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February 2019 Newsletter

Dear Colleagues,

The Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) is pleased to update you on several events, recent publications and projects at the Center. Please check our website for more information about these and other activities.

Announcements Publications Upcoming Events Trainings Past Events
Announcements
Do Companies Have Personalities (and Does It Matter?)
CCSI has launched an interview series on “company personalities” looking in particular at how a company’s personality determines its negotiation strategy, the contractual provisions it pushes for, and the overall relationship between the company and its host governments. The interviewees are senior experts who have many decades of experience in advising governments in resource rich countries. Company personalities can express themselves differently and may be influenced by a company’s nationality, culture, history, its home country priorities, activity type, and/or the stage of the project. Together, the experts’ views give valuable insights into how companies can differ in their strategies and behaviors and how governments can orient their own strategy in response and under different contexts.
 
The first interview of the series is with Tom Mitro,  Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Global Energy, Development and Sustainability at the University of Houston and Senior Fellow with CCSI.
7 Trends That Will Shape Mining
Market volatility and a downturn in commodity prices have caused one of the most difficult periods for the mining and metals industry in several decades. These challenges have been compounded by concerns related to regulation, geopolitical risk, limits on natural resource use, shareholder activism, and public scrutiny. To respond to these challenges, many companies have cut costs, worked to improve operational efficiency, and pursued automation of core business practices. In partnership with the World Economic Forum, CCSI curated the Transformation Map of the Mining and Metals sector, which maps out the seven drivers that will transform the mining and metals sector. 
New Support Provider added to the Negotiation Support Portal
CCSI’s Negotiation Support Portal provides resources and tools to assist host-governments in negotiations related to investment projects, and features external organizations that users can directly connect with to receive support for their specific needs. The Investment Support Programme for Least Developed Countries (ISP/LDCs), which is a collaboration between the International Development Law Organization and the UN Office of the High Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, was recently added to the portal. The ISP/LDCs provides on-demand legal and other expert technical assistance and capacity building services to address constraints that least developed country governments face in investment relationships with foreign counterparts.
Subscribe to Columbia FDI Perspectives
Interested in global perspectives on foreign investment, reform processes, and sustainable development? CCSI’s bi-weekly series, Columbia FDI Perspectives, shares wide-ranging perspectives on topical FDI issues, such as China’s Belt and Road investment governance, host country policies toward state-owned MNEs, and the investment facilitation agenda at the World Trade Organization. If you would like to receive FDI Perspectives (or emails from other CCSI work streams), please modify your mailing list preferences. You can also modify your settings in the future by selecting links at the bottom of each mailing.
Publications
Tying the Knot: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Human Right to Adequate Nutrition
Malnutrition is alarmingly prevalent, affecting one in three people worldwide. In this article co-written by CCSI’s Kaitlin Cordes, the authors argue that a key reason the global community has been unsuccessful in combating malnutrition is a lack of clarity outside the field of nutrition regarding the true meaning of “nutrition.” After unpacking the meaning of nutrition, they demonstrate that a standalone right to adequate nutrition exists in international human rights law as a sum of other rights, and that it should be recognized as such.
Mapping the Renewable Sector to the Sustainable Development Goals
Given the urgency and scale at which renewables must be deployed to meet the world’s sustainable development and climate goals, it is critical that renewable energy companies understand their potential impacts—both positive and negative—on economically, socially and environmentally sustainable development. CCSI, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Equitable Origin, and the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre have launched the consultative draft of “Mapping the Renewable Energy Sector to the Sustainable Development Goals: An Atlas.” The new report explores how renewable energy companies can strengthen their contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and respect human rights. In doing so, companies can also minimize risk and support a sustainable transition to a low-carbon economy. The authors welcome feedback through April 15, 2019
Upcoming Events
March 25-28, 2019: CCSI at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference
CCSI is participating in four events at this year’s Land and Poverty Conference, in Washington, D.C. from March 25-28. For those who are planning to attend, please join us for panel presentations on:

Trainings

June 11–21, 2019: Executive Training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture
We are accepting applications for our executive training on Sustainable Investments in Agriculture until April 5, 2019. This interdisciplinary program provides an overview of pressing issues related to agricultural investments, as well as an introduction to relevant practical skills. Participants work with practitioners and experts from within and beyond Columbia University, and receive a Statement of Attendance from Columbia University. Past participants have described the course as “phenomenal” and “fantastic," delivered by “highly knowledgeable” experts and providing a “great opportunity for networking.” For more information about the course, and to access the application, please visit our website. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

Accepting Applications: Executive Trainings on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development and Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials
We are also accepting applications until March 18 for our upcoming executive trainings on Extractive Industries and Sustainable Development (June 3–14, 2019) and Investment Treaties and Arbitration for Government Officials (June 17–27, 2019). Each program is designed to equip participants with the necessary skills, analytical tools and frameworks to address relevant challenges and opportunities, and to encourage a rich dialogue about best practices from around the globe. More information about each training, including brochures and applications, is available at the links above. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Participants will receive a Statement of Attendance from Columbia University. 
Past Events

February 1, 2019: A More Sustainable Mining Sector Towards a Green Transition
CCSI's Nicolas Maennling presented findings from the Renewable Power of the Mine report to members of the Danish Initiative of Ethical Trade (DIEH). DIEH promotes international trade that respects human and labor rights, takes into account environmental considerations, and contributes to global sustainable development by strengthening members’ efforts in ethical trade. The morning briefing focused on the carbon content of minerals and metals sourced by Danish companies, and how procurement practices may incentivize the mining sector to reduce its footprint in the future. 

February 1, 2019: CCSI and Sustainable Sourcing at Ørsted

Ørsted is a leading energy company that has transformed its business model from relying primarily on fossil fuels to renewable energy. The company has ambitious renewable energy targets and is also reviewing the carbon footprint of its wind farms. CCSI’s Nicolas Maennling presented findings from the Renewable Energy of the Mine report to feed into the discussion about how consumers such as Ørsted can accelerate the decarbonization of the mining and metals sector.
 
February 4, 2019: Why Climate Smart Mining is Important for Africa
While at the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town, CCSI’s Perrine Toledano and Nicolas Maennling presented the Renewable Power of the Mine report in the context of the World Bank-GIZ’s Climate Smart Mining initiative. 


February 19, 2019: Is Liberalism Making the World Less Fair? Three Authors Discuss Recent Books on Investor vs. Human Rights in the Global Economy

Liberal legal systems can make economic life predictable, but have a spottier track record protecting the interests of those who lack economic power. CCSI, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights, the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, and the Columbia International Arbitration Association hosted a discussion on the ability of US institutions to lessen those impacts with three political scientists who have published books on the subject recently: Samuel Moyn, professor of law and history at Yale, Todd N. Tucker, political scientist and fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, and Tonya Putnam, associate professor of political science at Columbia. 
February 20, 2019: CCSI and Namati Webinar on Transforming Community-Investor Negotiations
Namati and CCSI recently launched two low-literacy guides that provide front line advocates and community members with concrete and practical strategies to understand and defend their land rights and engage in effective negotiations with potential investors. Rachael Knight, Sonkita Conteh and CCSI researcher Sam Szoke-Burke hosted a webinar to brainstorm, debate and discuss how community-investor contract negotiations can be transformed to better protect and advance the rights and interests of community members.
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