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The Rise of Cannabis Treatments for Pets

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The following content is sponsored by True Leaf.

The Rise of Cannabis Treatments for Pets

For millennia, people have shared their lives with domestic animals – and pets have since become a fixture in urban life.

The global pet industry is growing fast, driven by pet owners who increasingly treat their furry companions like family, including applying the same lifestyle choices.

Today’s infographic from True Leaf looks at why over half of pet owners are exploring natural treatments like cannabis for their pets.

Breaking down the Pet-onomics

The pet care market is thriving worldwide, and expected to be worth over $202 billion in a few short years. Some of this can be credited to cultural shifts across Asia, where owning pets is a sign of affluence and a result of higher disposable income.

Closer to home, self-proclaimed pet “parents” are a main source of spending.

  • 85 million households in the U.S. own a pet, or two out of three families.
  • Millennials and baby boomers are increasingly “humanizing” their pets.

As the largest generations of pet owners, they only want the best for their companions, and are increasingly focused on their pets’ health and wellness.

Pet Industry Expenditures20172018
Food$29.1B$30.3B
Supplies/ OTC Medicine$15.1B$16.0B
Vet Care$17.1B$18.1B
Other*$8.3B$8.1B
Total sales$69.5B$72.5B

*Live animal purchases and pet services. Values have been rounded up to one decimal place. (Source: American Pet Products Association)

To that end, millennials and baby boomers are also showing more interest in natural treatments such as cannabis for pets – which are also becoming more mainstream in their own lives.

Why Cannabis for Pets?

Natural therapies such as CBD- and hemp-based products are a rising trend in pet care.

To understand why pet owners are seeking cannabis-derived products, it’s important to understand its components: two sub-species of plants, hemp and marijuana.

Hemp is mainly used for industrial and nutritional purposes, and contains less than 0.3% THC. On the other hand, marijuana’s primary uses are medical and recreational, with between 5-20% THC.

Both plants contain CBD, which is popular for its therapeutic properties. But since hemp contains barely any THC, products made from it can heal without the “high”.

Hemp seeds are a popular superfood – packed with proteins, healthy fats, and vitamins with a myriad of health benefits for humans and pets alike:

  • Manages arthritis
  • Weight management
  • Cancer prevention
  • Manages inflammation
  • Boosts skin and heart health

It’s no wonder that hemp-derived pet supplies are on the rise in legal markets.

Navigating A Shifting Landscape

Since the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD in hemp became legal in the United States. Meanwhile, CBD in marijuana is still under investigation by the FDA, for its potential applications in food and beverages – and the process is fast moving.

CBD-pet supplements are sold in the market, but as the segment is still unregulated, this lack of control can influence the consistency and quality of products that are available. To ensure safe cannabis treatments for pets, it’s important to pay attention to the current laws.

The global cannabis for pets industry is taking off. Few companies are able to comply with this complex legality – but those that can navigate it will emerge as the top dog.

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An Introduction to MSCI ESG Indexes

With an extensive suite of ESG indexes on offer, MSCI aims to support investors as they build a more personalized and resilient portfolio.

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An Introduction to MSCI ESG Indexes

There are various portfolio objectives within the realm of sustainable investing.

For example, some investors may want to build a portfolio that reflects their personal values. Others may see environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria as a tool for improving long-term returns, or as a way to create positive impact. A combination of all three of these motivations is also possible.

To support investors as they embark on their sustainable journey, our sponsor, MSCI, offers over 1,500 purpose-built ESG indexes. In this infographic, we’ll take a holistic view at what these indexes are designed to achieve.

An Extensive Suite of ESG & Climate Indexes

Below, we’ll summarize the four overarching objectives that MSCI’s ESG & climate indexes are designed to support.

Objective 1: Integrate a broad set of ESG issues

Investors with this objective believe that incorporating ESG criteria can improve their long-term risk-adjusted returns.

The MSCI ESG Leaders indexes are designed to support these investors by targeting companies that have the highest ESG-rated performance from each sector of the parent index.

For those who do not wish to deviate from the parent index, the MSCI ESG Universal indexes may be better suited. This family of indexes will adjust weights according to ESG performance to maintain the broadest possible universe.

Objective 2: Generate social or environmental benefits

A common challenge that impact investors face is measuring their non-financial results.

Consider an asset owner who wishes to support gender diversity through their portfolios. In order to gauge their success, they would need to regularly filter the entire investment universe for updates regarding corporate diversity and related initiatives.

In this scenario, linking their portfolios to an MSCI Women’s Leadership Index would negate much of this groundwork. Relative to a parent index, these indexes aim to include companies which lead their respective countries in terms of female representation.

Objective 3: Exclude controversial activities

Many institutional investors have mandates that require them to avoid certain sectors or industries. For example, approximately $14.6 trillion in institutional capital is in the process of divesting from fossil fuels.

To support these efforts, MSCI offers indexes that either:

  • Exclude individual sectors such as fossil fuels, tobacco, or weapons;
  • Exclude companies from a combination of these sectors; or
  • Exclude companies that are not compatible with certain religious values.

Objective 4: Identify climate risks and opportunities

Climate change poses a number of wide-reaching risks and opportunities for investors, making it difficult to tailor a portfolio accordingly.

With MSCI’s climate indexes, asset owners gain the tools they need to build a more resilient portfolio. The MSCI Climate Change indexes, for example, reduce exposure to stranded assets, increase exposure to solution providers, and target a minimum 30% reduction in emissions.

An Index for Every Objective

Regardless of your motivation for pursuing sustainable investment, the need for an appropriate benchmark is something that everyone shares.

With an extensive suite of ESG indexes designed specifically for sustainability and climate change, MSCI aims to support asset owners as they build a more unique and personalized portfolio.

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Tracked: The U.S. Utilities ESG Report Card

This graphic acts as an ESG report card that tracks the ESG metrics reported by different utilities in the U.S.—what gets left out?

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NPUC Utilities ESG Report Card Share

Tracked: The U.S. Utilities ESG Report Card

As emissions reductions and sustainable practices become more important for electrical utilities, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting is coming under increased scrutiny.

Once seen as optional by most companies, ESG reports and sustainability plans have become commonplace in the power industry. In addition to reporting what’s needed by regulatory state laws, many utilities utilize reporting frameworks like the Edison Electric Institute’s (EEI) ESG Initiative or the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards.

But inconsistent regulations, mixed definitions, and perceived importance levels have led some utilities to report significantly more environmental metrics than others.

How do U.S. utilities’ ESG reports stack up? This infographic from the National Public Utilities Council tracks the ESG metrics reported by 50 different U.S. based investor-owned utilities (IOUs).

What’s Consistent Across ESG Reports

To complete the assessment of U.S. utilities, ESG reports, sustainability plans, and company websites were examined. A metric was considered tracked if it had concrete numbers provided, so vague wording or non-detailed projections weren’t included.

Of the 50 IOU parent companies analyzed, 46 have headquarters in the U.S. while four are foreign-owned, but all are regulated by the states in which they operate.

For a few of the most agreed-upon and regulated measures, U.S. utilities tracked them almost across the board. These included direct scope 1 emissions from generated electricity, the utility’s current fuel mix, and water and waste treatment.

Another commonly reported metric was scope 2 emissions, which include electricity emissions purchased by the utility companies for company consumption. However, a majority of the reporting utilities labeled all purchased electricity emissions as scope 2, even though purchased electricity for downstream consumers are traditionally considered scope 3 or value-chain emissions:

  • Scope 1: Direct (owned) emissions.
  • Scope 2: Indirect electricity emissions from internal electricity consumption. Includes purchased power for internal company usage (heat, electrical).
  • Scope 3: Indirect value-chain emissions, including purchased goods/services (including electricity for non-internal use), business travel, and waste.

ESG Inconsistencies, Confusion, and Unimportance

Even putting aside mixed definitions and labeling, there were many inconsistencies and question marks arising from utility ESG reports.

For example, some utilities reported scope 3 emissions as business travel only, without including other value chain emissions. Others included future energy mixes that weren’t separated by fuel and instead grouped into “renewable” and “non-renewable.”

The biggest discrepancies, however, were between what each utility is required to report, as well as what they choose to. That means that metrics like internal energy consumption didn’t need to be reported by the vast majority.

Likewise, some companies didn’t need to report waste generation or emissions because of “minimal hazardous waste generation” that fell under a certain threshold. Other metrics like internal vehicle electrification were only checked if the company decided to make a detailed commitment and unveil its plans.

As pressure for the electricity sector to decarbonize continues to increase at the federal level, however, many of these inconsistencies are roadblocks to clear and direct measurements and reduction strategies.

National Public Utilities Council is the go-to resource for all things decarbonization in the utilities industry. Learn more.

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