Does sustainability clear the fiscal hurdle? Yale Insights talked with Kurt Kuehn, chief financial officer for UPS, about how he evaluates sustainability initiatives in the face of a fast-changing and complex global market.
In a New York Times op-ed, Professor Robert Shiller writes that efforts to prepare for climate change should include the use of private institutions of risk management, such as insurance and securitization, to share risk and smooth the unpredictable effects of future disasters.
The idea of “green banks”—public lending institutions designed to help finance private clean energy projects—has been around for a while, but states have recently begun establishing their own versions. With the federal government slow to innovate in the sector, state officials are hoping to provide crucial support for clean energy and spur economic growth. But to work, green banks require a rethinking of the nature of the private-public relationship.
Problems like climate change, resource depletion, and pollution can seem so large as to be beyond the capacity of any individual person, or even corporation, to address. Peter Bakker, president of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, argues that business leaders can take a first step by incorporating sustainability concerns into how they think about risk management.
Perhaps the strongest argument for environmental sustainability within an organization is that it is critical to the mission. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army Richard Kidd ’93 explains why strategic thinking about sustainability is essential for the military.
The $1.5 trillion mining and metals sector supplies the feedstock for a large part of everyday life—from coal for power, to iron ore for steel girders, to the minerals and metals that are processed into the components of your iPhone. John Lichtenstein '83, a consultant and 30-year veteran of the sector, describes the state of this global industry and how one country—China—has an outsize influence on commodity prices everywhere.
Climate change is even further along than previously thought. Professor Douglas Kysar of Yale Law School talks about the scale of the challenge posed by global warming and what sorts of actions may help address it.
A country runs out of drinkable water. What's its next move? And how will its actions affect neighboring countries? The national security community has developed data, expertise, and plans for responding to threats caused by environmental problems.
When solar panel manufacturer Solyndra went bankrupt after receiving millions in federal loan guarantees, some said that the government should stop interfering in energy markets. Nancy Pfund and Ben Healey show that the U.S. government has a long history of subsidizing emerging forms of energy, dating back to the 19th century.