While interest in responsible corporate conduct in the food sector has risen in recent years – reflected in the surge of corporate sustainability reporting and the widespread incorporation of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria in financial products – such interest has not always translated to improved outcomes in practice. One reason for this disconnect may be that there is little conceptual clarity on what responsible corporate conduct actually entails, or should entail. Additional reasons for this disconnect include the difficulty in distilling the essential amidst the noise, the ease with which companies can obscure bad practices while highlighting good ones, and the practical and political complications in turning best practice into actual practice.
To address the disconnect between professed interest and improved outcomes, there is an urgent need to develop a robust conceptual framework to rigorously define the contours of SDG-aligned corporate conduct and investment. The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment has begun to develop such a framework for the food sector, which will benchmark SDG-aligned corporate standards, helping to guide the activities of corporations and supporting the engagement of corporate stakeholders, including investors, consumers, and policy makers. This sector-specific Framework considers: (1) the impacts of corporate products, (2) the impacts of corporate practices and operations, (3) responsibility for corporate supply chains, value chains, and downstream use, and (4) corporate governance and corporate citizenship.
Responsibilities: 1.Support the elaboration of corporate standards and suggested practices for the food sector, including through analyzing and engaging with existing initiatives, efforts, frameworks, and tools and consulting with investors, companies, civil society, and other stakeholders (25%) 2.Undertake the development of additional tools or outputs that build off the conceptual framework, and support engagement with key target stakeholders (45%); 3.Assist with organizing events, and providing other logistical and program support to the project (15%); and 4.Support research, outreach, and other CCSI activities related to responsible investment in agriculture, land, and food systems (15%).
Internal Number: 6723
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