since the Standard & Poor's rating agency issued their negative outlook on long-term U.S. sovereign credit, the world has witnessed a near-total breakdown on Capitol Hill, marked by political posturing, finger-pointing and unimaginable fiscal irresponsibility among the nation's top elected leaders. The S&P responded to this colossal exhibition of ineptitude by downgrading the United States' long-term sovereign credit rating from AAA to AA+ on Friday. Mercifully, they gave everyone an entire weekend to freak out before the markets re-open, though it shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone, even as governments, investors and the international media scramble to figure out the effects of the decision on the world economy. READ MORE: http://www.justmea golia-What-S-P-Dow ngrade-Means-for-E merging-Markets/49 116.html  (Aug 13, 2011 | post #1)

Corporate Governance

Tapping Into Ancient Mercantilism: CSR and Sustainable In...

The Bombay Stock Exchange is the 8th largest in the world, with an equity market capitalization of USD 1.63 trillion as of December 2010[2]. But less than a thousandth of that -- about USD 1 billion -- represents "total stock of investment in Indian equities where the investment strategy includes a strong focus on environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations, " according to the 2009 report "Sustainable Investment in India," which was prepared for the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) by The Energy and Resources Institute, Europe (TERI-Europe).[3] That investment comes almost entirely from foreign insitutional investors (FIIs). READ MORE: http://www.justmea o-Ancient-Mercanti lism-Corporate-Soc ial-Responsibility -Sustainable-Inves ting-in-India/4926 9.html  (Aug 13, 2011 | post #1)


Ghana Fishin': Sustainable Aquaculture in the Gold Coast

The World Bank's approval last month of a USD 53.8 million investment to implement Ghana's Fisheries and Aquaculture Project includes USD 15.2 million for good governance and sustainable management, USD 12.1 million for "increasing the contribution of the fish resources to the national economy," USD 8 million for aquaculture development and USD 5 million for small-scale aquaculture development, which "will support the entry and growth of new small-scale individual investors with profitable business plans into the aquaculture sector." READ MORE: http://www.justmea p=49280  (Aug 13, 2011 | post #1)

Venture Capital

Veloxrotaphobia: What the Economic Roller Coaster Means f...

Reacting to the Dow's lowest close in almost 8 months yesterday, Bruce McCain voiced a fear felt by many investors: veloxrotaphobia, a fear of roller coasters. It's a neologism that first appeared online in 2007 on the website [2], so it's not a "real" word per se, but then again, we're not dealing with a real roller coaster. But real or not, investors want off. So what could veloxrotaphobia mean for those high-risk-lovin' souls in the first car, the venture capital industry? http://www.justmea obia-What-Economic -Roller-Coaster-Me ans-for-Venture-Ca pital/49047.html  (Aug 6, 2011 | post #1)

Q & A with Reynard Loki