Ethical Investing News/Commentaries:
Commentaries by Ron
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New Corporate ESG Asia Rankings. -
[COMMENTARY] "Research and
advisory firm RepuTex has launched the first service
that rates the environment, social and government (ESG)
performance of listed companies in Asia outside of
Japan. Primarily aimed at the investment community,
the RepuTex ESG Data Service currently covers 1,100
companies representing 95 percent of the region’s
market capitalization." Their top five rankings
are: MTR Corporation Limited (AA Rating, Hong Kong),
Plus Expressways Bhd (AA Rating, Malaysia), Swire
Pacific Ltd (AA Rating, Hong Kong), Lotte Shopping
Co. Ltd (AA- Rating, Korea), and Woongjin Coway Co.
Ltd (AA- Rating, Korea).
First Asian ESG ratings highlight changing investor
attitudes, May 30, 2011, CleanBiz, USA.
CEOs See Sustainability As Growth Opportunity. -
[COMMENTARY] "A new research
study published today by the United Nations Global
Compact and Accenture shows major differences in
perceptions of sustainability between CEOs in
different industry sectors, and significant gaps in
the level of integration of sustainability already
achieved in their companies, despite an overall
trend towards seeing sustainability as an
opportunity for value creation and business
success." This study provides useful insight
into the CEO mindset within some key industries.
Sustainability Splits Industry Sectors, Finds Major
UN Global Compact and Accenture Study as CEOs
Increasingly see Sustainability as an Engine for
Growth, May 25, 2011, UN Global
FTSE4Good Says Assets Under Management
Incorporating ESG Now $10.1 Trillion. -
[COMMENTARY] "The growth in
assets under management that incorporate ESG is hard
to ignore, currently over $10.1 trillion, a
four-fold increase since 2006. This growth has been
driven by institutional investors, government
regulation, transnational investor-led initiatives,
increased retail investor interest, and heightened
external scrutiny, such as NGOs and the media."
Well done FTSE4Good on your 10th anniversary! Their
report is a useful read for all ethical investors.
FTSE4Good 1O years of impact & investment, May
24, 2011, FTSE4Good, UK.
41% Of Canadians Prefer An Ethical Portfolio,
Even If It Delivers Lower Returns. -
[COMMENTARY] "We asked
respondents to review three types of portfolios: one
that was more ethical with a lower return (Portfolio
1), one with lower ethics and a higher return
(Portfolio 3), and another balanced between the two
(Portfolio 2). Overall, Canadians were fairly split
between Portfolio 1 (41%) and Portfolio 2 (46%),
with slightly more Canadians choosing the balanced
investment option. Only 13% chose more money over
less ethical behavior."
It is clear the majority of Canadians continue to
desire ethical investments. In practice though, not
many ’follow what they preach.’ So there is still a
big job to actualize their desire with what they
actually invest in.
Ethical investment in Canada--a real market exists,
May 18, 2011, Abacus Data, Canada.
UK Charities Ethical Investing Assets Lower. -
[COMMENTARY] "A survey into the
financial management of 64 charities with an annual
income over £1m has found that those charities have
reduced their ethical and socially responsible
investments from one-third to one-fifth."
The reason for this, apparently, is that the fund
managers believe they will get lower returns from
ethical investments. Quite likely the UK charities
are under enormous financial pressure and forcing
their fund managers into looking at short term,
frequently ’non-ethical’ assets, for relatively
quick gains. Such short sightedness is very sad.
There are recycles to all investment classes and
styles, and ethical investments over the long term
have been shown to be as profitable as their
This also indicates to me a weak moral attitude
in UK charity governance.
Ethical investment by top charities falls, finds
survey, by Niki May Young, May 23, 2011, Civil
UK Finally Provides New Green bank Details. -
[COMMENTARY] "Deputy Prime
Minister Nick Clegg said the bank will open for
business next April and will likely focus initially
on investing in areas such as offshore wind, waste
and non-domestic energy efficiency. The bank will be
capitalized with an initial 3 billion pounds ($4.8
billion) from the Treasury coffers but will be given
independence from the Treasury and will be able to
borrow in the capital markets and from the private
sector from April 2015."
This will really be fascinating to watch! I wish
them good luck--but am concerned about funds being
advanced for political reasons rather than based on
economics and sustainability.
United Kingdom Plans World’s First State-Backed
Green Investment Bank, by Jane Wardell, May 23,
2011, Huffington Post, UK.
Potential Opportunities In Water Industry. -
[COMMENTARY] "At this year’s H2O
Global Water Summit in Toronto, Canada, two hundred
of the world’s leading water companies and
authorities gathered to assess the latest market
developments. The event provided a telling barometer
of opportunities and challenges in the water
industry." Issues and even investment
opportunities in everything ’water’ might surpass
that of energy by 2025. One can reduce energy usage.
But you cannot live without water!
The Water Industry: A Massive Market Bubbles to the
Surface, by Heather King, May 23, 2011,
Corporate Sustainability Spending Could Rise
50-100% By 2013, Says Verdantix. -
[COMMENTARY] "Firms in the U.S.,
U.K., Australia and Canada with $1 billion-plus
revenue will dole out roughly $60 billion in 2013 on
workers, equipment or implementation of strategies
directly related to sustainability, climate change,
carbon management or energy efficiency." Firms
are finally grasping the fact that sustainability
can mean big savings, thus increase profits.
Could 2013 Be a Tipping Point for Sustainability
Spending? By Tilde Herrera, May 20, 2011,
Spectrum Group Reports 48% Of US Investors
With $100,000 In Investments Favour SRIs. -
percent of investors with a net worth of $100,000
and $1 million (not including primary residence)
consider a company′s corporate responsibility and
societal concerns as an investment factor. This is
up slightly from 2010. Socially responsible
investing is a greater priority for younger
investors ages 54 and under with nearly half (48
percent) considering it as an investment factor
versus 36 percent of investors ages 65 and up. While
this age group is the least likely to consider the
social responsibility of their investments, this
number, too, is up from last year."
SRI-ethical investing continues to gain ground in
the US. With the unresolved unethical practices in
business and finance, SRI-ethical investing
is likely to continue to gain momentum.
Socially responsible investing continues as an
investment factor, May 18, 2011, Spectrum Group,
Genocide-Free Investing Gains Momentum at
JPMorgan Chase. -
[COMMENTARY] "The shareholder
proposal on "Genocide-free investing" earned 7.69
percent of the vote at today’s JPMorgan Chase
shareholder meeting. The favorable vote is more than
double the 3% required for the proposal to be
presented at next year′s meeting and is a solid
result given that 74 percent of outstanding shares
are held by institutional investors." It is
important that companies be held to account for
their participation with regimes that promote
genocide and other inhuman acts.
Genocide-Free Investing Gains Momentum at JPMorgan
Chase, May 18, 2011, press release, Investors
Against Genocide, USA.
SRI Poised For Evolution, Bank Says. -
responsible investing has undergone a ’spectacular’
transformation in recent years and is ready to move
to the next level, according to a report from German
commercial bank WestLB. The 120-page report states
that the SRI market continues to grow strongly in
both absolute and relative terms." This is a
great report for all investors.
SRI poised for evolution, bank says, May 17,
2011, SRI Monitor, Canada.
Nike’s Sustainability Report Wins Top Ceres-ACCA
[COMMENTARY] "Nike′s report
addresses the new context within which business must
operate—one with a rising global population,
decreasing natural resources, and an unstable
climate—and reveals how Nike, in an effort to take a
competitive advantage, is shifting to a more
sustainable business model." Congratulations to
Nike! There are other winners too that ethical
investors might want to look at.
Ceres-ACCA Reporting Awards, May 11, 2011, press
release, Ceres, USA.
Installed Global Renewable Energy Output Now
Greater Than Nuclear. -
[COMMENTARY] "For the first time
in 2010 total renewable energy from three specific
sources - wind turbines, biomass and waste-to-energy
plants, and solar power - exceeded the total global
nuclear power generation capacity." This is
great news, especially when you consider how
enormously subsidized is nuclear. I’ve read that for
every dollar of government subsidy for renewables,
governments give $40 to nuclear! Eliminate all
subsidies to nuclear, oil and gas, etc., and
renewables will reign supreme.
Power from renewable sources surpasses N-power for
the first time news, May 10, 2011, domain-b.com,
Canadian SRI Assets Hold Steady. -
responsible assets in Canada dropped marginally to
$531 billion as of June 30, 2010, compared with $579
billion in 2008, according to the biennial SRI
review, released today by the Social Investment
Organization. However, SRI still represents about
one-fifth of total Canadian assets under management,
about the same level as 2008." Most SRI assets
in Canada are held by pension funds. A substantial
breakthrough in the retail market would be really
SRI assets hold steady, May 5, 2011, SRI
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