Ethical Investing News/Commentaries
Commentaries by Ron
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NYSE Euronext And Vigeo Launch ESG Indices.
"To promote and support responsible investment (RI),
NYSE Euronext (NYX), the world's largest exchange
group, and Vigeo, the leading European expert in
responsible performance, have teamed up to launch a
range of indices focusing on the three pillars of
RI: the environment, social issues and governance (ESG)."
I'm unsure whether to report the creation of such
indices anymore. There are so many of them
now--and that's great!
NYSE Euronext and Vigeo launch ESG indices,
press release, March 20, 2013, NYSE Euronext and
Is the U.S. Insurance Industry Prepared For
"Analysis of first-ever industry-wide survey finds
that only 23 of 184 companies have comprehensive
climate change strategies, yet some leaders are
emerging. 2012 was the warmest year on record in the
lower 48 states and the second most extreme weather
year in United States history. Insurers are
increasingly acknowledging that extreme weather has
become the new normal, yet a new report from Ceres
finds that many in the industry are only just
beginning to think about how to address the effects
climate change may have on their business – while a
small group of companies is leading the way."
Considering that many US financial industry
leaders are 'climate change deniers,' it isn't
surprising that some major insurers aren't willing
to acknowledge or plan for it.
Is the U.S. Insurance Industry Prepared for Climate
Change? Press release, March 7, 2013, Ceres,
Do Investors Care About Companies' Climate
"A wide gap exists between investor commitment and
action to reward transparency and ESG performance.
Unless companies engage with and help their
investors see that ESG issues should be integral to
their analysis and decision-making process,
investment funds will likely not correlate to
sustainable business. Likewise, investors need to
listen to the whole story and integrate ESG criteria
into company performance valuations."
There is generally a small premium to the stock
prices of those companies with great ESG credentials
relative to peers with lesser ESG credibility.
However, the differential should be greater. I
believe as climate change becomes increasingly an
issue, that premium for companies with higher ESG
performance will increase.
Do investors care about companies' climate change
disclosure? By Christopher Thomas, March 6,
2013, GreenBiz.com, USA.
One Third Of Britons Want To Boycott Companies
Who Avoid Paying UK Taxes.
"According to new research millions of Britons are
using consumer power to boycott companies seen to be
avoiding their fair share of UK tax. A ComRes survey
about public perceptions around tax avoidance,
commissioned by Christian Aid, found a third of
Britons say that they are currently boycotting the
products or services of a company because it does
not pay its fair share of tax in the UK. Almost half
(45 per cent) say they are considering a boycott."
It might not be much longer that companies can shift
around their profits to low tax jurisdictions to
escape paying the full share of taxes in the
countries where those profits were earned!
Audio: One third of Britons consider boycott over
tax, March 8, 2013, Ethical Consumer, UK.
Half Of UK Investors Want Greater
Shareholders' Voting Transparency.
"Forty-seven per cent of Britons who have savings or
investments managed by an intermediary want to see
greater transparency when it comes to shareholder
voting. The figures have been released as part of
the inaugural Ownership Day – an event co-ordinated
by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance
Association (UKSIF) to promote active ownership and
stewardship among investors. On top of nearly half
of respondents who want their investment managers to
be clearer on how they cast clients’ votes, one in
three (33%) also called for better guidance on how
to access voting details." It's probably a
similar situation throughout most of the developed
Ownership Day: half of investors want better voting
transparency, by Alex Blackburne, March 12,
2013, Blue & Green Tomorrow, UK.
What Is The Real Financial Impact of
"Cary Krosinsky of the Network for Sustainable
Financial Markets produces a white paper that argues
the actual amount of assets devoted to sustainable
investment strategies is considerably lower than
reported by the world's largest sustainable
I'm inclined to agree with Cary that the reported
numbers concerning the proportion of global
portfolios invested in sustainable companies--as
recently reported by the sustainable investment
forums--is probably too high. The forums claim 21.6%
of global portfolio assets invested in sustainable
companies. This is a good article by Mr. Kropp on
What Is the Real Financial Impact of Sustainable
Investment? By Robert Kropp, March 6, 2013,
Social Funds, USA.
Green Transition Scoreboard® Finds Over $4.1 T
In Private Green Investments.
"The year 2013 promises long strides away from the
fossil-fuelled Industrial Era as illuminated by the
Ethical Markets Green Transition Scoreboard® (GTS)
which tracks private investments growing the green
economy worldwide since 2007, finding $4.1 trillion
invested or committed as of Q4 2012. The year 2012
was an inflection point for the green transition
worldwide. Technology and innovation such as in
electricity generation and transport began forcing
structural changes and rethinking of business
models, urban design and development toward
integrated systemic approaches." This is up $1
trillion from a year ago! Read the press release.
There's some fascinating information there!
Green Transition Scoreboard® Finds Over $4.1 T in
Private Green Investments, press release, March
4, 2013, Ethical Markets, USA.
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