E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul September 29, 2008
Top ethical investing news for September 2008
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Research Finds Outperformance Using Values Based
Investing Approach. -
"In a recently conducted quantitative analysis
performed by Merrill Lynch Research, companies that
ranked high in responsible economic, environmental,
social and corporate governance issues demonstrated
lower volatility globally and provided higher
dividend yields in the U.S. than those with lower
scores." This is proving my thesis that we can
expect higher values to be recognized in the stocks
of companies with higher ethics. With the atrocious
ethics displayed on Wall Street, investing in
ethical stocks and bonds will in the future be at
the core of mainstream investing. View the video on
this link. Mr. Rasco is to make a presentation on
October 10 to the New York Society of Financial
Analysts about these findings.
Study Says US
Political Views Affect Firms' Corporate Social
Responsibility (CSR). -
"Companies with a high CSR rating tend to be
located in Democratic states, while companies with a
low CSR rating tend to be located in Republican
states... Amir Rubin of Simon Fraser University
analyzed the 2004 presidential election results of
communities in which corporate headquarters are
Toyota, GM, and Honda Capture the Largest Share of
Eco Bloggers. -
"Based on the analysis of 40 million blog posts
collected during the past six months, in six major
industries, four brands—Toyota, General Motors,
Honda and Whole Foods—garnered the greatest volume
of positive conversation among online bloggers
regarding environmental sustainability, according to
the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 Environmental
Sustainability Report... " Surveying blogs
represents an interesting new development in
marketing research. It could prove a useful method
in finding ethical stocks that are good to invest
Government's The Carbon Trust Issues Report On How
Climate Change Could Create Or Destroy Company
Ethical investors looking for stocks that are good
to invest in, need to be aware of how climate change
can have a major bearing on investment returns. This
extraordinary report covers the effects of climate
change 'on six
industry sectors: Aluminium, Automotive, Beer,
Building insulation, Consumer electronics and Oil &
Gas.' To obtain the report, register, which is free,
at the Carbon Trust website in the link below, then
download the PDF 4166 KB report.
Environmental Ratings Promoted Improved
Environmental Behaviour Among Companies With Low
KLD is one of the top US socially responsible
This is the first study to show that socially
responsible ratings can impact corporate behaviour.
It indicates the clout that socially responsible
ratings' organizations can have on corporate
behaviour and performance. This kind of research is
important for the SRI industry and for all ethical
PricewaterhouseCoopers' Carbon Disclosure Project
Report Shows More Companies Taking Climate Change
"The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), to which
PwC [PricewaterhouseCoopers] has been appointed
global adviser and report writer for the next three
years, has published the results of the Global500
and S&P500 companies that disclosed their
activities... It also shows how companies compare
against their industry peer group and who is leading
the field" Incidentally, a recent
study by the Swiss bank, Pictet, showed that
socially responsible global equities portfolio would
have carbon emissions 40% below those of a portfolio
indexed to the MSCI global equities index."
Sunday Times Publishes Its Best Green Companies.
"The 50 companies listed in this report are all
pioneers — enterprising, enlightened and fizzing
with new ideas. They vary from Greencare H2O, a
business employing just 50 people distributing
watercoolers, to the banking giant HBOS, which has a
staff of 74,000." The newspaper claims to
have excellent selection criteria. It also
surveyed the employees of the companies being
reviewed! Positive reports like this continue to
demonstrate to companies the advantages of using
corporate social responsibility.
Publishes Its Best Global Brands List. Says Managing
Sustainability Issues A Key To Brand Success.
The top ten companies — Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft,
GE, Nokia, Toyota, Intel, McDonalds, Disney and
Google — all spent more time than average in dealing
with sustainability issues. Environmentally
conscious major corporations do seem to win out in
the branding game.
Publishes Its 2008 Guide To The Greenest Electronics
The top three are: Nokia, Samsung and
Fujitsu Siemens. Some on the list are considered to
be among ethical stocks that are good to invest in.
Check with your advisor though.
Funds Start Campaign To Get Shell & BP To Scale
Back Oil Sands Development. -
"Co-operative Asset Management, a leader in the
U.K.'s fast-growing ethical funds sector, revealed
plans on Sunday to campaign against oilsands and
other "unconventionals" as a too-risky investment
given the financial and ecological drawbacks, as
well as looming anti-climate change regulations that
would drive up costs even farther." This is
going to be a very interesting fight! The second
article below reveals F&C and others getting
involved in this effort as well.
Magazine Lists 20 Businesses That It Says Will
Change The World. -
"Plenty’s second annual list honoring (in no
particular order) 20 dynamic individuals and 20
pioneering companies that are bettering the planet,
plus 10 innovative ideas that will revolutionize how
we live." Such lists are always useful to get
new ideas for stocks that are good to invest in.
However, it is important to understand how they are
put together and what biases they may have. So
remember, just because a company's name appears on a
list like this it does not always make it a great
investment. But sometimes it just might be.
Business Publishes Its Top 20 Global Sustainable
The list includes Canon, Electrolux, Green Mountain
Coffee, Vestas Wind Systems and Whole Foods Market.
This is their seventh year publishing the list. I
think it's great that lists like this get published.
But you always have to really examine the criteria
to see if it works for you. Also, the companies in
this list may be great from a sustainability
perspective, but one needs the advice of a
professional advisor to determine if they make sense
Forecasts Near Doubling Of Wealthy Europeans
Investment In Sustainable Investing By 2012.
"Nearly three-quarters of respondents have seen
an increase in interest in sustainable investing in
the last 12 months, according to the Eurosif survey,
which also forecasts more than €1,000bn (£805bn,
$1,473bn) of rich people’s money will be in
sustainable investments by 2012. This represents a
near doubling of the absolute levels in 2007, and a
proportionate increase from 8 per cent to 12 per
Norwegian Government To Ask Top Companies To Report
& Standardize Reporting Of Issues Related To
Environment, Labour & Human Rights. -
Norway may well become the first nation to do this.
I continue to promote the whole idea of mandatory
standardization, auditing, and reporting of
environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG).
Many, many things have to be worked-out before this
can be accomplished. Most companies hate the idea of
complying with such new regulations. However, I
maintain that for investors to really understand the
longer term risks associated with companies - such
as from climate change or labour policies - these
risks must become transparent to investors!
Xcel, Biggest US Builder Of Coal Powered Power Plants Ordered To Disclose To Investors Global Warming Risks. - [COMMENTARY] "The agreement Wednesday between [New York's] attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, and the company, Xcel Energy of Minneapolis, is the first of its kind in the country. It could open a broad new front in efforts by environmental groups to pressure the energy industry into reducing emissions of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming."
There is a powerful reason why this is happening.
Major greenhouse gas emitters could be liable to
lawsuits by investors and others by not disclosing
climate change risks posed by their activities.
Furthermore, with potential costly restrictions on
carbon production possible, investors must be warned
about these risks too. Here we see an example of the
importance and the advantages of using corporate
social responsibility proactively.
Note: Articles are linked to the original source. Some sites may require registration, and may, or may not, archive stories. All links were active at the time of publication.
Disclaimer: Neither The Soul Investor nor Ron Robins make investment recommendations. Nothing in this newsletter should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. The Soul Investor is a source of general information and resources for spiritual investing, ethical investing, and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their professional advisers prior to taking any investment action. The Soul Investor does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles in its newsletter or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, The Soul Investor does not offer or provide any warranties, representations, guarantees, implied or otherwise, as to the accuracy, legality, copyright compliance, timeliness or usefulness of the information, materials or services in this e-newsletter, or other sites, to which it might be linked.
The Soul Investor is a publication of Investing for the Soul, a registered business name in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2008 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.