E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul                               July 30, 2015

 

Ron Robins, Editor. E-mail /289-271-0873            Latest news at: http://investingforthesoul.com/

Top ethical investing news for July 2015

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EIRIS Foundation Launches Database of Companies Doing Business in Occupied Lands. "Building on its 30-year history of providing free and objective information on ethical finance and corporate activity to the public, the EIRIS Foundation announced the release of a new online database of companies in Crimea and Palestine. For the first time, businesses, civil society, media and the investor community will have access to objective and comprehensive information about corporate operations in these two occupied territories."

[COMMENTARY] This database will be welcomed by many -- though controversial as well. South African apartheid was largely abolished through business disinvestment there. However, Crimea and Palestine are very different situations from that of South Africa in the 1980s and 1990s.
EIRIS Foundation Launches Database of Companies Doing Business in Occupied Lands, press release, July 16, 2015, EIRIS, UK.

Sustainability Initiatives Can Drive Corporate Revenue Growth And Innovation, New Research Shows. "Between 2010 and 2013, revenues from company-defined portfolios of sustainable products and services grew by 91 percent among the companies examined in the report. For S&P Global 100 companies that break out revenue for sustainable products or services separately, that revenue stream grew at six times the rate of overall company results."

[COMMENTARY] Clearly, such growth is illustrating consumers' desire for sustainable products and services. One needs look no further than McDonalds with their experimentation to find healthier and more environmentally friendly menu options. We are at the beginning of a new era where sustainability becomes uppermost in everyone's mind and where companies are responding. Over time, this will be especially financially rewarding for ethical investors.
Sustainability Initiatives Can Drive Corporate Revenue Growth And Innovation, New Research Shows, press release, July 1 re July 14 webinar on subject, The Conference Board & The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRC), USA.

‘Halo Effect’ of CSR Allows Companies to Get Away with Corruption. "A new study shows that companies with corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs tend to get more favorable court decisions on corruption cases completely unconnected to CSR – and that’s a problem...

Now, a study from Harrison Hong of Princeton University and Inessa Liskovich of the University of Texas found that this type of CSR, aimed at making a company look good, has the beneficial side-effect of making it more likely the company gets away with a crime, specifically, bribery as defined under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."

[COMMENTARY] The writer of the article describing this study suggests it's ultimately the consumer to decide who's most ethical and thereby buy appropriately. What do you think? Should companies with good CSR receive easier sentences or fines, or, because of their out-front ethical standards be dealt with more harshly! Anyway, for companies that might have some shady things to hide, promoting CSR in their organizations might not only be good PR but ultimately less costly to their operations. Whatever is the case, it does promote CSR!
‘Halo Effect’ of CSR Allows Companies to Get Away with Corruption, by Nithin Coca, July 8, 2015, TriplePundit, USA.

Women Want Social Responsibility from Their Brands. "The demand for corporate social responsibility continues to sweep the brand marketplace. According to new research from Nielsen, corporate social responsibility is important as a benefit to positive branding efforts. We also know for your brand reputation positive press is key. What you may not realize, however, it is also critical to winning the hearts and minds of the coveted group of women consumers."

[COMMENTARY] As per many studies and surveys, women are significantly more interested in CSR and SR-ethical products than men. Thus, they're also more interested in SR-ethical investing.
Women Want Social Responsibility from Their Brands, by Colin Shaw, July 2, 2015, LinkedIn post, USA.

Who are the sustainability leaders? (GlobeScan) "Most would agree that some corporate giants have taken great strides toward sustainability in recent years. But experts in the field still cite too few companies doing so.

Instead, our latest GlobeScan/SustainAbility Leadership survey finds that experts believe that other non-governmental actors have been driving the sustainable development agenda since the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The business sector is not seen as the driver, with few exceptions."

[COMMENTARY] This is a great article that provides much insight into who are the leading companies integrating sustainability into their operations, and what drives them to be a sustainability leader -- all from the perspective of sustainability experts.
Who are the sustainability leaders? By Eric Whan, July 2, 2015, GreenBiz, USA.

China update: central bank's new green bond market regulations drafted; big banks queuing to issue. "Last week the PBoC’s Regulatory Division circulated internally a draft of its new green bond issuance regulations. Yes, it will be a regulated market in China, right down to definitions of what constitutes “green”. The new regulations will be finalized sometime in Beijing’s Autumn. But overseas issuance by Chinese banks with international branches will not require PBoC approval, so first off the mark will be big banks issuing green bonds in London or Hong Kong (or both)."

[COMMENTARY] Is China about to become the leading issuer of green bonds? Read this article from the authoritative Climate Bonds Initiative.
China update: central bank's new green bond market regulations drafted; big banks queuing to issue, by Sean Kidney, June 26, 2015, Climate Bonds Initiative, UK.

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 © 2015 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.