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7 Reasons by Thomson Reuters and Forbes.com on New ERISA Regulations
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Dear Fellow Supporters of Integrated Reporting,
 
Today’s e-mail is about two topics. The first is a just-published feature by Thomson Reuters on sustainability. The second is a piece I wrote in Forbes.com about the new ERISA regulations announced by the U.S. Department of Labor last week, quite timely in light of the excellent Thomson Reuters contribution.
 
7 Reasons the World Will Be Sustainable
 
Today, Thomson Reuters launched its multimedia feature “7 Reasons the World Will Be Sustainable.” It explores the drivers that will help to enable sustainability globally.  The drivers include transparency, catastrophe, science & innovation as well as the role of heroes, regulators, investors and collaborators in this effort. 
 
The feature provides pathways for success following the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015. I am pleased to say that I was able to provide a bit of input to this project led by Tim Nixon, Managing Editor, Sustainability, (timothy.nixon@thomsonreuters.com) with support on the media side from Noelle Campbell, Senior Director, Corporate Affairs (
noelle.campbell@thomsonreuters.com). Specifically, I was interviewed for a piece on the impact investors will have in driving sustainability globally.
 
The report analyzes Thomson Reuters research and data and highlights interviews with individuals at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the MIT Sloan School of Management, Caltech’s Resnick Sustainability Institute and the BT Group, among myself and others. Experts throughout the piece conclude that while there is tremendous work to be done; there is also much cause for hope.
 
I hope that you will take the time to view the feature and share with your respective networks.  Working towards a more sustainable world is something we can all support.  Tim and Noelle would be pleased with any feedback you would like to provide, including for future content, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
 
Protecting American Pension Plan Benefits
 
As Thomson Reuters notes, investors have a critical role to play in creating a more sustainable world. They can only do so if the plan fiduciaries support the integration of environmental, social, and governance considerations in the investment process. This has been problematic for pension funds in the U.S. that are regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Regulations passed under this act in 2008 made it extremely difficult for pension funds to do this.
 
However, last week the U.S. Department of Labor announced new ERISA regulations which explicitly state that pension plan fiduciaries can do so. This is a very welcome development, although the U.S. still trails other parts of the world in terms of the emphasis investors place on ESG integration. I discuss the new regulations and their implications in my Forbes.com blog “Protecting American Pension Plan Benefits.”


Kind regards,

Bob


Robert G. Eccles | Professor of Management Practice | Harvard Business School
Facebook: facebook.com/innovatingforsustainability
Twitter: twitter.com/rgeccles
Email: reccles@hbs.edu
Phone: 617.495.8585
 
Hon. FCCA

 Movement: Meaning, Momentum, Motives, and Materiality