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"Almost three-quarters of investors (74 percent) would be more likely to work with an advisor who could give them competitive investment returns from investments that also made a positive impact on society and 65 percent of investors would be more likely to stay with an advisor who could discuss responsible investing with them."
TIAA Global Asset
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"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."
    Association (RIA)
    June 2017

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




Global Ethical Investing News & Commentary



Commentaries by Ron Robins  E-mail us your feedback

Links may only be valid for a limited time   June 28, 2017

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More Companies Reporting on ESG. "Around 82% of S and P 500 companies published corporate sustainability reports in 2016, according to the Governance and Accountability Institute, up from 20% in 2011 and 72% in 2013."

[COMMENTARY] These are great numbers and demonstrate how companies are responding to investor demands for increased ESG reporting. For companies, there's the additional benefit of measuring themselves on ESG variables, many of which are material to their operations and can help improve their financials.
More Companies Reporting on ESG, by Leila Mead, June 27, 2017, International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), USA.

Institutional Investors More Likely to Invest in Companies with Business-Driven ESG Disclosures, According to New White Paper. "Ninety-eight percent of institutional investors say a company with strong environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives makes for a more attractive investment, according to the newly released white paper, Is Your ESG Report Getting Noticed?, developed by Burson-Marsteller, a strategic communications and global public relations firm, and research firm PSB."

[COMMENTARY] Wow. These studies and surveys are coming thick and fast. It demonstrates how ESG has become popular in finance today. It's been a long time coming.
Institutional Investors More Likely to Invest in Companies with Business-Driven ESG Disclosures, According to New White Paper, press release, June 26, 2017, Burson-Marsteller, USA.

Can Good Corporate Citizenship Be Measured? "A new study that tries to quantify and correlate stock performance with E.S.G. factors is generating a lot of chatter among the investor class. The study, developed by a team of quantitative strategists led by Savita Subramanian at Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch Global Research unit, appears to be the most expansive, looking at several hundred companies over a decade starting in 2005."

[COMMENTARY] Interesting analysis. Largely supportive that a focus on ESG may provide improved returns. However, I'd appreciate it if the study mostly discussed in this article were published in a recognized financial journal with proper peer review. For me, the 'gold standard' in ESG - financial performance is, ESG and Financial Performance: Aggregated Evidence from More than 2000 Empirical Studies. Admittedly, it only looks at ESG and corporate financial performance, whereas, Subramanian's et al study above relates ESG to stock performance.

For another view on ESG and investment performance, see, From the Stockholder to the Stakeholder: How Sustainability Can Drive Financial Outperformance, by Arabesque Asset Management and Oxford University.
Can Good Corporate Citizenship Be Measured? By Andrew Ross Sorkin, June 26, 2017, The New York Times, USA.

95% of European pension funds ignore climate change impact: Mercer. "With NASA stating that April 2017 was the second hottest since records began in 1880 (with 2016 the hottest), Mercer’s recent report has found that only 5% of 1,241 European pensions schemes have considered the investment risk posed by climate change. As a result the consultancy has called for 'more urgency from the industry' to address the issue. The 2017 report – Mercer’s 15th edition – gathers information from 1,241 institutional investors across 13 countries, reflecting total assets of around €1.1 trillion."

[COMMENTARY] These findings are surprising given the relatively high level of purported integration of ESG by European money managers. It would be interesting to hear from Mercer and the compilers of other relevant studies as to why there is this apparent contradiction.
95% of European pension funds ignore climate change impact: Mercer, by Gary Robinson, June 26, 2017, International Investment, UK.

Individuals and institutions split on benefits of ESG investing: survey. "Individuals believe the environmental, social, and ethical records of the companies they invest in are important, said Natixis, while professionals at institutions and within 'the investment community' were more sceptical about the efficacy of these strategies, for example having concerns about performance measurement."

[COMMENTARY] The findings of this Natixis Global Asset Management survey highlight -- in part -- why the financial industry has taken so long to respond to client ESG interests. Despite the arguments made in this article, I suggest that investment professionals not only disregarded their clients interests but have taken an extraordinarily long time to understand what ESG is and its potential alpha. Another issue is that most investment professionals have become short-term oriented, whereas, ESG investing is more about performance over the long-term.
Individuals and institutions split on benefits of ESG investing: survey, by Susanna Rust, June 15, 2017, IPE, UK.

Millennials Think About Charity Entirely Differently -- they invest in companies making a positive impact and "social entrepreneurism." "A study by Bank of America-owned U.S. Trust showed the youngest of the three generations isn't as interested in writing a check for a good cause — millennials would rather contribute in other ways, which could affect how an advisor manages their wealth. Only 36 percent of millennials defined 'giving' as making a charitable financial donation, versus 61 percent of Gen X participants and 83 percent of Boomers."

[COMMENTARY] This good news for advisors and the financial markets. It assists the overall orientation towards ESG and is positive for improved ethical behavior in all financial market participants.
Millennials Think About Charity Entirely Differently, June 14, 2017, WealthManagement, USA.

Americans Question Motives Behind CSR. "According to the latest annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study, which tracks the perception of the 100 most visible companies in the U.S. by asking consumers to rank their reputations across a half-dozen key attributes, 45 percent said they believe companies embark on CSR initiatives because they believe it’s a role they should play as leaders in their communities.

Conversely, a similar amount — 40 percent — said they believe companies develop CSR initiatives only to bolster their public image and establish social value for stakeholders."

[COMMENTARY] I believe it's a great thing that companies embark on CSR activities. However, I wonder if the term CSR has outlived itself? I find ESG a much better differentiator between companies as I believe it delivers a better corporate focus (organizationally and financially) and possibly reduced 'greenwashing' for consumers.
Americans Question Motives Behind CSR, by Jon Gingerich, June 12, 2017, O'Dwyer's, USA.

16th annual Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada report. "This year’s Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada ranking is a reflection of this new disclosure climate. Corporate Knights had maintained 12 key performance indicators for a number of years due, in part, to how widely disclosed these data points were on an industry-wide scale. Additional metrics were not adopted because of the limited value provided by assessing companies on a metric that isn’t available for the majority of companies in the research universe.

With sustainability disclosure practices improving (albeit slowly), Corporate Knights was able to add two new metrics to the ranking methodology this year: the supplier score and the clean air productivity score."

[COMMENTARY] The Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada is always a good read and helpful to ethical investors.
16th annual Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada report, June 6, 2017, Corporate Knights, Canada.

Wegmans, Publix Super Markets, Amazon, Tesla And USAA Draw Top Social Responsibility Scores In Harris Poll. "Other companies receiving 'excellent' corporate social responsibility ratings are Lowe’s, UPS and L.L. Bean. Monsanto, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs garnered 'critical' corporate social responsibility marks in the Harris Poll study, which asked more than 23,000 consumers to rate the 100 most visible companies in the U.S. on social responsibility attributes such as: supports good causes, environmental responsibility and community responsibility."

[COMMENTARY] Some of the names at the top of this list are surprising. Wells Fargo has been engaged in some unethical customer practices, while Monsanto is criticized by a number of health critics.
Wegmans, Publix Super Markets, Amazon, Tesla And USAA Draw Top Social Responsibility Scores In Harris Poll, press release, June 7, 2017, The Harris Poll, USA.

Do SRI Funds Have a Future in [US] 401(k) Plans? "SRI funds are slow to crack the $6.7 trillion 401(K) market, even though investor demand is strong."

[COMMENTARY] This story covers the results of a survey with 600 US financial advisors. The numbers of advisors claiming to be engaged with SRI funds makes me question how the advisors might've interpreted that and other questions. If the advisors are right, then a large percentage of their client base should already be in SRI products. However, I doubt that is the case. Though, it's great to see these numbers!
Do SRI Funds Have a Future in [US] 401(k) Plans? By Mark Miller, June 2, 2017, Wealth Management, USA.

Sustainable Investment Market Report 2017 – Sustainable investment market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland makes significant gains yet again. "The strongest growth in sustainable investments was recorded in Switzerland (+39%), followed by Austria (+24%) and Germany (+15%). 'Each year, we see increasing numbers of investors opting for sustainability in the management of their assets,' says Volker Weber, Chair of the Board of Directors at FNG, commenting on the latest market figures. 'Institutional investors, in particular, are increasingly being won over, while we know from asset managers that more and more of them see factoring in non-financial criteria as a normal part of their fiduciary duties.'"

[COMMENTARY] These are huge one-year growth figures. Quite likely a few very large funds were particularly responsible. Sustainable investing is now mainstream almost everywhere.
Sustainable Investment Market Report 2017 – Sustainable investment market in Germany, Austria and Switzerland makes significant gains yet again, press release, June 1, 2017, Eurosif, Europe.

Institutional Investors to Boost ESG Investments. "Nearly 80% of asset managers and asset owners incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into their decision-making, according to a survey from BNP Paribas Securities Services. The report, titled 'Great Expectations: ESG – What’s next for asset owners and managers,' found that among the asset owners incorporating ESG, 46% plan to invest at least half of their assets into funds that incorporate ESG by 2019."

[COMMENTARY] This survey indicates tremendous growth for ESG based institutional investing strategies in the next few years. It's certainly a positive for all ethical investors.
Institutional Investors to Boost ESG Investments, by Michael Katz, June 1, 2017, Chief Investment Officer, USA.

Now, this is controversial: FAU Study Says Corporate Social Responsibility Does Not Prove to Be a Profitable Investment for Most Companies. "Companies that try to 'do good' are likely to find that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is bad for their bottom lines, according to a new study from Florida Atlantic University's College of Business. 'We found that emphasizing Corporate Social Responsibility is not good for shareholders,' said David Javakhadze, Ph.D., assistant professor of finance, who investigated the relationship between CSR and efficiency with which firms allocate their capital resources. 'If you're an investor you should think twice before you invest in those firms that emphasize CSR.'"

[COMMENTARY] Since numerous studies including those from elite universities such as Harvard and Oxford have shown that companies excelling in ESG (CSR?) perform as well or better financially and in stock returns, this new study is an outlier. Nonetheless, it's worth reviewing and critiquing.
FAU Study Says Corporate Social Responsibility Does Not Prove to Be a Profitable Investment for Most Companies, press release, June 1, 2017, Florida Atlantic University College of Business, USA.

Canadian investors are interested in responsible investments, and they want gender pay equity and more women in corporate leadership. "The report, sponsored by OceanRock Investments Inc., found that while 77% of investors are interested in RI, a staggering 73% know very little or nothing about it. These results highlight the 'RI awareness gap' – a significant gap between investor interest vs knowledge about RI.

'A strong majority of investors told us that they are more likely to choose responsible investments if their advisor suggests suitable options or if their financial institution, credit union or online brokerage informed them about responsible investments,' said Deb Abbey, CEO of the RIA."

[COMMENTARY] At the beginning of Canada's 2017 RIA Conference in Vancouver, the RIA announces some incredible survey findings: Canadian investors want responsible investing!
2017 RIA Investor Opinion Survey, press release, June 1, 2017, RIA, Canada.

Diversity, ESG relatively low scheme governance priorities: survey. "Board diversity, ESG investing, and external reviews are relatively low governance priorities for pension scheme trustees and managers, according to a report. It was produced by Winmark, which runs professional member networks to facilitate peer learning, and Sackers, a law firm. It was based on a survey of 84 pension schemes – trustees and pension managers – and 13 in-depth interviews with chairs of trustee boards and other pensions experts."

[COMMENTARY] It could be that many UK pension schemes are relatively underperforming as so many scheme trustees appear ignorant of the potential returns that a focus on ESG might bring to their schemes.
Diversity, ESG relatively low scheme governance priorities: survey, by Susanna Rust, May 28, 2017, IPE, UK.

UK Ethical investing sector held back by lack of awareness, says new survey. "More than half of the UK population want their wealth to have a positive impact on society but are unsure where to turn to for help, highlighting a knowledge deficit in the area of ethical investing.

The survey, conducted by positive savings platform Ethex, shows lack of knowledge, understanding and confidence in what is on offer is holding many investors back from investing in ethical products.

50 percent of those asked did not feel they know enough about positive investment and savings, although 45 percent were willing to learn more. In addition, 39 percent did not know whether to expect a stronger or weaker financial return from positive investments when compared to traditional ones and 55 percent did not think they were wealthy enough to make positive investments."

[COMMENTARY] Most investors in the developed world have for over two decades wanted to be invested in ethical, socially responsible, and sustainable companies. It's always been the vested interests in the mainstream financial industry that never got the message -- until quite recently.

It's peculiar how an industry priding itself in its marketing and customer relations has been so out-of-touch with its clients -- and for such a long time. I've always asked, whatever happened to the 'know thy client' rule.
Ethical investing sector held back by lack of awareness, says new survey, by Miranda Wadham, May 25, 2017, The Investment Observer, UK.

Key ESG Trends. "From a geographic perspective, the GSIA data showed that European and Canadian assets were more diversified across different implementation strategies: in addition to negative screening, there were a higher proportion of assets using norms-based screening, corporate engagement, and integration approaches. Within the United States, the primary forms of implementation were integration, negative screening, and corporate engagement."

[COMMENTARY] This post has some fascinating charts on ESG investing globally. However, one figure that stands out -- and I believe questionable -- is the proportion of sustainable assets vs total managed assets in Europe at 58.896%. There is an explanatory note but to me, it seems to obfuscate the issue.
Key ESG Trends, by Blake Pontius, May 23, 2017, William Blair Blog, USA.

27% of asset managers doubt future of ethical investing as costs rise, survey, BNP Paribas Securities Services. "A further 28% of asset managers admitted they were concerned they didn’t have the ability to meet the demand for ESG investments from clients currently, and worried they wouldn’t in the future. The research report, titled ‘Great Expectations: ESG – What’s next for asset owners and managers’, also found more than half (55%) of those surveyed felt the lack of robust data on ESG investments was the biggest barrier to its adoption in strategies."

[COMMENTARY] What should've been the headline is that 55% of those surveyed felt the lack of robust ESG data as the biggest barrier to fully implementing ESG criteria.
Asset managers doubt future of ethical investing as costs rise, by Louise Hill, May 24, 2017, Portfolio Advisor, USA.

New Report Reveals 86% of Americans Expect Companies to Take Action on Social, Environmental Issues. "Most interestingly, the study considers consumer behavior in light of today’s political climate and shows that 67 percent of Americans believe progress on social and environmental issues will slow in the absence of government regulation — and their confidence in organizations to drive change is low. As a result, 43 percent of consumers believe individuals present the greatest potential to solve social and environmental issues, followed by nonprofits (18 percent), government (17 percent) and business (13 percent)."

[COMMENTARY] President Trump needs to tread carefully on social and environmental regulations, or he risks a considerable public and political backlash. This survey by Cone Communications illustrates that the majority of Americans want their government active in social and environmental change.
New Report Reveals 86% of Americans Expect Companies to Take Action on Social, Environmental Issues, by Libby MacCarthy, May 18, 2017, Sustainable Brands, USA.

UK Savers clueless about what their banks do with their money. "Triodos: The sustainable and ethical bank surveyed 2,003 people who have some savings. The research reveals that the transition to a low-carbon economy is the top priority for savers wanting to make a positive difference. Nearly half (47 per cent) said they would like their money to be used to help develop renewable energy, while four out of ten (41 per cent) wanted to support energy efficiency.

Savers also identified social housing (41 per cent), community/society groups (28 per cent), human rights and labour rights (28 per cent), urban regeneration (24 per cent) and sustainable business (23) as areas they would like their money to be invested in... "

[COMMENTARY] Of course the savers were talking about their bank deposits here and how they should be used. At the ethical UK bank, Triodos, they actually publish the details of who they make loans too.
UK Savers clueless about what their banks do with their money, by Marina Gerner, May 12, 2017, Money Observer, UK.

Advisor Interest In SRI Nearly Doubles Since Last Year, Survey Says. "Forty percent of advisors now report that socially responsible investing is important to them and their clients, compared to only 21 percent who said that in 2016."

[COMMENTARY] This is wonderful news. Soon SRI-ethical investing will be quite normal for advisors and investors alike. Perhaps a day might come when nearly all investing is SRI-ethical-ESG compliant!
Advisor Interest In SRI Nearly Doubles Since Last Year, Survey Says, by Karen Demasters, May 11, 2017, FA Magazine, USA.

Fostering Long-Termism in Investing. "Khan, Serafeim, and Yoon (KSY)9: found that portfolios made up of companies with high KLD10 sustainability scores weighted by SASB11 materiality scores outperformed portfolios of companies with low KLD sustainability scores weighted by SASB materiality scores by average annual return gaps ranging from 3.1%/yr. to 8.9%/yr. over 20+year observation periods, depending on the degree of portfolio concentration.12 They observed their results were notably different from the mixed results of previous ESG studies that did not include the materiality dimension."

[COMMENTARY] I've used the above quote as a leader to encourage all my readers to read this extraordinarily insightful piece that strongly argues for long-term, participatory, sustainable, and focused investing!
Fostering Long-Termism in Investing, by Keith Ambachtsheer, May 9, 2017, Benefits & Pensions Monitor, Canada.

6 benefits to companies that issue green bonds. "Last year, almost twice as many green bonds as expected were issued, and in the first quarter of 2017, issuance stood at $21.76 billion, up nearly 42 percent from the same period last year. What's more, a new report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimated that the green bond market could increase to $4.7 trillion to $5.6 trillion in outstanding bonds by 2035, with annual issuances of $620 billion to $720 billion."

[COMMENTARY] With investors appetite for green bonds rising sharply and outstripping demand, green bond yields often command relatively lower yields. As lower yields frequently mean reduced interest costs to companies it increases the attractiveness for companies to issue them vis a vis regular bonds. It's a win for companies and a win for ethical investors.
6 benefits to companies that issue green bonds, by Rochelle J. March, May 5, 2017, GreenBiz, USA.

10 reasons Wealth Managers are following investor demand to ESG. "But investors are even more attuned to ESG than advisors are, which makes ESG savvy a competitive advantage in today’s managed money world."

[COMMENTARY] The reasons given for advisors to engage in ESG issues with their clients are many had the key ones are covered in this post. Furthermore, surveys and studies back the reasons discussed.
10 reasons Wealth Managers are following investor demand to ESG, by TruValue Labs. May 2, 2017, USA.

Finally – A Meaningful Deciphering of what “ESG Integration” Really Means. "The problem, however, is that 'integrating ESG' has become a meaningless mantra. Firms were using 'integrating ESG' to mean everything from mandatory consideration of the most sophisticated analysis to superficial greenwashing....

Sustainalytics, an independent ESG research firm, [has] developed a typology of how organizations use ESG. Do they use centralized staff or distribute ESG analysis responsibilities to the portfolio teams? Is ESG considered on a portfolio-company-by-portfolio-company basis, or more thematically, for instance looking at potential investments in the water sector? Is ESG research mandated to be considered, or just made available to the investment teams? Do the organizations modify external research or use it as is?"

[COMMENTARY] The Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRC) commissioned Sustainalytics for this research and Sustainalytics has now shone a light on how ESG criteria are used by asset owners and managers. The results are fascinating and important for all responsible-ethical investors to understand.
Finally – A Meaningful Deciphering of what “ESG Integration” Really Means, by Jon Lukomnik, May 1, 2017, HUFFPOST.

The 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens. "Compiling the 18th annual list of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens began with our research team documenting 260 data points of disclosure and performance measurements for the entire Russell 1000. The data was gleaned from publicly available information and each company was ranked in seven categories."

[COMMENTARY] This is a great list compiled by people who really know the subject. Hasbro, Inc,; Intel Corp; and Microsoft Corporation are the top three. See the rankings here.
The 2017 100 Best Corporate Citizens, April 21, 2017, CR Magazine, USA.

The Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize -- Formerly Ethics in Finance, Robin Cosgrove Prize. "[The prize] promotes greater awareness among young people throughout the world concerning the benefits of ethics in finance, and encourages high-quality management of banking, insurance and financial services based on trust and integrity.

Launched in 2006 and now in its 6th Edition, the global competition for the Prize for Innovative Ideas for Ethics & Trust in Finance is open to young people, aged 35 years or younger, from throughout the world. The competition invites creative papers, which may be submitted in English or French, setting out analyses or proposals for innovative ways to promote ethics & trust in finance. The Jury allocates the prize money of USD 20,000 among the winners."

[COMMENTARY] I've been promoting this prize almost since it's inception. It's a very worthy endeavour and I encourage those under 35 with an interest in this subject to submit their ideas! The fact that Christine Lagarde, IMF's Managing Director has been involved, demonstrates the importance of what the prize is attempting to do. For entering the competition or information on the prize, go to Ethics & Trust in Finance Prize.

Hermes finds 'clear relationship' between ESG and credit spreads. "Companies with the weakest ESG credentials, as captured in low QESG scores, tended to trade with the widest CDS [credit default spreads] spreads, Hermes found – indicating a higher risk of default."

[COMMENTARY] It makes sense that companies with bad ESG characteristics are poor credit risks. And that's why their financing costs are higher too. As companies understand that good ESG performance means lower financing and human resources' costs with potentially higher prices for their shares, they'll increasingly strive to improve their ESG performance.
Hermes finds 'clear relationship' between ESG and credit spreads, by Susanna Rust, April 19, 2017, Investment & Pensions Europe, UK.

US companies rank miserably low on the UN’s new corporate responsibility rankings. "The SDG Commitment Report 100... is the first-ever analysis to use annual reports as the sole metric to assess corporate commitments to the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. Analysts argue that the corporate annual report, a legally-required document, is a higher—and better—standard to judge a company’s commitment to sustainability than any voluntary corporate responsibility report.

... Apple is joined at the bottom of the gilded heap by more than a dozen companies who also ignored sustainable development in their annual reports, including Disney, Walmart, and General Electric."

[COMMENTARY] This report is deeply embarrassing for those multi-national corporations priding themselves in their good social and environmental activities. Obviously, the UN wants to shame these corporations to significantly engage in their Sustainable Development Goals.
US companies rank miserably low on the UN’s new corporate responsibility rankings, by Dan Morrison, April 19, 2017, OrbMedia, USA.

ESG increasingly important in global shift towards sustainable economy. "In a bid to better understand the mindset of investors globally, EY recently surveyed, for its 'Is your nonfinancial performance revealing the true value of your business to investors?' report, part of the global investment community, which included 320 participants, of which one-third have more than $10 billion under management."

[COMMENTARY] This EY survey is revealing in showing how far the investment community has come concerning the importance of climate change and sustainability in assessing potential investments. For instance, the concept of stranded assets -- unknown just a few years ago -- has become a major concern to investors.
ESG increasingly important in global shift towards sustainable economy, April 13, 2017, Consultancy.uk, UK.

Green Bonds Awards, Environmental Finance. They cover banks, underwriters, companies, etc.

[COMMENTARY] An interesting list, particularly for those in the investment industry. Provides good insight into the growing importance of the green bond market.
Green Bonds Awards, Environmental Finance, press release, April 13, 2017, Environmental Finance, USA.

Arabesque Combines Big Data and AI to Launch Unique Corporate Transparency Tool. "A new tool that allows investors, regulators, NGOs, corporates, and consumers to monitor the sustainability of over 4,000 of the world’s largest corporations has been launched today. Arabesque S-Ray™ is designed to streamline vast amounts of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) information into one easy-to-use, smart application. Its unbiased diagnostic technology processes countless data points to evaluate companies in three ways...

Arabesque S-Ray™ is the first tool of its kind to score corporate performance on the normative principles of the United Nations Global Compact: Human Rights, Labor Rights, the Environment, and Anti-Corruption."

[COMMENTARY] Another great analytical tool for ethical investors. However, the free version is pretty basic.
Arabesque Combines Big Data and AI to Launch Unique Corporate Transparency Tool, press release, April 11, 2017, Arabesque, UK.

Academic Research Based on RepRisk Data Shows That Negative ESG News Increases Credit Risk. "A new academic study shows that negative news linking a company to environmental, social, or governance (ESG) issues increases credit risk. The study used data from RepRisk, a leading provider of ESG risk analytics and metrics. Researchers at ETH Zurich, MIT Sloan, and the University of Hamburg performed the research which was published by the prestigious peer-reviewed journal 'Strategic Management Journal.'"

[COMMENTARY] These findings aren't surprising. After all, if a company has ESG issues creditors less likely to continue lending to that company as if there are no problems. Anyway, it's good to see these findings as it further incentivizes companies to perform better on ESG issues. And that benefits companies and investors.
Academic Research Based on RepRisk Data Shows That Negative ESG News Increases Credit Risk, press release, April 5, 2017, RepRisk, Switzerland.

2017 Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada ranking. "Shifting the spotlight to medium-sized corporate sustainability leaders across Canada."

[COMMENTARY] An interesting and useful list, particularly for Canadian ethical investors. It includes many public companies.
2017 Future 40 Responsible Corporate Leaders in Canada ranking, April 6, 2017, Corporate Knights, Canada.

This Man Will Purify Your Portfolio. "Portfolios were far from [Michael] Jantzi's ambitions when he landed degrees from Canadian universities in economics and international affairs. He was going to help humanity via a career in the foreign service. But those jobs were scarce. He was partway through the process of getting licensed in securities sales when he had a revelation. If he must sell out to Wall Street, why not feed its less avaricious appetites? He would do research on ethical investing."

[COMMENTARY] This is a terrific overview of the career to-date of Michael Jantzi, one of the world's true pioneers in ethical investing and presently CEO of Sustainalytics, a global leader in ESG ratings.

Under Mr. Jantzi's direction, Sustainalytics has recently made a great breakthrough in bringing their individual ESG company ratings directly to the investor through Scotia iTRADE, the large Canadian discount broker. It's likely only a matter of time before many more brokers offer this service and the retail public finally has direct inexpensive access to quality individual company ESG ratings and research.
This Man Will Purify Your Portfolio, by William Baldwin, April 3, 2017, Forbes, USA.

Sustainable strategies on growth track in U.S. "Assets under management in U.S. mutual funds and exchange-traded funds using an environmental, social and governance-only approach reached $200 billion at the end of February, up 5.8% from Dec. 31 and up 17% from year-end 2015, Morningstar Inc. data show. The data do not include institutional separate accounts or ESG assets managed internally by U.S. pension plans."

[COMMENTARY] Good overview by Mr. Diamond of US funds utilizing ESG criteria. Also, it's great to see Morningstar collecting and publishing fund/ESG data since they have a such a terrific database to mine for it. Their benchmarking will be particularly useful.
Sustainable strategies on growth track in U.S, by Randy Diamond, April 3, 20-17, Pensions&Investments, USA. (Subscription required.)

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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 spiritual investing, 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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