Sustainable and Environmentally-Friendly Spending at SMCC

Nicholas Moll

Marine Science

This quote is from the President Cantor’s Welcome to SMCC’s website. “With SMCC you will move forward. Envision a future!” This implies that we, as a community, are moving forward to a better tomorrow. We are creating the path that we tread upon, and there is a relatively new policy change that falls in line with envisioning a future for ourselves.

The previous executive board of the student senate put forth a referendum that the student body had the opportunity to vote on. This referendum was about whether the campus, as an institution, should divest from fossil fuels. This passed with a majority on campus! The voices of the student body were heard and the administration listened. The current executive board of the student senate had an opportunity to meet with Joan Cohen (director of the SMCC foundation), John P. Boyne (Financial Advisor), and President Ronald Cantor.

The student senate president, Erik Squire, the Finance Committee Chairman, Adam Booker, and the Chairman of the Stu-
dent Welfare Committee, Nicholas Moll, attended the meeting to stay updated on the status of the initiative. The administration are in the final stages of defining the criteria, which they will use to decide who to do business with. They have decided on using the ESG invest plan. This has been shown to be a great long term investment plan, but why are these criteria so successful?

These changes will have long term impacts on where the administrations invest money and who they choose to do business with. This will have an influence on the businesses who try to do business with SMCC. These informed investments are likely to have long-term effects. This administrative move will be considered a  point of pride by many of the students here. There has to be a discussion pushed forward to get word around the campus.

ESG stands for Environmental Social Governance. These “filters”, with which anyone can use to analyze any corporation, focus on all three of these fields. The justification behind this system is that there is a correlation between these standards and a business run to the utmost efficiency. With this in mind, many prospective investors will be able to make an investment with greater certainty.

The environmental aspect looks at how these companies deal with waste management, emission reduction, efficiencies in the company and their products. This allows investors to find out where the values these companies have and where they resonate with the investor’s own values.

The social filters look to the companies with the idea of how they interact with their communities, corporate philanthropy, diversity in the workplace, morale, product integrity and openness to new ideas/ inno-
vations. These are very important issues but they are secondary to the third criteria, which is definitely the most confusing.

When looking at how a company governs itself, these criteria analyze red flags that could lead to problems later on in the professional relationships between two parties. These “filters” look at how much power shareholders have, how accountable the board is to the shareholders, how readily the activities of the company are reported, and how the company avoid negative financial problems, which leads to financial longevity.

These are the ways that the SMCC Foundation is planning to use for the financial foundation moving forward because of a simple economic evaluation. Millennials are very concerned with these issues and this generation stands  to inherit almost sixty trillion dollars. That is trillion with a T. This means that any company that focuses on these issues stand to benefit from the support of a generation that is endeavoring to be more conscious of the activities of the companies who will be receive their money. This should be a point of pride for our community. This is a good move forward for the school in general.

 

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