Sam Block is head of Materials Sector research, responsible for both company and thematic research and model enhancements. Previously, Sam worked as an engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation. He holds a B.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The Ohio State University and a M.S. in Environmental Management and Planning from the Whiting Engineering School at Johns Hopkins University.
Research and Insights
Articles by Samuel Block
Plastic Packaging: The Unmasking of Regulations5 mins read Blog | Jun 7, 2022 |
A rapid increase in plastic-waste regulations may increase costs and liabilities, or limit market access for companies that are slow to align with them.
Mining’s Impact on Biodiversity: A Rising Risk?6 mins read Blog | Jun 9, 2021 |
Will biodiversity losses become the next crisis facing humanity, possibly surpassing climate change? Growing scrutiny on biodiversity risks could have implications for mines that threaten biodiversity or environments of high conservation value.
Mining Energy-Transition Metals: National Aims, Local Conflicts5 mins read Blog | Jun 3, 2021 |
Investors are scouting for companies that mine the metals needed in new energy technologies. But some mining projects key to the transition from fossil fuels may face opposition from Native Americans for threatening sacred areas or traditional ways of life.
The last straw: Will plastic become the next stranded asset?Blog | Aug 22, 2019 |
Oil and gas companies are accelerating investment in plastics, in response to the shift away from fossil fuels. But is this pivot sustainable? Could plastic become the next stranded asset?
Using alternative data to spot ESG risksBlog | Jun 7, 2019 |
The amount of ESG-related information disclosed by corporations is on the rise, but investors still often lack a full understanding of financially relevant risks. How can they gain a better sense of where their investments are most vulnerable to ESG-related disasters?
Income Inequality and the Intracorporate Pay GapResearch Report | Apr 14, 2016 |
Between 2009 to 2014, we found that the highest executive total summary compensation at a company grew on average by 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) compared to 2% CAGR for the average worker. In our sample of 1,240 constituent companies of the MSCI ACWI Investable Market Index (IMI), we found the largest and fastest growing pay gap occurred within the Consumer Staples and Consumer Discretionary Sectors. We also found a correlation between intracorporate pay gaps and...
Shale Gas and Hydraulic Fracturing in the US: Opportunity or Underestimated Risk?Research Report | Oct 20, 2011 |
Shale gas presents a huge new potential investment opportunity and could possibly transform the US energy market. However, financial returns from shale gas face pressure due to emerging environmental liabilities, community opposition that limits access to resources, recoverable reserves uncertainties, and natural gas price volatility.Based on MSCI ESG Research’s assessment of companies’ performance on environmental issues, we believe that companies with poor historical performance...