E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul April 29, 2013
Top ethical investing news for April 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!
Thomson Reuters Launches Corporate Responsibility Indices.
- [COMMENTARY] "Thomson
Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information for
businesses and professionals, today announced the launch of a new family
of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) indices. The
Thomson Reuters Corporate Responsibility Indices were developed jointly
with S-Network Global Indexes, a New York based specialist index design
firm, as an objective and transparent, rules-based benchmarking solution
for measuring ESG performance. The announcement of the launch of the
indices was made today at the CSR Investing Summit in New York."
Obviously, the proliferation of these indices must indicate to the wider
investing public that ESG factors do matter and that money can be made
Two US polls Contradict Independent Research On Sustainable Investment. - [COMMENTARY] "Both articles appear under headlines that perhaps reflect the bias of the publisher, with results that may contain sample bias, based on who was contacted and who responded. Blue & Green Tomorrow probed Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner on this. When contacted, Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner didn’t respond to an email asking for the wording of the question that brought about the social responsibility results. A representative did offer to create a chart about one aspect of their survey, but added that the raw data was not available."
Readers of this site might note my earlier comments about Millionaire
Corner's survey. That comment stated, "How questions are framed plays a
great role in how they're answered. Had the questions been framed around
ESG rather than social responsibility, I'm sure we would've seen a very
different--and more positive--response." I'm glad to see that Blue &
Green Tomorrow actually contacted Millionaire Corner--but I'm saddened
by the lack of cooperation they got from them. It makes one wonder how
ethical Millionaire Corner is.
Top Industries Unprofitable If They Had To Pay For Consumption Of Natural Capital. - [COMMENTARY] "The total unpriced natural capital consumed by the more than 1,000 'global primary production and primary processing region-sectors' amounts to $7.3 trillion dollars a year — 13 percent of 2009 global GDP... Of the top 20 region-sectors ranked by environmental impacts, none would be profitable if environmental costs were fully integrated."
I've suspected this for sometime. It's good to finally get some real
research on this topic. It really provides us with some concrete idea as
to the real costs of our consumer society that one day will have to be
met! This report might provide some ethical investors with a perspective
of where they might want to invest.
Q1 Global Green Investment Hits 4-Year Low Of $40.6B.
- [COMMENTARY] "Global
economics, regulatory uncertainty and falling PV and wind power costs
are playing a role in declining greentech investment figures."
Government policy uncertainty relating to green investment support in
the US and Germany play a significant role influencing these lower
Online Course On The Fundamentals Of Sustainable And Responsible
Investment Launched By The US SIF Foundation.
- [COMMENTARY] "Today, the US SIF
Foundation launched the Center for Sustainable Investment Education and
the Center’s inaugural online course, Fundamentals of Sustainable and
Responsible Investment. This is the first online course on sustainable
investment for financial advisors and other investment professionals to
be launched in the United States." This is a good step forward to
encourage more investment/financial advisors to offer socially
A New Breed Of Mutual Funds: The Activist Fund. - [COMMENTARY] "In what mutual fund manager IA Clarington Investments is calling the first of its kind in Canada, retail investors are being offered a product that “will invest in companies where an activist investor has disclosed an intention to change or influence the management or control of a company. But the fund, which is just being launched and will be managed by Larry Sarbit, a veteran of the investment world who also manages the IA Clarington Sarbit U.S. Equity Fund, will not itself be an activist investor. Instead it will invest in those companies that an activist investor has targeted.”
Though such funds aren't really ethical funds, they do bear some
relationship to them. Often, unethical or badly governed companies are
targeted by others who believe they can do better. It'll be interesting
to see how such a fund performs.
New Research Report Reveals Corporate Social Responsibility Trends In
Mid-sized Companies. -
[COMMENTARY] "Two-thirds of mid-sized companies are
seeking to either enhance or establish their CSR programs to do business
with a purpose. About 60 percent of mid-sized companies focus their CSR
efforts on education, demonstrating companies' dedication to
people-focused initiatives that cater to young people and the
development of the workforce of the future." The great thing about
mid-sized companies is that they grow out of their communities and hence
have a deeper attachment to those communities.
For UK Ethical Investors, Blue&Green Tomorrow Has Created A Guide to
Ethical Financial Advice 2013. -
[COMMENTARY] "Welcome to Blue & Green Tomorrow’s Guide
to Ethical Financial Advice 2013. Here, you’ll find all the information
you need on where to find a specialist ethical financial adviser near
you. Profiling members of the Ethical Investment Association (EIA), as
well as looking into the history of financial advice more generally,
after reading the guide you will be able to make a more informed
decision about whether such an ethical adviser is most appropriate for
you." It's a great guide, particularly for novice UK investors,
interested in looking into ethical investing.
Crisis Has Hit Companies’ Social Responsibility, Poll Suggests.
- [COMMENTARY] "Some 74% of
Brazilians, 65% of Chinese, 62% of Indians, and 44% of Americans believe
their companies have taken corporate social responsibility (CSR) more
seriously over the past decade... 39% of Europeans believe that
companies pay less attention to their influence on society than they did
10 years ago, with 40% saying they pay more attention, putting Europe at
the bottom of the international league table." This probably also
reflects the fact that developed country consumers are rating most of
their institutions very poorly these days.
Transparent Investment Policies Can Boost Charity Donations.
- [COMMENTARY] "Charity
behaviour and investment transparency can positively influence potential
and current donors, according to research by microfinance provider
Oikocredit. Its study found that 48% of people donating to charity were
more likely to donate to ones that made their investment goals clear. It
also showed that members of the public were influenced stronger by a
charity’s investment practices than its advertising." It has always
amazed me how many charities allow their fund managers to invest in
companies whose activities run afoul of the charities' own goals.
Twenty Years On, Corporate Sustainability Still Lacking. - [COMMENTARY] "After 20 years of rating corporate sustainability efforts, German-based oekom research has found that global giants have not been doing nearly enough in their commitments to sustainability. In its most recent annual report, oekom found that only one in six -- 16.7 percent -- of the companies rated has a "good" level of commitment."
It's not surprising that most companies are 'minimalists' when it comes
to encompassing sustainability. However, how much longer they can remain
lazy about sustainability remains a question as stock markets,
stakeholders and governments become increasingly involved in promoting
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. 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.