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"64% of those polled were interested in investing, or
investing more money, in SRI fund options; and 22%
said they were very interested."
--
TIAA-CREF Asset
    Management
(USA)
    November 2014

"92% of Canadians say that it's important to choose investments that are aligned with their values. By contrast, only 14% of advisors raised the topic of RI [responsible investing] with their clients."
--
Deb Abbey referring
    to 2014 NEI study
    Investment
    Executive
   
(Canada) April 2015

"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

 

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Links may only be valid for a limited time    July 7, 2015

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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.

Companies with recent ESG rating gains may outperform benchmarks. "Stocks with fast ESG improvement outperform benchmark by 2.2 percent a year, MSCI report shows... For the research, MSCI adopted an ‘ESG momentum’ strategy by overweighting stocks that had improved their ESG ratings (according to MSCI’s own calculations) in the preceding 12 months. The firm also adopted an ‘ESG tilt’ strategy that overweights companies that have already established high ESG ratings."

[COMMENTARY] This data should encourage many companies to seriously improve their ESG activities. Again, it's another report -- of many -- demonstrating how stocks evaluated utilizing ESG criteria can outperform.
Companies with recent ESG rating gains may outperform benchmarks, by Adam Brown, June 26, IR Magazine, UK.

Helsinki Stock Exchange leads 2015 pack as most sustainable stock exchange. "The Helsinki Stock Exchange topped Corporate Knights Capital’s Measuring Sustainability Disclosure: Ranking the World’s Stock Exchanges 2015 ranking for the second year in a row. The Euronext Amsterdam took second spot, followed by the Copenhagen Stock Exchange and the Australian Securities Exchange. The Johannesburg Stock Exchange, which placed eighth, is the only stock exchange in the top 10 from an emerging economy."

[COMMENTARY] It's terrific that someone is rating global stock exchanges on their sustainability disclosure policies (for listings). Thank you Corporate Knights! Download full report.
Helsinki Stock Exchange leads 2015 pack as most sustainable stock exchange, June 26, 2015, Corporate Knights, Canada.

Private impact investing yielded financial performance in line with similar private investment funds with no social objective, according to new impact investing benchmark. "Together the diverse array of funds in the Impact Investing Benchmark posted an IRR of 6.9% as of June 30, 2014. A comparative universe of private investment funds with no social impact objectives and with the same vintage years returned 8.1%, according to Cambridge Associates data."

[COMMENTARY] The headline does not quite match the data. Nonetheless, it's terrific to see that impact investing can provide good returns. Smaller impact funds did better than large ones. The new Cambridge Associates Impact Investing Benchmark is going to be interesting to watch. Read the press release for more information.
Private impact investing yielded financial performance in line with similar private investment funds with no social objective, according to new impact investing benchmark, press release, Cambridge Associates and the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), USA.

High Income Women and Social Responsibility. "Only 15 percent of high income women say they give no thought to the social responsibility of investments, compared to 40 percent of all other affluent investors. However, what they think about socially responsible investing is unique to that demographic."

[COMMENTARY] The boards of most social and community organizations are well represented with affluent women, so it's not too surprising that many affluent women want SR-ethical investments. I think this survey's findings are useful -- particularly for investment advisors and financial planners who might want to emphasize SR-ethical investments to such clients.
High Income Women and Social Responsibility, by Kent McDill, June 13, 2015, Millionaire Corner, USA.

The $1.1 trillion question: What’s your chemical footprint? "Corporate sustainability reports, to the extent they address chemicals management, often include individual success stories in avoiding specific toxic chemicals and exclude reporting any quantitative metrics of how much they’ve reduced their chemical footprint. The good news: that may be about to change.

In December, GreenBiz reported on the launch of the Chemical Footprint Project — an effort to create a framework for measuring a company on its overall corporate chemical management programs, including its quantitative chemical footprint.

Aviva Investors, BNP Paribas Investment Partners, Boston Common Asset Management, Trillium Asset Management, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente and Staples are among the signatories that will ask the companies they invest in or purchase from to participate in the Chemical Footprint Project."

[COMMENTARY] This is most welcome news. The world -- and investors -- has had woefully inadequate information concerning our chemical use. It's acknowledged that we use about 80,000 different chemicals and we have no idea of the amounts used and their toxicity to our environment and us! The chemical footprint could become another -- and valuable means -- for ethical investors to identify truly sustainable companies.
The $1.1 trillion question: What’s your chemical footprint? By Mark Rossi, June 19, 2015, GreenBiz, USA.

The Next ESG Hot Spot: India? "Investors using environmental, sustainable, and governance-based (ESG) screens in India would have outperformed their peers in all types of economic cycles, two academics have claimed. In a paper examining the performance of the Indian stock market, Vanita Tripathi and Varun Bhandari, from the Delhi School of Economics, found companies that had adopted ESG principles outperformed the rest of the index."

[COMMENTARY] As in many developing countries, SR-ESG-ethical investment vehicles are rare. The authors of this study not only show the outperformance of Indian investments utilizing ESG screens, but advocate their greater use in India.

It's noteworthy that Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, came to power largely because of his promise to rid India of corruption. So, tying together that popular demand with the superior financial returns of SR-ESG-ethical screens could give way to greatly expand investment products based on those screens. (See study. Also relevant: India, Ancient Economic Behemoth, to Overtake China.)
The Next ESG Hot Spot: India? By Elizabeth Pfeuti, June 18, 2015, Chief Investment Officer, USA.

2015 RIA (Canada) Guide to Responsible Investment. "The Guide is a valuable resource for investment advisors and investors who are interested in responsible investment products and services. The Guide includes: The latest research, news, and updates about responsible investment (RI) in Canada; editorial content from Canadian RI industry experts and thought leaders; a directory of RI funds available in Canada; a directory of companies providing RI products and services in Canada."

[COMMENTARY] This is a terrific guide to responsible investing, not just for Canadians, but valuable to investment professionals and investors everywhere! Thank you RIA for publishing it.
Guide to Responsible Investment, June 17, 2015, RIA, Canada.

Ameriprise subsidiary launches socially responsible municipal bond fund. "The Minneapolis-based institution’s global asset management group, Columbia Threadneedle Investments, launched the Columbia U.S. Social Bond Fund on March 26. Ameriprise said the Columbia fund is a first-of-its-kind municipal product that uses a mix of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as the basis for its investments."

[COMMENTARY] I mention this fund as it represents a new class of ESG funds -- focusing on the issues of US municipalities. It'll be most interesting to see how this fund performs. As we all know, numerous US municipalities are facing daunting financial problems.
Ameriprise subsidiary launches socially responsible municipal bond fund, by Patrick Kennedy, June 12, 2015, StarTribune, USA.

Shareholders push companies to change executive pay. "Responding to pressure from investors, a third of companies say they have changed their executive pay compensation plans, according to a new survey from the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) released Tuesday... more than half of respondents, 57 percent, said their boards expanded compensation explanations in their company proxy statements as a result of shareholder feedback and 30 percent (one-third) changed their executive compensation plans outright."

[COMMENTARY] It's great that compensation committees are providing more complete explanations and some even changing their compensation plans, but what's missing from this report is how much of a reduction (probably none) was there in executive pay.
Shareholders push companies to change executive pay, by Lydia Wheeler, June 2, 2015, The Hill, USA.

Canada’s top 50 socially responsible corporations: 2015. "For the seventh year, Maclean’s [a prominent Canadian magazine] has partnered with Sustainalytics, the leading independent provider of environmental, social and governance research, to determine the Top 50 Most Socially Responsible Companies in Canada."

[COMMENTARY] Sustainalytics is one of the world's premier CSR/SRI research firms and its insights into such corporate information are second to none. This is a trustworthy ranking.
Canada’s top 50 socially responsible corporations: 2015, by Julie Smyth, June 8, 2015, Maclean's, Canada.

Inside GRI’s new ‘beyond reporting’ strategy. "Today, the Global Reporting Initiative is unveiling plans to launch what it calls 'the next era of sustainability reporting... The goal is to...  standardize it across sectors and borders... As part of its new strategy, GRI 'envisions a future beyond reports, where information from sustainability reporting empowers decision making throughout organizations,' in the words of Michael Meehan, GRI’s CEO."

[COMMENTARY] This will be a great move by GRI to get companies to actualize their sustainability reporting into evolving sustainability initiatives -- and hopefully, initiatives that can be measured and related to increasing company profits. That would not only help environmental causes, but please stockholders and their stock price!
Inside GRI’s new ‘beyond reporting’ strategy, by Joel Makower, June 9, 2015, GreenBiz, USA.

Linking CDP and GIC’s Investor Expectations: Oil and Gas Company Strategy. "In order to assist investors in identifying relevant information on carbon asset risk within CDP’s dataset and inform their engagement activities with oil and gas companies, this document links relevant questions from CDP's 2015 climate change questionnaire with the expectations and guiding questions outlined in the GIC’s Investor Expectations: Oil and Gas Company Strategy document."

[COMMENTARY] This is a useful document for fund managers, particularly, on how to dialogue with fossil fuel companies with respect to their actions -- or lack thereof -- concerning climate change.
Linking CDP and GIC’s Investor Expectations: Oil and Gas Company Strategy, June 5, 2015, CDP, UK.

CDP. Flicking the switch: Are electric utilities prepared for a low carbon future? "Ranks European utilities in a league table based on a number of different emissions-related metrics. Iberdrola, Centrica and Verbund come out on top, whilst others lag behind."

[COMMENTARY] Another terrific report from CDP. Hopefully, they'll get around to North American utilities too at some point. Ethical investors will get some good information on what to look for in utilities by reviewing CDP's report.
Flicking the switch: Are electric utilities prepared for a low carbon future? CDP, June 2015, UK.

New Research Reveals Discrepancy Between Public and Business Ethics [in UK]. "The third annual ‘Great British Money Survey’ reveals 70% of people would be unhappy if they discovered their money was being invested in unethical businesses... More people think that corporate tax avoidance is an unethical business activity than pornography or selling arms, a stark fact when 98% of the FTSE 100 engage in some form of tax avoidance."

[COMMENTARY] It's a common complaint around the world that most of the mainstream investment industry does not consult its retail clients about their real personal values -- and how they want them reflected in their investments!
New Research Reveals Discrepancy Between Public and Business Ethics, June 5, 2013, Acquisition International, UK.

Climate change: new investment risk demands action by investors, cautions new research -- Mercer. "Depending on the climate scenario which plays out, the average annual returns from the coal sub-sector could fall by anywhere between 18% and 74% over the next 35 years, with effects being more pronounced over the coming decade (eroding between 26% and 138% of average annual returns over the next 10 years).

Conversely, the renewables sub-sector could see average annual returns increase by between 6% and 54% over a 35 year time horizon (or between 4% and 97% over a 10-year period) depending on the climate scenario."

[COMMENTARY] Mercer has been engaged with ESG and sustainability matters for many years. This report adds to a growing body of literature that show investors must rethink their investments in the wake of climate change and associated potential, government regulations. Register to download the actual report here.
Climate change: new investment risk demands action by investors, cautions new research, press release, June 4, 2015, Mercer, UK.

2015 Newsweek Green Rankings. "The Newsweek Green Rankings consist of two separate rankings. The U.S. 500 ranks the 500 largest publicly-traded companies in the United States by market capitalization, while the Global 500 looks at the 500 largest publicly-traded companies globally by market capitalization as determined by Bloomberg as of March 4, 2015... Newsweek partnered with Corporate Knights Capital and HIP Investor to complete the 2015 Newsweek Green Rankings."

[COMMENTARY] This is a list for all green-ethical investors to review. As with all these rankings and lists, it's worthwhile to understand the methodology behind them. Click here for the methodology underlying these rankings.
2015 Newsweek Green Rankings, June 4, 2015, Newsweek, USA.

The Best 50 Canadian 2015 Corporate Citizens -- Corporate Knights. "The top company on the Best 50 list this year is Tim Hortons... Vancity and Mountain Equipment Co-op finished second and third respectively... Teck Resources, in fourth place... Telus rounded out the top five."

[COMMENTARY] This is always a great list to see and to read their commentary. Whether you're Canadian or an ethical investor from elsewhere, you might want to review the Corporate Knights findings.
The Best 50 Canadian 2015 Corporate Citizens -- Corporate Knights, survey, June 3, 2015, Corporate Knights, Canada.

Update, re article below: Cut your portfolio’s risk -- and feel good as well. The new, exciting study referred to there is now available here.

Did you know that most investors believe that socially responsible investments will result in a similar return as other investments? "In research recently conducted by Spectrem Group, roughly the same percentage of investors felt that the return for a socially responsible investment should be the same as other investments as did the number of investors who believed it should be less. Only a small portion felt the returns would be better.

Older investors were more likely to believe social investments would have a lower return than other investments. This has historically been the belief and it will be harder for older investors to believe otherwise. Men are also more likely to believe that socially responsible investments will underperform the market."

[COMMENTARY] The inference from this is that younger investors might believe that SRI produces as good or better returns than 'conventional' portfolios. As many Millennials show a significant preference for working in companies having good CSR characteristics, perhaps they also appreciate that such companies are likely more profitable?
May 29, 2015 Millionaire Fact of the Day, Millionaire Corner, USA.

Cut your portfolio’s risk -- and feel good as well. "'In the past, many of the RI studies only looked at financial performance. However, we know environmental, social and governance factors seem to lower risk in an investor’s portfolio,' says Dr. Tessa Hebb, director of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation at Carleton University, who conducted the study on behalf of OceanRock [Investments Inc.].

'We found that RI funds are able to protect investors from downside risk in their equity portfolios.'"

[COMMENTARY] This study used the data on about 100 Canadian RI funds. It's really exciting to find the downside risk mitigated by RI screens. This study could be deserving of the prestigious SRI Moskowitz Prize!
Cut your portfolio’s risk -- and feel good as well, by Clare O'Hara, The Globe and Mail, May 31, 2015, Canada.

Who Do Affluent Investors Contact about Socially Responsible Investing? "The highest percentage (48 percent) of affluent investors who wish to further explore socially responsible investments will first contact their financial advisor, according to a new Spectrem Group report, Investor Perceptions of Socially Responsible and Impact Investing. One fourth will consult the Internet, while less than 10 percent will seek the counsel of specific socially responsible organizations (9 percent), financial publications (8 percent), friends or family members (4 percent) or co-workers (1 percent)."

[COMMENTARY] Taken together with other Spectrum Group survey data, it appears that when wealthy clients ask their advisors about SRI, many advisors do not help in that regard. Of course, this is a continuing problem that is gradually being addressed. What is also interesting is how few of these clients consult SR organizations.
Who Do Affluent Investors Contact about Socially Responsible Investing? By Donald Liebenson, May 28, 2015, Millionaire Corner, USA.

BlackRock, Ceres create ESG governance guide for institutional investors. "The 68-page '21st Century Engagement: Investor Strategies for Incorporating ESG Considerations into Corporate Interactions' suggests tactics, including step-by-step advice, for use by institutional investors. BlackRock and Ceres plans to conduct a series of outreach programs and training events at conferences and in webinars, some by invitation only and some open to asset owner trustees and investment managers."

[COMMENTARY] It's fascinating to see the world's largest asset manager -- with almost $5 trillion in AUM -- being so engaged with ESG and working so cooperatively with Ceres! This a powerful combination promoting ESG to institutional investors who can no longer ignore the inherent value in integrating ESG into their investment mandates. As some commentators have suggested, not using ESG in managing some funds could be cause for charges of fiduciary mismanagement.
BlackRock, Ceres create ESG governance guide for institutional investors, by Barry B. Burr, May 28, Pensions & Investments, USA.

Seven out of 10 companies would turn their backs on unethical investments, finds PwC poll. "A stark 97 per cent of respondents said they expected responsible investment to grow in importance over the next two years, because of increasing concerns over upholding fiduciary duty, reputational risk and corporate values."

[COMMENTARY] This Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) poll is yet one more indication of the growing importance of ethical investing. (See my editorial, How Ethics Benefits Corporate Profits.)
Seven out of 10 companies would turn their backs on unethical investments, finds PwC poll, by Jessica Shankleman, May 27, 2015, BusinessGreen, UK.

Canada’s 2nd annual Responsible Investment Week, next week, June 1-5. "Responsible Investment Week is a week dedicated to education and awareness about responsible investment (RI). The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is coordinating a week of events across Canada to promote learning about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that affect investments.

RI Week events will explore opportunities to invest in a more sustainable future, and provide attendees with opportunities to network with industry leaders, hear from ESG experts and catch up on the latest issues, trends and developments in the field."

[COMMENTARY] The main events are planned in Banff (RIA Annual Conference), Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. I hope the many Canadians visiting this site can attend and get involved!
Canada’s 2nd annual Responsible Investment Week, next week, June 1-5, Responsible Investment Association, Canada.

Climate change threat demands reform to financial system – UNEP. "'Blowback' from climate change could wreck the financial system unless regulators rewire it to ditch fossil fuels. So says Nick Robins, former head of HSBC’s climate change unit and author of a UNEP report published today, which urges sweeping reforms to shift multi-trillion flows of international finance to insulate countries from global warming."

[COMMENTARY] This UNEP report is the strongest warning yet to the global financial system concerning how it needs to adjust in the face of stranded and marked down fossil fuel assets. Also, the report serves as a wake-up call to all fund managers and investors that losses on their fossil fuel holdings could be massive were there to be real global action to hold the world to the 2° C rise that scientists and governments say is necessary to avert catastrophic climate change.
Climate change threat demands reform to financial system – UNEP, by Alex Pashley, RTCC, UK.

CorporateRegister.com has released its CR Reporting Awards for best CSR reports. "You can download the full CRRA'15 report, which includes the latest statistics and trends, from the banner on our home page at www.corporateregister.com (Free registration/Sign in required to download)."

[COMMENTARY] Their report is well worth reviewing to see how the best corporate reports handle carbon disclosure, materiality issues, etc. Click here to register/download it.

Socially Responsible Investors Focus Most on the Environment. "Investors who wish to promote social responsibility are most focused on the environment and invest accordingly."

[COMMENTARY] Millionaire Corner is doing a great job with their surveys revealing how the affluent invest (or not) in SR-ethical investing.
Socially Responsible Investors Focus Most on the Environment, by Donald Liebension, May 21, 2015, Millionaire Corner, USA.

In What Companies are Socially Responsible Investors Likely to Invest? "Baby Boomers and seniors ages 65 and up are the strongest proponents of socially responsible investing and the investors most likely to support companies whose policies support causes in which they are passionate."

[COMMENTARY] It seems older investors want a better world for their kids and grandchildren. And that's a great reason for them to invest in SR-ethical investments!
In What Companies are Socially Responsible Investors Likely to Invest? By Donald Liebenson, May 19, 2015, Millionaire Corner, USA.

Oxford Joins Cambridge With Ethical Move on Investments. "Oxford University, one of the world’s oldest schools, has joined the ranks of British universities shunning investments in carbon-intensive energy projects... This follows a decision by Oxford’s arch-rival, Cambridge University, to appoint a new committee to beef up its 'socially responsible' investment policy."

[COMMENTARY] With such prestigious academic institutions taking an ethical stand against fossil fuel investments, the fossil free divestment movement gains additional momentum. It seems these great universities are also applying ethical criteria to other investments as well. SR-ethical investing -- which when I started familiarizing myself with it over forty years ago -- has come a long way!
Oxford Joins Cambridge With Ethical Move on Investments, by Juliet Samuel, May 18, 2015, The Wall Street Journal, USA.

Shareholders’ Votes Have Done Little to Curb Lavish Executive Pay. "It’s been five years since the Dodd-Frank law required that companies let investors vote on their executive pay practices. The idea, lawmakers said, was to give shareholders a chance to sound off when compensation plans are not in their best interests.

But has putting these matters to a vote done anything to rein in executive pay? Not a chance. Since these votes started being tallied, C.E.O. pay has risen on average 12 percent annually."

[COMMENTARY] We have what is akin to the 'tulip mania' in executive compensation -- everyone pushing the compensation envelope as far it will go. As is noted in the article, unless such shareholder resolutions are binding on companies, not much will change.

Furthermore, executive compensation committees -- themselves usually executives at other companies -- recommend management compensation packages that try to outdo their competitors. Also, shareholders largely believe that the companies they invest in should offer the biggest pay packets to attract the best talent. Hence, the say on pay laws and resolutions, though nice in theory, have proved useless in halting the compensation frenzy.
Shareholders’ Votes Have Done Little to Curb Lavish Executive Pay, by Gretchen Morgenson, May 16, 2015, The New York Times, USA.

RepRisk and CSRHub study finds link between perceived Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance and reputational risk. "In addition, the data indicates that companies that have strong CSR programs as measured by CSRHub, in the areas of Human Rights and Supply Chain, Leadership Ethics, and Resource Management, seem to have lower risk exposure, whereas those companies who have strong programs in Community Development and Philanthropy, Environment Policy and Reporting, or Compensation and Benefits seem to have higher risk exposure."

[COMMENTARY] I think that most ethical investors assumed such a link, but it's good to get the hard data to support it and the detail as to what are the most important linkages.
RepRisk and CSRHub study finds link between perceived Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) performance and reputational risk, press release, May 14, 2015, CSRHub/RepRisk, Switzerland/USA.

Does "Socially Responsible Investing" Mean Anything to You? "In general, the younger the investor, the more familiarity he has with socially responsible investing. Among investors under the age of 36, familiarity with 'socially responsible investing' was at 47.42, and familiarity with 'Impact investing' was at 35.76.

There was also a trend shown that the wealthier the investor, the more familiarity he has with socially responsible investing. Ultra High Net Worth investors with a net worth between $5 million and $25 million reported familiarity with 'socially responsible investing' at 55.11, well above the average, while Mass Affluent investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million were at 42.24."

[COMMENTARY] The data are from the same survey as the item immediately below. I find the most interesting aspect here is that the very rich are more aware of SRI than the 'poorer' rich.
Does "Socially Responsible Investing" Mean Anything to You? By Kent Mcdill, May 12, 2015, Millionaire Corner, USA.

Socially Responsible Investing: Who Cares? "More than one quarter of all investors under the age of 45 have at least 25 percent of their investable assets invested in socially responsible companies. Conversely, more than 45 percent of all investors over the age of 45 do not invest in socially responsible companies."

[COMMENTARY] This survey finds what other similar surveys found: younger investors, particularly female, favour SRI.
Socially Responsible Investing: Who Cares? Press release, May 13, 2015, Spectrum Group, USA.

How to Avoid the Next Sovereign Debt Crisis. "Applying environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria to government bonds can help investors steer clear of the most indebted nations, according to Standard & Poor’s Dow Jones Indices (S&P DJI)."

[COMMENTARY] This coming from S&P-DJ is a tremendous endorsement for bond ratings utilizing ESG factors! Since, the build-up in sovereign debt has been so extraordinary in recent years, additional sovereign debt catastrophes are inevitable. All investors might want to review their bond holdings in the light of ESG criteria.
How to Avoid the Next Sovereign Debt Crisis, by Nick Reeve, May 5, 2015, Chief Financial Officer magazine, UK.

Canada's 2nd Annual RI Week June 1-5. "Responsible Investment Week is a week dedicated to education and awareness about responsible investment (RI). The Responsible Investment Association (RIA) is coordinating a week of events across Canada to promote learning about environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that affect investments."

[COMMENTARY] Every country should have such weeks as they provide a focus for promoting ethical-responsible investing. The UK, Belgium, France, Australia and Canada, are among the countries that presently offer them.

I encourage everyone associated with ethical-responsible investing in Canada to participate in whatever way they can. A series of events are already arranged across Canada.
Canada’s 2nd annual RI Week: June 1-5, Responsible Investment Association (RIA), Canada.

Survey: Adoption of ESG Criteria Growing Among Hedge Fund & Private Asset Managers. "Although the results revealed that 60% of hedge fund managers were still reluctant to introduce ESG criteria into their investment approach, this is a big improvement over the results from the company’s last survey in 2011, when 75% of managers were reluctant. Meanwhile, the percentage of managers that do incorporate ESG criteria has increased significantly from 25% to 40% over the same time span."

[COMMENTARY] Surveys showing greatly increased adoption of ESG criteria in stock/portfolio selection by fund managers are everywhere these days. And for good reason as anyone who follows these studies/surveys knows that they repeatedly show the use of ESG criteria produces better returns.
Survey: Adoption of ESG Criteria Growing Among Hedge Fund & Private Asset Managers, May 5, 2015, FIN Alternatives, USA.

Fifth Annual Impact Investor Survey Reflects on Industry Growth, Past and Projected. "146 of the world’s largest impact investors, including fund managers, banks, development finance institutions, foundations, and pension funds report having committed $10.6 billion to impact investments in 2014, with plans to commit 16% more in 2015. The surveyed sample, which manages $60 billion in impact investment assets, indicates satisfaction with both financial returns and social/environmental impact performance, compared to expectations."

[COMMENTARY] J.P. Morgan Social Finance and Global Impact Investing Network (GINN) are providing a valuable service in surveying the impact investing market. As many of us know, the possibilities for impact investing are huge with immense potential benefits for society with prospective market returns for investors.
Fifth Annual Impact Investor Survey Reflects on Industry Growth, Past and Projected, press release, May 4, 2015, J.P. Morgan Social Finance/Global Impact Investing Network (GINN), USA..

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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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