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Shareholder Values

"Forty-five percent of U.S. households prefer an environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach to investing… Among those between the ages of 30 and 39, this increases to 64%, and for those younger than 30, it is 67%."
-- Cerulli Associates
    October 2018

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

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


Ethical Investing News/Commentaries
June 2013


Commentaries by Ron Robins

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Prince Of Wales Calls On Pension Funds To Make ESG Mainstream. - [COMMENTARY] "Addressing an audience of pensions professionals at a Prince of Wales Charities event, Resilience and the Long-term: Rethinking Portfolio Strategy, the Prince said the current signs of economic recovery were based on a ’return to the Elysian Fields of the business of usual scenario of ever increasing consumption’. The capital required to maintain growth in this manner comes from ’diminishing our reserves of natural resources’, something which cannot continue, he said." The Prince has always been pro ESG. It’s great to see him aggressively promote it.
Prince of Wales calls on pension funds to make ESG mainstream, by Naomi Rainey, June 28, 2013, Professional Pensions, UK.

The 21st Century Investor: Ceres Blueprint For Sustainable Investing. - [COMMENTARY] "This Blueprint is written for the 21st Century investor— institutional asset owners and their investment managers—who need to understand and manage the growing risks posed by climate change, resource scarcity, population growth, human and labor rights, energy demand and access to water—risks that will challenge businesses and affect investment returns in the years and decades to come." The blueprint is good reading for all ethical investors. Download it here.
The 21st Century Investor: Ceres Blueprint for Sustainable Investing, press release, June 26, 2013, Ceres, USA.

German Attitudes Towards Sustainability Improve ’Slightly.’ - [COMMENTARY] "The attitude of German institutional investors towards sustainable investment strategies has improved slightly, according to an index compiled by professor Henry Schäfer of Stuttgart University on behalf of Union Investment... Bonds dominate sustainably managed investments, with a share of 45% and rank ahead of real estate with 20% and equities with 14%."

It’s interesting how bonds dominate sustainably managed German portfolios, whereas its equities in most other developed countries.
ESG roundup: German attitudes towards sustainability, PPF, IMA, by Nina Röhrbein, June 26, 2013, Pensions & Investments Europe, UK.

Review Of Evidence: Database of SRI Academic Studies, Commissioned By Calpers, Compiled By UC Davis Graduate School Of Management. - [COMMENTARY] "CalPERS has commissioned this review of evidence as part of its Sustainable Investment Research Initiative (SIRI). It is a searchable database of over 700 academic studies on sustainability factors spanning four decades of research, which examine the impact of these factors on investment risk and return." This is a great comprehensive review of SRI research that many ethical investors might want to look at.
Review of Evidence: Database of SRI Academic Studies, Compiled by UC Davis Graduate School of Management, June 2013, USA.

Why ’The 3% Solution’ Is 100 Percent Right. - [COMMENTARY] "’The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon Reduction’ (being released Tuesday [June 18] via a GreenBiz.com webcast that I′ll be hosting) begins with a hopeful premise: that U.S. business can reduce carbon emissions sufficient to meet science-based goals for avoiding a 2°C rise in global temperatures. And do so while capturing hundreds of billion dollars in savings and creating new business opportunities." This sounds like a most interesting study! It’ll be fascinating to see how mainstream businesses respond to it.
Why ’The 3% Solution’ is 100 percent right, by Joel Makower, June 17, 2013, GreenBiz, USA.

Insurers Inflating Books, New York Regulator Says. - [COMMENTARY] "New York State regulators are calling for a nationwide moratorium on transactions that life insurers are using to alter their books by billions of dollars, saying that the deals put policyholders at risk and could lead to another taxpayer bailout." Here we go again with yet more unethical behaviour among the financial elites!
Insurers Inflating Books, New York Regulator Says, by Mary Williams Walsh, June 11, 2013, DealBook, The New York Times, USA.

The 2013 Best Green Global Brands. - [COMMENTARY] "The 2013 Best Green Global Brands is produced by Interbrand and “powered by” Deloitte, according to the study′s — well, branding. The study measures the environmental perception of 100 global brands and compares it to those companies′ actual environmental performance. This year′s ranking shows Toyota maintaining the No. 1 spot, with Ford, Honda, Panasonic, Nissan, Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen, Danone, Nokia and Dell rounding out the top 10." What is useful is not so much the ranking as how the survey is explained in the linked article.
Why are Toyota, Ford and Honda the ‘best green global brands′? By Joel Makower, June 12, 2013, GreenBiz, USA.

Barclays, MSCI Launch Fixed Income ESG Indices. - [COMMENTARY] "Barclays and MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) today announced the launch of a global family of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) fixed Income Indices, the first fixed income benchmark indices based primarily on ESG factors. The indices are co-branded “Barclays MSCI” and will be independently marketed by both firms." This is milestone development. It demonstrates that large investors are showing interest in fixed income ESG products. Fixed income ESG products could see more rapid growth now. For a good description of the green bond market see, Painting the Bond Markets Green at yourSRI.com
Barclays, MSCI Launch ESG Indices, press release, June 11, 2013, Barclays/MSCI, USA.

Deb Abbey Named as Canada’s Social Investment Organization (SIO) Executive Director. - [COMMENTARY] "Abbey was one of the first investment advisors to focus on SRI and was the founder of Real Assets, an SRI investment management firm. The company was acquired by Vancity in 2005. Abbey is the author of two books on sustainable investing, The 50 Best Ethical Stocks for Canadians — co-authored with Michael Jantzi — and Global Profit and Global Justice, Using Your Money to Change the World." Deb will make an outstanding Executive Director for Canada’s SIO. Congratulations to Deb!
Deb Abbey Named as Social Investment Organization Executive Director, by Doug Watt, June 11, 2013, SRI Monitor, Canada.

Private Equity Adopting ESG, Says Malk Sustainability Partners Survey. - [COMMENTARY] "’Our study shows that ESG management is growing up. Over the past year, more private equity firms have initiated ESG efforts. Those with programs are pushing further. As a relatively young concept in private equity, ESG management is catching on as an important area to align GP performance with LP interests,’ said Andrew Malk, Managing Partner of MSP." Private equity and limited partnerships can be more entrepreneurial and nimble--better able to adopt new trends they find profitable. Thus, you see the interest of these asset managers in ESG.
Malk Sustainability Partners′ Second Study Reveals ESG′s Drivers, Communication Mechanisms, and Effective Management Programs, press release, June 10, 2013, Malk Sustainability Partners, USA.

Top 50 Canadian Socially Responsible Companies 2013. - [COMMENTARY] "For the fifth year in a row, Maclean′s has partnered with Sustainalytics, a global leader in sustainability analysis, to select 50 leaders in corporate social responsibility–companies who know that doing good is just good business. Canada′s Top 50 Socially Responsible Companies were selected on the basis of their performance across a broad range of environmental, social, and governance indicators and rank at the top of their industry groups." For ethical investors investing in Canada, this is a good review to read.
Top 50 Socially Responsible Companies 2013, Maclean’s Magazine/Sustainalytics, June 6, 2013, Canada.

CFO Survey: Corporate Social Responsibility Lags in U.S., Optimism About U.S. Economy Grows. - [COMMENTARY] "U.S. businesses trail their global counterparts in terms of how much importance they place on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Nearly half of U.S. chief financial officers rate CSR and sustainability as moderately important or very important items in their business strategies. By contrast, the rating in Europe is 63 percent, 67 percent in Asia, 76 percent in Latin America and 83 percent in Africa." The data revealed here is nothing new. The US has lagged for many years. In some European countries and elsewhere, government mandates promote corporate awareness and interest in CSR and sustainability.
CFO Survey: Corporate Social Responsibility Lags in U.S., Optimism About U.S. Economy Grows, press release, June 6, 2013, Duke University/CFO Magazine Global Business Outlook Survey, USA.

MSCI Launches New ESG Indices For Emerging Markets And ACWI. - [COMMENTARY] "LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), a leading provider of investment decision support tools worldwide, today launched two new Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Indices, the MSCI Emerging Markets ESG Index and the MSCI ACWI ESG Index. The new indices bring comprehensive global coverage to the MSCI Global Sustainability Indices family." Again, the growth in ESG indices wouldn’t be happening unless the demand was there. Such growth in ESG indices augurs well for the future of ethical investing.
MSCI Launches New ESG Indices for Emerging Markets and ACWI, press release, MSCI, UK.

GIIN Launches IRIS Data Briefs. - [COMMENTARY] "The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) today released the first IRIS Data Brief, kicking off a regular series that presents aggregated social, environmental, and financial results of organizations receiving impact investment capital. This first Brief includes performance data from more than 4,000 mission-driven portfolio companies." This is a great new service for some ethical investors.
GIIN Launches IRIS Data Briefs, press release, GIIN, June 4, 2013, USA.

WattzOn Survey: U.S. Workers Want Their Companies to Take More Action to Protect the Environment, Perception and Participation Is Low. - [COMMENTARY] "Three out of four (76 percent) U.S. workers say it’s important that their employer takes action to protect the environment. While recycling and waste reduction programs are the most prevalent programs employers utilize in and outside the workplace (66 percent and 44.4 percent, respectively), only 27 percent of U.S. workers are very satisfied with their employer’s efforts to help the environment."

I’m curious, were many senior managers included in this survey? I wonder what their response was? I’m sure that privately, many managers respond to such questions similarly to the mass of employees, but, with financial constraints and other priorities, environmental activities just aren’t a priority.
WattzOn Survey: U.S. Workers Want Their Companies to Take More Action to Protect the Environment, Perception and Participation Is Low, press release, WattzOn, June 4, 2013, 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 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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