E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul February 27, 2013
Top ethical investing news for February 2013
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Twitter allows me to cover more--and breaking news--to help you do better!
Finding the Value in ESG Performance. - [COMMENTARY] "In its winter edition of the semiannual Deloitte Review, Deloitte LLP released a study of the impact of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues on business performance and investor behavior. 'Finding the Value in Environmental, Social, and Governance Performance' reviews evidence showing that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues can result in fundamental shifts in a company’s financial health, management, and culture. Companies that are demonstrably prepared for ESG shocks are better positioned to mitigate the downside risks."
There is useful information in the above-cited report. It supports
the theme that sustainable and responsible companies' stock prices can
Breakthrough Regarding Legal Liability of Canadian Mining
Corporations for Abuses Overseas.
- [COMMENTARY] "In an important
precedent-setting development for the accountability of Canadian mining
companies for alleged overseas human rights abuses, victims of rape and
murder at a Guatemalan mine are now able to sue a Canadian mining
company in Canadian courts." This is precedent setting. It could
have a powerful effect on encouraging miners to fully engage and
cooperate with communities in the developing world.
The Deplorable Ethics Of US Regulators & Government Exposed By
Elizabeth Warren--New Member Of The Senate Banking Committee. Ms.
Warren asks, 'why have too big to fail [financial institutions] become
too big to trial?' It's obvious from the testimony that US financial
regulators and the federal government have put financial interests above
ethics and morality. The moral hazard created by this total neglect of
ethics and justice will lead to even bigger financial crisis in the
years to come.
Why The Fracking Boom May Actually Be An Economic Bubble. - [COMMENTARY] "Fracking proponents like to use an evocative economic metaphor in talking about their industry: boom. The natural gas boom. Drilling is exploding in North Dakota and Texas and Pennsylvania. Only figuratively so far, but who knows what the future holds. The Post Carbon Institute, however, suggests in a new report [PDF] that another metaphor would be more apt: a bubble, like the bubbles of methane that seep into water wells and then burst."
The Wall Street hype around fracking is totally self-serving. But
that's what you expect from Wall Street. The report cited here offers
some alternative facts and opinions. I think that most ethical investors
are quite sceptical and concerned about fracking for a whole host of
reasons--particularly those associated with the environment.
SRI Performance Still Very Difficult To Measure--Novethic.
- [COMMENTARY] "Novethic, a
French research centre focused on Socially Responsible Investment (SRI)
and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), has concluded after analysing
SRI funds across Europe that a consistent standard for performance
measurement still needs to be agreed and implemented across the sector."
Absolutely right! Furthermore, with the standards for reporting should
be independent auditing of how the data is collected, interpreted and
reported, similar to how financial reports are prepared, etc.
UN Principles For Responsible Investment (UNPRI) Publishes Two New
Important ESG Related Reports.
Despite Growing Engagement, Corporate Environmental Impacts Continue To Grow, Says Study. - [COMMENTARY] "The most comprehensive assessment of corporate sustainability activity to date shows that while companies around the world engage in a wide range of sustainability initiatives, the costs to the environment continue to grow. The sixth annual “State of Green Business” report (download free at greenbiz.com/stateofgreenbusiness), published by GreenBiz Group in association with Trucost, measures the environmental efforts and impacts of 500 U.S. companies and more than 1,600 of their global counterparts. It tracks more than 30 metrics – some never before reported on a global basis."
This is a terrific report for all ethical investors. Get
actual report and a great
US Consumers Interest In Buying Green Products Declines.
- [COMMENTARY] "NMI’s annual
LOHAS Consumer Trends Database® (LCTD) keeps a pulse of how consumer
sentiment and behavior change on a yearly basis. One noticeable trend
from the 2012 LCTD is that negative perceptions of
environmentally-friendly products is keeping an increasing number of
consumers out of the market, even while more people know about them, and
know where to buy them." We have here fascinating insights into
consumer purchasing behaviour of green products. Anyone investing in
companies making green consumer products might want to read this article
and related references.
Climate Policy Could Knock Off Half The Value Of Fossil Fuel Companies. - [COMMENTARY] "A recent (subscriber-only) report from HSBC Global Research helps shed some light on what’s at stake in the fight over climate policy. Short answer: a hell of a lot, especially if you’re invested in fossil fuels."
I support a completely level playing field and the elimination of ALL
financial supports and subsidies for energy. That includes everything
from governments insuring nuclear facilities (which would be totally
uneconomical left to market forces) and everything in between. On that
basis, studies I've read would make wind and even solar incredibly
Featured New Book
Conscious Money: Living, Creating, and Investing with Your Values for a
Sustainable New Prosperity, by Patricia Aburdene, Atria Books/Beyond
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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. Also, Mr. Ron Robins is not an investment advisor, nor is he licensed with any professional investment related body, and thus is not able to, nor does he make, any investment recommendations.
The Soul Investor is a publication of Investing for the Soul, a registered business name in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2013 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.