June 2008 Newsletter

June 2008 Newsletter

News & Commentaries by Ron Robins


The UN Global Compact Office Delists 630 Companies For Failure To Communicate Progress. [COMMENTARY]“The Global Compact is a framework for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.” The delisting of these companies may not mean that they are slipping on their Global Compact commitments, but simply have failed to report their progress. Nonetheless, it is worthwhile for ethical investors to review the list to see if they are invested in any of these companies. After all, ethical investors only want to invest in ethical stocks and bonds.
630 Companies Delisted as Part of Integrity Measures, June 25, 2008, United Nations Global Compact, USA.

Merrill Lynch World Wealth Report Has Good News On Socially Responsible Investing. [COMMENTARY]I thought that readers might like to lookat the actual report. It states that the rich are becoming greener in their investing, and, “… [That] more than US$70 billion was invested globally in clean energy and clean technology markets in 2006, a 43% increase over 2005.” The report makes special mention that demand for socially responsible investments is growing among the rich. All investment advisors and financial planners should review this report.
World Wealth Report, June, 2008, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc., USA.

Mining Industry Fights Back Concerning Its Environmental Image. [COMMENTARY]This is a fascinating response to the environmental and social challenges facing the mining and extractive resource industries. It is published by the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), based in London. Whether we like it or not, with over 3 billion more people becoming consumers, demand for resources is growing at frantic rates. We just have to agree on how resources can be extracted in ways that minimize their environmental impact, while maximizing its social benefits and returns to investors.
Sustainable Development in the Mining and Minerals Sector: the Case for Partnership at Local, National and Global Levels, by Kathryn McPhail, ICMM. For an overview of the paper see:The Dutch Curse of Mining, by Jack Caldwell, June 23, 2008, Mining and Resources, USA.

Solar Power Capable Of Contributing 10% To US Power Needs By 2025. [COMMENTARY]The just released Utility Solar Assessment (USA) Study by Clean Edge and Co-op America says that solar power will cost no more than conventional energy production within a decade. We are indeed heading for a major power revolution. With predictions like these, it is no wonder that so much money is going into green energy.
Solar Power Could Reach One-Tenth of Energy Supply by 2025: Report, June 17, 2008, GreenBiz, USA.

New FTSE/Impax Group Environmental Growth Companies Index Launched.[COMMENTARY]“The new index, called the FTSE Environmental Opportunities All-Share Index, will be made up of 450 constituents, each demonstrating a minimum 20 percent of their business comes from environmental markets or clean technologies. The index will cover companies working in alternative energy, energy efficiency, water treatment, pollution control, waste technologies and resource management.” This index is obviously something different from other environmental indexes as companies are only required to have 20% of their business in environmental markets.
FTSE, Impax launch second environmental index, June 19, 2008, Reuters, UK.

GlaxoSmithKline & Novo Nordisk Lead In Access To Medicines For Poor In Developing Countries – Study.[COMMENTARY]The Access to Medicine Index has now been launched rating twenty of the world’s top drug manufacturers as to how they help the poor in the poorest countries get medicines. If you are looking for ethical stocks and bonds in drug companies, you might want to review the information compiled in this index.
2008 Access to Medicine Index, June 16, 2008, Access to Medicine Index, The Netherlands.

France′s Soci…t… G…n…rale Ranked By Peers As Top In Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Research. [COMMENTARY]In addition, the Thomson Reuters Extel survey of 7,500 investment professionals from 63 countries found that “87% of respondents said they expect increasing SRI involvement over the next 12 months.”
SG wins best SRI research award as sector booms: Thomson Reuters Extel Survey, by Hugh Wheelan, June 13, 2008, Responsible Investor, UK.

New Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Standards Likely To Be Soon Adopted. [COMMENTARY]The need for standardized corporate ESG reporting may well be given a major push by the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies, whose membership comprises 14,000 European investment professionals. This is most welcome news! I would like them to go further to encourage appropriate governing bodies in all countries to make such reporting not only mandatory for all public companies, but to also include independent auditing and reporting of this information and then made available to all.
New European ESG company performance indicators could herald mainstream investment analysis, by Hugh Wheelan, June 13, 2008, Responsible Investor, UK.

Responsible Investment Market To Gain 35% In Two Years. [COMMENTARY]That represents $700 billion and will bring such assets managed for their environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, up to $2.94 trillion globally. This is according to the RI Landscape Asset Managers 2008 Survey which included 98 fund managers with $19.4 trillion in assets. It was conducted by IPE and Responsible-Investor.com earlier this year and just released.
Fund managers predict $700bn rise in RI assets by 2010: RI landscape report, by Hugh Wheelan, June 10, 2008, Responsible Investor, UK.

Motorola Tops List Of Cell Phones With Most Radiation; LG Has Lowest Emissions. [COMMENTARY]If as an investor or user of cell phones you are wondering how different phones perform with regard to radiation emissions, then read this article and follow the links.
How Much Radiation Does Your Phone Emit? By Tara Parker-Pope, June 11, 2008, The New York Times, USA.

Whole Foods, Burt’s Bees, In US; Body Shop, Marks & Spencer In UK — Named As Greenest Brands. [COMMENTARY]The 2008 ImagePower Green Brands Survey also found that Americans believe the environment is worse now than five years ago. But the survey further determined that the economy and energy had surpassed the environment as the main concerns of consumers.
Economy and Energy Edge Environment as Top Consumer Concern: Survey, June 5, 2008, GreenBiz.com, USA.

Ethisphere Issues Its 2008 List Of World’s Most Ethical Companies. [COMMENTARY]A case can be made that stocks that are good to invest in are usually ethical stocks. Ethisphere shows an interesting chart that the shares of companies they rate as most ethical continually outperforming the S&P 500 Stock Index. They also show the names of companies they deem as the best in their industry groupings.
2008 World′s Most Ethical Companies, June 3, 2008, Ethisphere, USA.

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