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Shareholder Values

 
"80% [of investors] are interested in sustainable investments that can be customized to meet their interests and goals."
--
Morgan Stanley
   (USA) August 2017

"The vast majority of Canadian investors are interested in responsible investments (RI) that incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and they would be more likely to choose responsible investments if their financial advisor suggested suitable RI options for them."
--
Responsible
    Investment
    Association (RIA)
 
  (Canada) June 2017

"70% of people [in UK] want to invest ethically but the financial services industry is failing to respond." Referencing research by Abundance.
--
Acquisition
    International
   
(UK) June 2015

 

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE INVESTING: Corporate governance, disclosure, transparency
and our future

By Cliff Feigenbaum and Ted Ketcham

What a year. Corporate America got called on the carpet for its dramatically less-then-ethical behavior that costs thousands of people jobs and trillions of dollars of investment capital. Bad news all around, - or was it? The constant bad news from corporate America has already begun to create reforms, including a renewed call for corporate responsibility and governance. It seems that business has collectively turned a corner. As we learn these expensive financial and social lessons (stock market down an average of 30 percent a year in the last three years), a new world of disclosure, transparency and accountability is unfolding.

This new world also depends on SEC enforcement and oversight in the financial and accounting industry. Investors lost trillions, - yes trillions - in stock value and perceived wealth (on paper). It seems "Reform" is the buzzword for this decade - as it will take that long - with so many special interests still competing for the ears of power.

Uncovering and disclosing the special interests, from the White House to Wall Street, is important. Will the Bush administration give the SEC adequate funds to do its job better? The SEC has recently mandated disclosure of proxy voting policies, procedures and voting records by all mutual funds and investment advisors. Many of the socially responsible mutual funds have already been doing this, including Pax, Domini, Calvert, Citizens, and others. The rest of the mutual fund industry must now follow the lead of the Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) industry. Fidelity and Vanguard management fought against this positive change for full disclosure. Remember that when you invest.

SRI is getting a lot of attention from an ever-widening audience of individual and institutional investors. Screened mutual fund assets, community investing, and shareholder activism are all on the rise. The media, too, has continued its more positive coverage of SRI. The triple bottom line of people, profits and planet is more important than ever. SRI will be more ambitious and effective in the next few years, especially in business school curriculum and financial analyst training, while strengthening its own social
investment criteria. SRI could provide the key to returning investor confidence to the markets.

So here we go. You have in your hands the newly re-designed issue of The GreenMoney Journal. In this issue: the President of the Social Investment Forum, Tim Smith, presents an overview of what's happening and what's ahead in SRI. We continue our commitment to present new ideas; this issue's special article is on "Social Change Philanthropy" by Tracy Gary and Lisa Tracy. Also you'll find a profile of one of industry's top online resources, SRI World, and GreenMoney co-editor Ted Ketcham reviews an important book by Lester Brown, The Eco-Economy.

This issue also includes a challenging "Letter to the Editor" from author, speaker and respected friend Paul Hawken, which we have reprinted on page 7. We also include some shorter responses from companies like Chiquita and Horizon Organic as well as a lengthy response from Amy Domini, all of whom were mentioned in Paul's letter. GreenMoney is pleased to host this important SRI and business dialogue.

Exclusively online at greenmoney.com you'll read a review of the major investing book of 2002, The SRI Advantage, by Peter Camejo and an article by the Community Development Venture Capital Alliance. Also online, the now infamous and always up-to-date "GreenMoney Investing Resources" list which includes books and numerous SRI web sites.

Looking ahead, our next SRI-focused issue (Fall 2003), will profile many different SRI Indexes, including KLD, FTSE and Dow Jones Sustainability. We will look at CERES and the Global Reporting Initiative as well as the latest on Shareholder Activism for 2003. Additionally, we will list the ever-increasing number of Socially Responsible Investing and Business conferences in late 2003 and early 2004 in the US, the UK, Europe and Asia.

We close this issue by asking what is ahead for our world and how can we build a bridge to a future in which everyone is invited? These questions were heartfully answered by former President Jimmy Carter. In his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech he declared, "we cannot have peace in the world if we keep killing each others' children," and "America must share its wealth to nations who need it around the world." May this year be one of Peace.

And finally, in a recent Doonesbury cartoon we were reminded of how all of us need to get more political active in the next couple years. The cartoon shows a discussion set in the Bush White House, it went as follows:


Okay, Let's move on to our contributors from the extraction industries - is everyone happy there?
Very sir! With all the nationals security distractions, we've been able to quietly gut one environmental protection regulation after another...
For instance, we've produced new rules to speed up logging in National Forests, rolled back protections of 58 million acres from roads and developments, eased pollution controls for power plants and factories, rejected new fuel-efficiency standards, sped up permit-granting for power companies...
Lifted a ban on snowmobiles in Parks, proposed 51,000 new natural gas wells, removed limits on coal producers for dumping mountaintop fill in streams, reduced EPA fines of polluters by 64%, opened up Padre Island to drilling, halted funding for several Superfund sites, replaced scientists who don't support our views, rejected the Kyoto global warming treaty, and much, much more!
Whoa...that's quite a list....
Yes, sir.
Does Christine Whitman still work for us?
I can check.

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Disclaimer: This website does not make investment recommendations. Nothing in this site should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. Investing for the Soul is a source of general information and resources for ethical investing and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their financial advisers and other professionals, prior to taking any investment action. This website does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles on its pages or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, this site 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 on this, or other sites, to which it is 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.

 

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