Ethical Investing News/Commentaries:
Commentaries by Ron
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Charitable Foundations Aligning Their Investments To
The $8.5 billion William and Flora Hewlett
Foundation, the $6.1-billion John D. and Catherine
T. MacArthur Foundation, and $7.8-billion W. K.
Kellogg Foundation are among the many foundations
now beginning to follow a ’mission-based investing’
strategy for their investments. It is good to see
the big US foundations investing in companies that
promote their missions’ goals, rather than oppose
them! This is also good news for ethical investors,
as it means potentially higher prices over the
longer term for ethical stocks and bonds as
foundations, charities and other like minded
institutional investors move more funds into the
ethical investing area.
Foundations align investments with their charitable
goals, by Charles Pillar, December 29, 2007,
The Los Angeles Times, USA.
Study On Climate Change Industries Investing Warns
About Knock-On Effects.
Deals with many issues green investors are faced
with. "The report was prepared as part of the
London Accord, a collaboration between investment
banks and research houses to produce financial
research on the investment opportunities from
Climate change investments could backfire, investors
warned, December 21, 2007, Environmental
Finance, UK. See actual study at:
Investments To Combat Climate Change - Exploding the
sustainable solutions, 2007, UK.
Come Out On Top, Information Technology At Bottom,
In New Sustainability Study.
"The Washington DC-based research group [RiskMetrics]
spent a year studying over 1,700 companies, drawing
from companies found in the S&P 500, the Toronto
Stock Exchange 300, and the Morgan Stanley EAFE
index (excluding Japan.)" Another interesting
fact revealed by this study is that industries with
the most negative influence on climate change
generally had the best governance and sustainability
policies. Obviously companies are the seeing the
obvious advantage of using corporate social
Sustainability Issues All Over the Map at Large Cap
Companies, by Anne Moore Odell, December 22,
2007. Source: SocialFunds.com but published at
Sachs, Dow Chemical, Bloomberg L.P. and Florida
Power and Light Join The Climate Group.
The Climate Change Group is an elite grouping of
major corporations dedicated to becoming green. Only
time will tell how committed these companies really
are to becoming green. Meanwhile, they want to be
seen as among the best socially responsible
investing stocks to invest in.
Dow, FPL, Bloomberg and Goldman Sachs Join Climate
Group, December 21, 2007, GreenBiz.com, USA.
Of India Asks All Member Banks To Help The Cause Of
This is an unprecedented move for a developing world
central bank, indeed for any central bank, to issue
such a directive. Perhaps India, with its somewhat
left-of-centre governance can have its central bank
make such a decree.
Reserve Bank of India asks banks to go green,
sustainable, December 21, 2007,
Responsible Investing (SRI) Companies And Human
Rights Groups Urge Wall Street To Help Push Sudan To
End Violence In Darfur.
The Calvert Group, Trillium Asset Management,
Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc., plus
other SRI investment/financial managers, have joined
Amnesty International and many human rights groups
in proposing shareholder resolutions to six major
Wall Street banks and financial firms to use their
leverage to end the Darfur violence. This action
continues a trend that should encourage ethical
investors to review their holdings of stocks that
might have exposure to Sudan, Iran and other
trouble-spots around the world. Ethical investors
need to do this to determine if
these stocks fit with their values as well as
understanding that investors generally may turn away
from these stocks and so create lower valuations for
Human Rights Groups and Investors Push Wall Street
to Use Influence in Sudan to End War Against
Civilians in Darfur, December 20, 2007, press
release Amnesty International, USA.
The Best 100
UK Companies To Work For: Sunday Times Survey.
Reviewing this list might give ethical investors
some ideas about some stocks that are good to invest
The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to work for,
December 2007, The Sunday Times, UK.
International Banks Becoming Players In
Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Citibank are
getting into microfinancing in the developing world.
Deutsche Bank has just released a study saying that
retail and institutional investment in microfinance
will increase from the current $2 billion to over
$20 billion by 2015. I do not know if I would call
these institutions socially conscious banks, but it
is interesting to see them beginning to act that
Microfinance becoming part of a bigger world
picture, by Tavia Grant, December 21, 2007,
The Globe & Mail, Canada.
Concerns Influence Investor Decisions Among UK
Online Investment Dealers.
"Alliance Trust asked nearly 1,000 online
investment dealers to choose which trading approach
best described them. While 51% said that financial
returns are their sole concern, 26% stated they are
balancing their wish to make money with their
ethical views on which companies to back and which
to avoid." I believe that traders, like regular
investors, are coming to the realization that
companies with the best ethical practices have
stocks that are good to invest in too.
Ethical concerns influence investment choices of one
in four online dealers, December 17, 2007, press
release by Alliance Trust, UK.
DHL & USPS
Rated Most Climate Conscious Shippers By Climate
If you are looking for shipping stocks that are good
to invest in, you might want to have a look at this
report. Climate Counts rates over sixty shippers
"... based on four benchmarks: measuring and
tracking their carbon footprint, taking steps to
minimize impact, their support or opposition to
climate policies, and how they report their efforts
to the public."
DHL, U.S. Post Office Lead Climate-Friendly Survey,
by Dan Shapley, December 15, 2007, The Daily
Rates Largest 500 Indian Companies On Corporate
Social Responsibility (CSR) Practices.
This is the first time I have come across such a
detailed examination of CSR among Indian companies.
Many of the companies covered are multi-nationals.
It is interesting for ethical investors to review
how these companies actually operate in the
Social Responsibility, December 15, 2007,
Investing Handbook For Foundations Just Issued By
This handbook, funded by the FB Heron Foundation, is
aimed at "... foundation asset managers
interested in multiplying their organization′s
impact on society through options that link mission
with investments that create long-term value to
society." It is excellent reading for all
ethical investors as it covers asset classes not
often considered by them!
Handbook on Responsible Investment Across Asset
Responsible Investing Handbook, (PDF). Boston
Companies To Choose From For Ethical Gifts.
It you are an investor looking for ethical stocks
that are good to invest in, you might like to review
the companies mentioned in this list. Though the
list cited here is from a UK perspective, some of
the companies mentioned are public companies that
ethical investors from around the world might like
to look at.
Top 28 Ethical companies to choose from for
Christmas Gift, by Peter Shield,
Launch Own Ethical Investing Website.
This is an interesting project that combines and
lists reports by major UK church groups concerning
their thinking in regard to their ethical investing
policies. Spiritual and ethical investors might find
some of these reports worthwhile.
Church Investors Group, December 12, 2007, UK.
Letter Lists Their 25 Stocks For A Cleaner
These companies are often cited in sustainability
indices as environmentally conscious major
corporations. Whenever you review a list like this
always get help with investing from a qualified
25 Stocks to Invest in a Cleaner World, by David
Landis and Andrew Tanzer, December 2007,
Magazine Publishes The 100 Most Influential
People In Business Ethics For 2007.
This Ethisphere publication is an interesting one to
read. Ethical investors can glean some insight into
who is doing what, and what particular companies are
trying to seize the advantage of using corporate
social responsibility in their activities.
Most Influential People in Business Ethics (2007),
December 2007, Ethisphere Magazine, USA.
Cooperative Bank Publishes Ethical Consumer Report.
This report is packed with statistics and
information about all things the consumer -- and
investors -- might want to know about ethical
consumption in the UK. However, the report is also
useful to all non-UK ethical investors as well, as
it provides insight as to how one of the world’s
largest and most advanced ethical markets functions.
If you are looking for ethical stocks and bonds,
this report will give you some interesting clues as
to what industries and companies you might want to
The Ethical Consumerism Report 2007, December
2007, The Cooperative Bank, UK.
Bank Joins Canada’s Social Investment Organization (SIO).
RBC Asset Management, an arm of Canada’s largest
bank, the Royal Bank, has become an associate member
of the Canada’s SIO. This demonstrates that Canada’s
banks are finally waking-up to the investing
publics’ interest in ethical stocks and bonds and
ethical investing in general. I was a member of the
SIO for many years and know of how it struggled to
stay alive and relevant. With the addition of
several of Canada’s largest mutual funds’
organizations as members in the past two years or
so, the SIO is deservedly poised for significant
expansion and influence in Canada’s investment
markets. Well done Eugene Ellmen, Andrika Boshyk,
and all the others at the SIO!
RBC Asset Management Joins Social Investment
Organization, December 5, 2007, Investment
Trust Announces Its 2007 Global Accountability
Read it’s findings on some of the world’s largest
companies -- The Coca-Cola Company, DynCorp
International, General Electric Company (GE),
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Google, HSBC Holdings,
PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL),
Suez, and TATA Group.
2007 Global Accountability Report,
2007, One World Trust, UK.
Propose Tariff-Free Green Goods.
This is not only good for the planet -- but also
great for green investors investing in companies
that make these goods! The group working on this has
identified 43 areas of goods, though they have not
itemized them in this news release. If the deal
works, it may not become reality until the end of
U.S., E.U. Propose Tariff-Free Green Goods,
December 3, 2007, GreenBiz.com, Switzerland.
Company Study Shows US Carbon Emissions Can Be Best
Slashed By Boosting Energy Efficiencies.
It is funny how many governments keep arguing for
huge increases in electrical generation and energy.
Yet by far the cheapest and most environmentally
sustainable way to get ’more’ energy is through
energy efficiencies. Here is another report stating
the obvious. If you are looking for green stocks
that are good to invest in, you might want to
consider their activities in regard to promoting
Reducing US Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at
What Cost? December, 2007, McKinsey & Company,
Banks Going Green?
Canadian banks are starting to offer mortgage and
credit card products that encourage green
activities. Finally, some banks are waking-up to our
environmental situation. However, it is my
observation that they have a long, long way to go
before they become green. If they want to be really
green then they must screen all their loans and
financing activities to determine the part they play
in the environmental behaviour of their customers,
both corporate and consumer. If these loans or
financing activities are encouraging environmental
degradation or harming individuals, such loans
should be rescinded. But as I say, the banks are
far, far away from doing that! We are hearing from
many financial institutions and environmentally
conscious major corporations about their great green
plans. It is good that they are starting to think
and act on the environmental issue. However, for a
long time to come, these plans will likely be closer
to ’greenwashing’ -- appearing green -- rather than
truly being green.
How green was my banker, by Rob Carrick,
December 4, 2007, The Globe & Mail, Canada.
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