By Rosalinda Sanquiche, Executive Director
Ethical Markets Media, LLC, USA and Brazil, is celebrating its 10th Anniversary! Congratulations to Hazel Henderson, Founder and President, for her prescience in founding a media company which focuses on the good news about the sustainable, inclusive green transition to the Solar Age, entirely missed by mainstream media in 2004 and now finally gaining traction. During the past ten years, Ethical Markets’ mission has evolved from reporting the good news to continuing Henderson’s active hand in reforming markets and metrics while helping accelerate and track the transition to the green economy worldwide. While a challenge to capture all the invaluable work done over the past ten years, highlights attest to the depth of leadership hazel henderson and Ethical Markets have offered to sustainability, finance and emerging economies.
Many come to Ethical Markets through Henderson’s extensive network, built over forty years of research, writing, speaking and working as a sustainability pioneer (archives at www.hazelhenderson.com). For many others, the first interface with Ethical Markets is via the website www.ethicalmarkets.com, updated daily by Hazel Henderson, herself. The website posts daily reports, articles, newsletters and analysis by Henderson, editor-in-chief. It offers visitors the latest, best aggregated information from governments, NGOs, academia and the financial sector. Along with reporting on Ethical Markets’ own research with the Green Transition Scoreboard®, Transforming Finance and Beyond GDP, the site tracks innovations in nature/biomimicry, greentech, crowdfunding, reforming global finance, sustainability news, earth systems science and more. Visitors can scroll through the many categories for the most current information available or can key word search deep into the archives.
More than a category on the website, Beyond gdp is one of Ethical Markets’ longest standing programs, showing why gdp cannot and was never intended to measure a country’s well-being. Henderson co-organized and presented at the Beyond GDP conference before the European Parliament in 2007. The Ethical Markets Quality of Life Indicators, originally co-developed with Calvert, were launched in 2000 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The now widely recognized need for change is supported by Ethical Markets’ three global surveys conducted by Globescan in 2007, 2011 and 2013, which showed large majorities in twelve key countries around the world believe health, social and environmental statistics are as important as economic data to measure national progress. Ethical Markets reports on the many indicators now used by the UN, OECD, Bhutan, Canada, and countries and NGOs around the world. Henderson reports every month specifically on the employment indicator, writing for Current Issues for the Ethical Markets Quality of Life Indicators. This is a multi-disciplinary systems approach going beyond GDP to include 12 indicators of Education, Employment, Energy, Environment, Health, Human Rights, National Security, Income and Wealth, Infrastructure, Public Safety, Re-Creation and Shelter, informed by experts from around the world.
EthicalMarkets.tv is home to many conversations with global experts on all the issues covered by www.ethicalmarkets.com. In 2004 and 2005, Ethical Markets launched two original TV series: Reforming International Finance, and the Ethical Markets TV Series. In 2007, the one-hour special Growing the Green Economy reached nearly half the pbs outlets in the US and Canada and was accompanied by the Axiom and Nautilus award winning book of the same name. Growing the Green Economy was followed by the one-hour special The Money Fix, conceived and directed by Alan Rosentblith, edited for pbs by Henderson and produced by Ethical Markets. The program is relevant to today’s markets and still in circulation through Films Media Group, as are the other original programs. Since 2010, the series Transforming Finance has spotlighted finance as part of the global commons, critical to reforming global economies. The series has nearly 30 episodes (with 3 more currently in post-production) of discussion between Henderson and world-renowned experts such as Ellen Brown (Public Banking Institute), Amy Domini (Domini Social Investments), Michael Grunwald (senior correspondent, Time Magazine), Terry Mollner (Ben & Jerry’s), Michaela Walsh (Women’s World Banking) and many others. Ethical Markets followed its own “walking the talk,” a segment in each episode of the 2005 series, by becoming a Certified B Corporation in 2013.
Those featured in the transforming finance series are members of a pioneering group with expertise in banking, business, finance, alternative economics, agriculture, renewable energy, science, development and emerging markets who have gathered at the Henderson-Kay-Schumacher Library for highly focused retreats. From these retreats have come initiatives like transforming finance and Ethical Biomimicry Finance® (EBF) which emerged from a joint retreat of experts in business and finance and biomimicry, including Janine Benyus, author of Biomimicry and co-founder of Biomimicry 3.8, in which Henderson became a lead investor.
EBF focuses on Nature and earth systems science as the basis for production, community structures, banking and finance. EBF’s investment methodology is available by license to educators, asset managers, investment companies and institutional investors worldwide, providing the model for making investment decisions based first on Nature’s Life’s Principles. These strategies universal to all living organisms are shaped by the Earth’s geological, hydrological and atmospheric forces powered by the Sun – tracked by earth-observing satellites and research in earth systems science. This new scientific knowledge is now needed to guide finance in new models, including ESG and triple bottom line. Henderson’s most recent monograph, Mapping the Global Transition to the Solar Age: from Economism to Earth Systems Science, tracks the new paradigms reintegrating knowledge as new tools and metrics expand human awareness of accelerating planetary changes. Our colleagues at ICAEW and Tomorrow’s Company co-published the monograph, with Foreword by Dennis Bushnell, Chief Scientist, NASA Langley Research Center, and it will be expanded and published as a book in the US next year.
In addition to reporting good news, Ethical Markets research adds to it with the Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS) with our current 2014 update Green Bonds Growing Green Infrastructure mentioned in Institutional Investor. This time-based, global tracking of private investments in green markets now totals $5.7 trillion. The GTS icon shows progress as the barometer of green investments rises away from the outdated Fossil Fuel Era. Our research team compiles financial data screened by rigorous auditing standards in social, environment and governance, building on research indicating $1 trillion annually until 2020 can accelerate the Green Transition worldwide. With data from 2007 forward, the GTS shows private investors are on track to invest $10 trillion by 2020, setting the path for governments and institutional investors to follow.
As Ethical Markets celebrates progress in the green economy, we also recognize progress in advertising with the EthicMark® Awards for advertising which uplifts the human spirit and society, founded and initially funded by Henderson. Now in its eighth year, in collaboration with the World Business Academy since 2008, the awards acknowledge the role advertising plays as teacher and lauds companies and organizations reaching beyond consumerism. The annual EthicMark® Awards are presented in partnership with ESPM, one of Brazil’s premier institutions of higher education in communication, marketing and business management. Other partners include GlobeScan, TBLI, Sustainable Brands and Tomorrow’s Company. Global winners are announced at the SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, from nominations from Europe, Asia, Latin America, as well as the North Americas.
With such an emphasis on the “global transition to the Solar Age,” Ethical Markets is proud to have as an affiliate Mercado Ético in brazil. Following the Ethical Markets’ structure, Mercado Ético has been an award-winning media outlet for sustainability in brazil since 2006. Lead by Christina Carvalho Pinto, Mercado Ético addresses sustainability issues attuned to Latin America and won an award in 2012 for the best coverage in this field. As is Ethical Markets itself, Mercado Ético is constantly evolving. Parent and affiliate are now working on joint MOOCs (massive open online courses) based on the rich content of the websites.
The MOOC is one of the important new projects on the horizon, along with the Green Money Directory and the imprint “Ethical Markets Presents” with Cosimo Publishers. The first book due out this winter is An Assessment of Technology for Local Development, originally published by the US Office of Technology Assessment. The new release includes a foreword by hazel henderson and one by Michaela Walsh, founding president of Women’s World Banking, formerly with the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation, who served as principal investigator on the original research and report published in 1981.
Thanks to the many people on our hard working team. To name just a few: our business manager John Sundeman, Christina Carvalho Pinto, Brendan Cassidy, Melanie Feliciano, Tracey Hart, Timothy Jack Nash, Ryan Ropero, Simran Sethi, Stuart Valentine and the over 100 members of the distinguished Ethical Markets Advisory Board!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Little did I know when I joined Ethical Markets in 2007 that within a year I’d be managing the EthicMark® in its transition to the World Business Academy, directing the renovation of the website and much more. As executive director, I’ve taken the Green Transition Scoreboard from Hazel’s vision and first iteration as a dataset to an internationally respected report, adding my research and voice to Hazel’s rich overviews and Tim Nash’s meticulous industry studies. Hazel serves as mentor, guide, cheerleader and inspiration. I can’t say what I’ve enjoyed more: colleague interaction at our retreats, developing partnerships for Ethical Biomimicry Finance®, assisting in production of the Transforming Finance film series or pushing every day for finance to be the vanguard to a better world. My current favorite project is editing the Green Money Directory (forthcoming this Fall) as I find and add to the international list of those determined to act ethically in finance, to uphold ESG standards and provide for all Earth’s stakeholders – investors, community and Nature alike. I’m privileged to have shared seven of Ethical Markets impressive first ten years and am eager to contribute to the next ten!