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Social Impact


Colorado’s Progress to Increased Sustainability Statewide

Colorado’s Current Stats: Recycling rate of 17.2%., below national average of 35%. 


  • Ensuring enough materials are entering the recycling markets
  • Building infrastructure to handle increased recycling

Colorado Advanced Legislation. 2 Bills to Interim Committee: 

  • Study how to use tax breaks to incentivize companies to convert recycled items into new products.
  • Requires the state to create a proposal for statewide composting to improve soil quality.

Colorado Sun | Colorado is bad at Recycling, so lawmakers spent months looking for solutions. Here’s what they professed. 


CSR in the Fashion Industry: Important to Investors & Costumers

Brand Perception: CSR is now a key factor in brand value and the target’s overall brand. 

Expectations: Customers, investors, and corporate buyers expect companies to take a visible stand on ESG issues. 

Consumer Trends: Millennials and Gen Z represent $150 B of U.S. spending power. They focus their spending on companies that invest in social issues and correct the sustainability issues within the fashion industry.

Fashion’s Efforts: This August, 32 Fashion Brands (currently up to 150) including Adidas, Hermès, Prada, & Chanel pledged to reduce their environmental impact via the Fashion Pact. LVMH, a large fashion group pledged to ensure full traceability for animal products by 2025.

law.com | The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Fashion Brands


CSR a Necessity for Large Companies to Build Public Trust

Breakdown of Public Trust: Large companies rank among LEAST trusted institutions (think U.S. Congress), while small businesses rank among MOST trusted (only below the U.S. military). 

Lack of Trust & Big Business: Without social license to operate large/multi-national companies risk consumer backlash & increased government regulations.

The Solution, Institutionalized CSR: Corporate citizenship provides large companies an avenue to prove they are like any citizen, and align their self-interest with the shared interests of society. 

Big Companies & Big Data: With access to big data and ownership of individual/business platforms, large companies must serve society via catalyzing global-scale solutions to climate change and other social issues.

Project Syndicate | Corporate Citizens Must Become Global Catalysts 


Small Business Leaders Have CSR Advantage

Of Note: 72% of people believe locally-owned businesses are more involved with their communities than large businesses.

The Small Business Advantage: 
Small local business owners

  • see first-hand the most acute problems facing their local communities
  • listen to customer needs before taking action
  • understand their specific political climate and choose causes important to their clientele 

How Big Business can Adapt:

  • Create organic, bottom-up community engagement programs
  • Convey to consumers that the health of the community is part of corporate values
  • Choose causes that unite rather than divide

Harvard Business Review | What Small Businesses Know about Corporate Social Responsibility 


Report: Corporate Giving up 11%

Who did the Report? Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose

Volunteer Trends:

  • 33% volunteer participation
  • higher volunteer engagement rates with flexible volunteer hours are reported by companies
  • 20 hours PTO to volunteer is average among companies surveyed

Giving Trends:

  • corporate social investments increased by $26 billion (11%) since 2016
  • international giving up 10%
  • employee donation matches down 7%

Key Takeaway: 

Companies who measure community and business impact had highest giving and volunteer hours.

CSR Wire | Corporate Giving Tops $26 Billion in 2018, Industry-leading Report Finds, up 11% Since 2016


Complete Commitment to Social Purpose Leads to Big Profits

Key Takeaway: Complete commitment to social purpose can result in extreme profitability due to the ‘obliquity principle’.

The ‘Obliquity Principle’: Explains that complex goals are best achieved indirectly.  In business this translates to customers and employees feeling cared for, and caring for a business as a result. 

How one company (Eisai) achieved profit with complete social commitment:

1. Shareholders voted to replace profit-maximation with social purpose in their by-laws 

2. Eisai gives free drugs to WHO

3. Company maintains a market cap of $16.3B and 10,000 employees.

BRINK | Is Creating Social Value the Best Profit Strategy?



Provide Employees with Factual, Unbiased Legislative Info & Reap the Rewards

What to Provide: Non-partisan info on policy issues and elections

What it Means to Employees:

  • Employees view employers as a creditable source of policy info
  • 64% were more likely to vote
  • 72% consider themselves more informed voters and citizens
  • 72% believe their company cares about their community and is a good corporate citizen

The Benefits: 

  • 70% would recommend their company as a place to work to a friend or family member
  • 62% believe that that information fosters a stronger employer-employee relationship
  • 57% believe that that information increased their understanding of the company’s mission and values
  • 20% contacted a legislator based on info provided

Key Takeaway: 67% of employees want their employer to promote policies that are favorable to their industry and jobs. When provided with unbiased info on legislation, employees will vote to support their industry as well.

The Hill | The Business Case for Employer to Employee Engagement


Energy + Water


Increase Renewables with Reimbursements

Where: Oklahoma

What: Oklahoma Corporation Commission implemented rules for new excess-energy payment requirements publicly regulated utilities must follow to compensate owners of solar and small-wind systems

3 ways the reimbursements will be limited:

  • existing net metering rules that will allow utilities to offset energy production by energy use on the property
  • reimbursement for each excess kilowatt hour will be at wholesale rates, not retail rates
  • reimbursement cap of 125% of what the property historical peak load is

Governing | Oklahoma Encourages Renewable Energy with Reimbursements



Settlement of a Pipeline Protest Lawsuit

Where: South Dakota

Which pipeline? Keystone XL

What did the state agree to after the courts found provisions unconstitutional?

  • “never enforce current state laws that prohibit protected speech and are aimed at suppressing protests”
  • pay plaintiff attorney fees

Indian Country Today | South Dakota Governor drops anti-protest laws in settlement agreement with ACLU


Anatomy of Small Scale Local Water Project Funding

Who is bankrolling this water funding? Federal Government

Who is proposing this small scale water funding project? Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va, &  Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland

How will it work?

  • The Senators are amending the Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Giving the EPA power over a $5 Million grant program
  • To fund local governments for infrastructure improvements and asset management

What type of project would qualify?

  • water systems with fewer than 10,000 customers

Charleston Gazette Mail | Capito introduces bill investing in water infrastructure, a problem largely ignored at state level


New Clean Air Battleground: Universities

What? 50 faculty members at Texas A&M University System asked Chancellor Sharp to develop a plan to cut methane emissions on land the university profits from by 1/2 within the next 5 years

What specific clean air practices do the faculty members want implemented? Best practices for the oil and gas industry on West Texas Permanent University Fund Lands

Who signed? John Nielsen-Gammon, the Texas State Climatologist and director of A&M’s Texas Center for Climate Studies and 49 of his colleagues

Courthouse News Service | Texas Researchers Urge Cuts in Pollution on University Land


Cities: More Regulation of Pipeline Routes

Where: Texas

Who: Texas Municipal League

What: A resolution calling for requiring greater oversight of oil and gas pipeline routes

How do they want this increased oversight?

  • before establishing or publishing pipeline routes, there should be input from affected communities & landowners
  • requires route negotiation if municipalities find substantial threats to economic development, natural resources, or standard of living
  • required compliance with environmental & economic impact studies
  • require pipelines to maintain performance bonds

Is this unusual? 6 local jurisdictions have taken similar action including:

The Texas Municipal League Resolution

Community Impact | Texas Municipal League adopts resolution seeking state legislation on pipeline routing


Finance + Revenue


Tax Free Medical Cannabis Donations

Where: California

What: Starting March 1, 2020, up to $ 53 million “compassionate” medical cannabis donations will be recognized in California

How: SB 34 (2019 | CA)

Why: Medical marijuana advocates recognized an oversight in the state’s medical marijuana laws that did not allow for tax free gifting for patients of need

Leafly | Gifting cannabis to the terminally ill becomes tax-exempt in California


Business TREND. Workforce Development Opportunity in your state.

What: Lyft is partnering with nonprofits to offer rides to job interviews, job training & the first 3 weeks of new employment

Who are Lyft’s nonprofit partners?

Lyft | Lyft Launches Jobs Access Program in 35+ Cities with National Partners Including Goodwill®, United Way, and The USO

3 News Las Vegas | New Lyft program offers free rides to job interviews, first three weeks of employment



TREND. Gig Economy. Employee Classification Constitutional Amendments.

Where: California

Who is championing a constitutional amendment to define gig workers? Uber, Lyft, Door Dash

Why? In response to the Legislature enacting a law that classifies the gig workers as employees

Is the proposition more than this law doesn’t apply to our companies? Yes, it will offer gig workers:

  • Guarantee that drivers would make 20% more than the minimum wage
  • 30 cents per mile for expenses such as gas & wear and tear

The proposition language

CNN Business | Uber, Lyft, DoorDash unveil ballot measure to fight California gig economy law

Houston Chronicle via AP | Lyft, Uber will ask California voters to block employee law



City Adopts User Fee

Where: Wheeling, WV

What’s a User fee? $2 weekly tax on people who work within the city limits

Why a user fee? A method to fund a $21 million public safety building which failed to gain voter approval

How would the user fee be implemented?

  • Employers will take the fee out of paychecks
  • Self-employed individuals will make quarterly payments
  • $1 of the fee will fund the public safety building
  • $1 would go toward infrastructure

The Intelligencer | City Officials Talk User Fee, Public Safety Building


Faith Based Tax Credits & U.S. Supreme Court

Hello to new legislation from all State Legislatures once this case gets decided. 

What’s happening? The US Supreme Court will decide a case from Montana on educational savings accounts/vouchers that permit tax dollars to be used for religious, private schools

What’s the issue the court will decide? Whether the US Constitutional permits religiously neutral student-aid program simply because the program affords students the choice of attending religious schools.

How many states could this impact? 37 states

Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue



Land Use + Property Rights


Legislative TREND forecast. Police destroy innocent home. Is there compensation?

What’s happening? In Colorado, an armed gunman broke into a home, took a 9 year old hostage, and after a 17 hour police stand off the police “blew up” the home

So how does the home owner get compensated when a governmental entity, like law enforcement, destroys your home when you committed no crimes? There is no compensation according to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

What’s special about this? Its like civil asset forfeiture, where both progressives and conservatives agree there’s a problem with taking an innocent person’s property without compensation

Washington Post | Police blew up an innocent man’s house in search of an armed shoplifter. Too bad, court rules

Above the Law | I Want This To Be A ‘Taking,’ Even Though It’s Not


Local TREND. Property Rights + Lead Pipes.

Where: Newark, NJ

What: Newark is replacing old lead water pipes but is encountering unresponsive property owners

How did Newark react? Passing an ordinance that allows the city on private property to replace water pipes without the owner’s consent

What do legislators intend to do when they are back in session? Give cities like Newark legal protection to enter property and replace lead pipes

North Jersey | Lead in NJ water: The murky problem between property rights and replacing pipes


Local Campaign. No eminent domain for blight issues.

Where: Savannah, Georgia

Who: Mayoral Candidate Regina Thomas

What: Property owners who need to fix up their properties shouldn’t have their land taken. There should be programs that assist homeowners to improve their property to city standards.

WTOC | Regina Thomas hopes grassroots movement lands her Savannah mayoral position


Department of Transportation: Memorial for Man who took his life due to Eminent Domain

Where: Vermont

What: in 1964 a farmer barricaded himself on his property and set his property on fire after the property was taken for a highway

How will Vermont’s Department of Transportation memorialize this? It will take public input concerning a permanent memorial 

Times Union | Vermont to remember man who took his life fighting progress


Property Rights Curbing Animal Cruelty

What? Airbnb is rolling out a new “animal experiences”platform

Supporters? Animal Advocates and Property Rights Supporters

Policy consideration? The program can bolster animal tourism

How does the platform address animal welfare? By adopting guidelines developed with World Animal Protection

Capital Public Radio | As California Cracks Down on Animal Captivity, Airbnb Offers an Alternative That Advocates Approve




3 Ways Cities Can Lead Electric Vehicle Adoption

  • proliferation of public charging stations
    • 5 cities with the highest EV market share had 2.5 to 4.5 times the average amount of public chargers
  • adopting EV city fleets
  • creating incentives to make ride-hailing drivers choose electric

Top EV Market Share Cities:

  1. San Jose, Calif.
  2. San Francisco
  3. San Diego
  4. Los Angeles
  5. Sacramento, Calif.
  6. Seattle
  7. Portland, Ore.
  8. Riverside, Calif.
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Boston

Government Technology | Widespread EV Adoption Will Require Infrastructure, Education


What do I need to know about Vision Zero Transportation Funding Proposals?

Where: Congress

What does Vision Zero funding mean? 

  • reprioritize federal transportation spending
  • favoring communities that redesign streets to eliminate pedestrian deaths & accommodate multiple transportation methods

Which federal Transportation funding programs would be impacted?

  • Surface Transportation Block Grant Program
  • Highway Safety Improvement Program
  • Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program 

Why? National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found a 5 year uptick in pedestrian and cyclist deaths

Curbed | New bill aims to counter alarming rise in pedestrian deaths with funding for safer streets


Airport TREND. Perks to Public Transit Riders

Where: San Francisco International Airport

What perks would at SFO work? By riding public transport a passenger would get quicker security screening

Why? Public transit saw a decline in ridership to the airport due to ride sharing

Is this new? No, Boston Logan Airport has a similar program

Government Technology | Transit Riders May Soon Cut Lines at San Francisco Airport


Business TREND. Truck Sharing Apps.

What’s a truck sharing app? Think of it like Lyft or Uber for trucks to help you move things or deliver items

Who? GoShare

Where: Delaware, New Jersey, Philadelphia, San Diego & 26 other markets

Are companies partnering with GoShare? Yes, Costco and Pier One Imports

Delaware Online | GoShare is bringing Uber-type app for trucks to Delaware



Legislative TREND. States + Car Sharing Laws

What’s the deal? States want to tax car sharing like rental cars

Where? Across the country

Who? TURO is a peer to peer car sharing platform

How does TURO platform work? Its like like Airbnb but for your vehicle. Say you park your car act the airport, someone who is visiting during that same time could pick it up in the lot and go from there.

What policy issues come into play?

  • how to tax the platform
  • safety standards for the vehicles, like recalls
  • insurance
  • can the platform operate from an airport (a sticking point for rental car companies)

Which states passed favorable laws?  Colorado, Indiana and Maryland

Which states are considering car sharing legislation?  Illinois, Utah and Arizona

Automotive News | Fights build over future of car-sharing

UK Aviation News | Bristol Airport will rent your car out while you’re on holiday


Cybersecurity + Tech


Coalition Against Facial Recognition Tech Regulation

What private business entities are concerned by facial recognition regulation?

  • Airports Council International – North America
  • American Association of Airport Executives
  • Consumer Technology Association
  • Global Business Travel Association
  • Identification Technology Association
  • International Biometrics + Identity Association
  • NetChoice
  • Security Industry Association
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Why are these business interests concerned about facial recognition tech regulation?

  • a moratorium is premature
  • we need responsible use of this software
  • we can’t stifle innovation in this sector, and a moratorium would be stifling

US Chamber of Commerce | Coalition Letter on Facial Recognition Technology

Wall Street Journal | Business Groups Push Back Against Proposed Facial-Recognition Bans


3 Study Points for Governments + Biometric Data

Who is raising these points about biometric data? Silicon Valley Congressman Khanna

What should Government be asking about the collection of biometric data?

  • is the data collected for a discriminatory reason?
    • no profiling
    • no systemic bias
  • are there clear ethical guidelines?
  • if there are complaints that show a disparate impact on race, religion, or gender
    • the biometric data use should be halted until the disparate impact is corrected

NextGov | Silicon Valley Rep Calls For Task Force, Legislation on Government Use of Biometrics


+1 State Cyber Reserve

What is a Cyber Reserve? A special unit in the national guard but for cyber events

Where: Ohio

The legislation: SB 52 (2019 | OH)

The state funding to support the special unit: FY1 $100,000 & FY2 $550,000

Sandusky Register | DeWine signs cyber reserve law

Cincinnati Public Radio | DeWine Signs Bill Creating Ohio Cyber Reserve


What is this new term “zero data”?

What does zero data mean? Isn’t everything data and data is king, queen & court jester? companies that don’t store their own data

Where is the data being stored? 3rd party companies store the data for use by the company that originated the data

What’s the benefit to companies? The liability for the data goes to the 3rd party

Tech Crunch | Very Good Security raises $35M in Series B in ‘zero data’ push


3 Reasons for National Crypto Currency

Who is calling for a national cryptocurrency? Congressmen French Hill & Bill Foster

Who are the Congressmen asking to authorize a national cryptocurrency? Chairman of the Federal Reserve System

Why a national crypto currency?

  • to bolster the dollar’s strength
  • other countries are doing it:
    • Sweden has an electronic krona
    • Uruguay an electric peso
    • The Central Bank of China is unveiling an electronic currency in 2020
  • Private Sector in the US is also creating digital currencies including JP Morgan & Wells Fargo

Cryptocurrency Post | US Congress calls on Fed to consider creating “national digital currency”



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