E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul August 30, 2008
Top ethical investing news stories for August 2008
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Another US Socially Responsible
Investing (SRI) Study Confirms That
SRI Delivers As Good Or Better Returns Than
’Conventional’ Investing. -
The study compares the performance of many US SRI
funds from their inception up until June, 2006, with
various other funds. You can download it from the
following link, though you must first click ’choose
First US SRI Corporate Bond
Indexes Launched. Created By KLD Research, Analytics, Inc, Ryan ALM, Inc. & Mergent,
"These investable indexes are the first to apply
environmental, social and governance (ESG)
performance factors to a U.S. fixed income asset
class." Finally, we see an ESG US corporate bond
index! This is good news for ethical investors.
Hopefully, such indexes will soon be created elsewhere
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.
Major Companies To Act On Climate Change.
"[In 2008] A record 57 climate-related
shareholder resolutions were filed with U.S.
companies, of which nearly half were withdrawn after
the companies agreed to positive climate-related
commitments. Remaining resolutions that went to a
vote received record high average voting support of
23.5 percent, including 39.6 percent support for a
resolution filed with coal company CONSOL Energy,
the highest vote ever on a global warming
shareholder resolution." The number of
environmentally conscious major corporations grows
rapidly. This is good for the world - and great for
ethical investors. Well done
Ceres and the
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
for promoting these proxy fights.
Website For ’Biblically Responsible Investing’
"Biblically Responsible Investing is the act of
building an investment portfolio consisting only of
companies that do not participate in or promote
lifestyles that are offensive to Christian values."
Also, the site mentions a biblically responsible
stock index it calls Integrity I-DEX.
Social Responsibility (BSR) Publishes New Report On
The Mainstreaming Of Environmental, Social, &
Governance (ESG) Issues By Financial Institutions.
"This report looks beyond socially responsible
investors and explores how mainstream financial
institutions can advance the use of ESG criteria to
maximize financial performance." The report
cites the following points to making ESG issues
being considered commonplace among financial
institutions: more ESG data linking it to
financial returns; the need to regulate the
reporting of ESG information; convincing
shareholders to think long-term where ESG factors
become increasingly critical; larger numbers of investment
professionals knowledgeable about ESG criteria; and
dealing with cynicism about ESG criteria. This report is useful
reading for all investment professionals and ethical
Human Rights Watch Critical Of Olympic Corporate Sponsors. - [COMMENTARY] "The major corporate sponsors of the Beijing Olympics have failed to uphold their own principles of corporate social responsibility, Human Rights Watch said today... The 12 TOP ("The Olympic Partner") sponsors of the Beijing Games are Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Manulife, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Lenovo, McDonald’s, Omega (Swatch Group), Panasonic, Samsung, and Visa. Over the last 12 months, Human Rights Watch repeatedly contacted all TOP sponsors and met with five of these companies, off the record. The other seven failed to respond to repeated requests to meet with Human Rights Watch."
Many of these Olympics sponsors have hitherto been
among the best socially responsible stocks to
invest in. It will be interesting to see if socially
research organizations change any of their ratings
of these companies as a result of the Human Rights
Markets Rankings Survey. -
"Respondents were asked to vote for their
preferred companies covering a range of categories
including: emissions; renewables; renewables supply
& investment; biofuels; clean technology; carbon
sequestration; energy efficiency; and finance...
Emissions trading was identified as the green market
that will provide the best return on investment over
the next ten years, with energy efficiency coming
second, wind power third and clean tech and solar
power both fourth." Energy Risk, a UK specialist
in tracking and reporting on energy markets,
completed and published this survey. It provides an
overview on ’insider’ thinking as to what firms
perform the best in various energy markets.
On China’s Prospective Sustainability & Corporate
Governance Situation Post Olympics. -
Any ethical investor with holdings in China, or
considering to invest there, will want to read this
report. F&C who wrote the report, are a top-ranked UK ethical investing
firm. The advantages of using corporate social
responsibility are just beginning to be
recognized by Chinese companies.
Invest In Green Fast Food? -
This is a good review article on the beginnings of a
green US fast food industry.
Measures Performance Of Green Initial Public
Offerings (IPOs). -
"The Renaissance Green IPO Index captures the
performance of newly public companies whose products
and services offer solutions to environmental
IPOs were the craze at the height of the tech stock
bubble about eight years ago. There has not been a
lot in the way of IPOs since then. However, with the
worldwide interest in solving our environmental
problems, new green IPOs are likely to gain
momentum. This unique index attempts to track their
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.