And now for something completely different….
Good News about Wall Street!
It’s refreshing to find out that a major player in the corporate finance world is not only NOT “Greenwashing,” but leading the pack in sustainable business practices. It might surprise some Good-b readers that the 219 year-old New York Stock Exchange (NYSE Euronext) stands at the vanguard of socially responsible business as the “first global exchange operator and technology provider to become carbon neutral.”
From NYSE Euronext/August 2011: “We purchased RECs and carbon offsets to achieve carbon neutrality for 2010. In addition, we launched a new environmental policy that establishes baselines for our environmental performance and sets quantitative, measurable targets for our future performance. This policy also calls on employees throughout the company to contribute to our environmental sustainability efforts in their daily activities.”
Carbon Neutrality in the stock market….Awesome! But that is not where the coolness ends. NYSE Euronext is also a trendsetter for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The recent Commit!Forum event at the Javits Center in New York was presented by SharedXpertise, the parent company for CR Magazine, and sponsored by NYSE Euronext. During a panel chaired by David Vidal, Director of the Center for Sustainability, Vidal asked Michelle Greene, Head of Corporate Responsibility at NYSE Euronext about NYSE’s CSR initiatives. He noted, “Six years ago, we couldn’t even get the New York Stock Exchange to sit at the table and talk about CSR. Now the Exchange is sponsoring this event. What has changed in six years?”
What has changed in six years at the New York Stock Exchange is the innovative leadership of Chief Executive Officer Duncan Niederauer, Chief Operating Officer Larry Leibowitz, Greene and a talented team of maverick thinkers who replaced the old guard. Modernizing the exchange is no small thing. NYSE Euronext has gone high tech and sustainable and become a leader in 21st century finance. This is definitely not your parents’ stock exchange anymore.
Half a dozen years amounts to a lifetime ago in the corporate social responsibility world. In the wake of the financial crisis and the increasing concerns about global warming, corporate America along with much of the modern world has begun to understand their responsibility to the greater community they function in. NYSE Euronext has decided to take a major role in that effort. From NYSE’s Corporate Responsibility Report, “Almost 90% of the companies comprising the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the 100 Best Corporate Citizens (Corporate Responsibility Magazine), and the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Leadership Index” are listed with the Exchange.
NYSE’s Michelle Greene explains it: (see video)
“One of our core corporate strategies includes the world leading companies on sustainability. We see a role for us to play around that community by bringing together companies to exercise best practices and share best practices. Our role is to help our companies move forward from wherever they are in their sustainability reporting, by providing them with tools to exercise best practices and assisting them in that journey.”
The push for CSR reveals the Exchange has created a new role for itself and taken the lead in sustainability. CEO Duncan Niederauer explains that the New York Stock Exchange has always incorporated ethics in its two century history. At the Commit!Forum event, he outlined the current NYSE focus to inspire a collaborative social responsibility ethic among listed companies. He spoke of creating a shared vision from shared values, “where if we row in the right direction, we can make a difference.” Niederauer added that capitalism depends upon a foundation of “character and integrity at its roots.” The question for the modern manager to ask, said the NYSE Euronext CEO, is “Are we behaving responsibly?”
This is Definitely Not Your Parents’ Stock Exchange! Check it Out:
Category: Sustainable Small-B