December 2007

American Charitable Foundations Aligning Their Investments To Social Goals. – [COMMENTARY] 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.

Excellent UK Study On Climate Change Industries Investing Warns About Knock-On Effects. – [COMMENTARY] 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.”
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.

Utilities Come Out On Top, Information Technology At Bottom, In New Sustainability Study. – [COMMENTARY] “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 responsibility policies.
Sustainability Issues All Over the Map at Large Cap Companies, by Anne Moore Odell, December 22, 2007. Source: but published at, USA.

Goldman Sachs, Dow Chemical, Bloomberg L.P. and Florida Power and Light Join The Climate Group. – [COMMENTARY] 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,, USA.

Reserve Bank Of India Asks All Member Banks To Help The Cause Of Sustainable Development. – [COMMENTARY] 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,, India.

Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Companies And Human Rights Groups Urge Wall Street To Help Push Sudan To End Violence In Darfur. – [COMMENTARY] 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 them.
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. – [COMMENTARY] Reviewing this list might give ethical investors some ideas about some stocks that are good to invest in.
The Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to work for, December 2007, The Sunday Times, UK.

Large International Banks Becoming Players In Microfinance. – [COMMENTARY] 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 way.
Microfinance becoming part of a bigger world picture, by Tavia Grant, December 21, 2007, The Globe & Mail, Canada.

Ethical Concerns Influence Investor Decisions Among UK Online Investment Dealers. – [COMMENTARY] “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 Counts. – [COMMENTARY] 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 Green, USA.

Karmayog Rates Largest 500 Indian Companies On Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practices. – [COMMENTARY] 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 developing world.
Corporate Social Responsibility, December 15, 2007, Karmayog, India.

Responsible Investing Handbook For Foundations Just Issued By Boston College. – [COMMENTARY] 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!
Article describing Handbook on Responsible Investment Across Asset Classes, download Responsible Investing Handbook, (PDF). Boston College, USA.

Top Ethical Companies To Choose From For Ethical Gifts.  – [COMMENTARY] 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,, UK.

UK Churches Launch Own Ethical Investing Website. – [COMMENTARY] 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.

Kiplinger Letter Lists Their 25 Stocks For A Cleaner World. – [COMMENTARY] 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 investment advisor.
25 Stocks to Invest in a Cleaner World, by David Landis and Andrew Tanzer, December 2007,, USA.

Ethisphere Magazine Publishes The 100 Most Influential People In Business Ethics For 2007. – [COMMENTARY] 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.
100 Most Influential People in Business Ethics (2007), December 2007, Ethisphere Magazine, USA.

UK Cooperative Bank Publishes Ethical Consumer Report. – [COMMENTARY] 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 look at.
The Ethical Consumerism Report 2007, December 2007, The Cooperative Bank, UK.

Big Canadian Bank Joins Canada’s Social Investment Organization (SIO). – [COMMENTARY] 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 Executive, Canada.

One World Trust Announces Its 2007 Global Accountability Report Results. – [COMMENTARY] 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, Petrobras,
PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited (PwCIL), Suez, and TATA Group.
2007 Global Accountability Report, December 4, 2007, One World Trust, UK.

US, EU Propose Tariff-Free Green Goods. – [COMMENTARY] 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 next year.
U.S., E.U. Propose Tariff-Free Green Goods, December 3, 2007,, Switzerland.

McKinsey & Company Study Shows US Carbon Emissions Can Be Best Slashed By Boosting Energy Efficiencies. – [COMMENTARY] 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 energy efficiency.
Reducing US Greenhouse Gas Emissions: How Much at What Cost? December, 2007, McKinsey & Company, USA.

Canadian Banks Going Green? – [COMMENTARY] 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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