October 2011

HP, Apple, Intel & Motorola Ranked Best Tech Companies In Managing Supply Chain ESG Issues. – [COMMENTARY] “The study [by Det Norsk Veritas] looked at 26 companies in the IT industry, each of which submitted Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)-compliant sustainability reports detailing their supply chain activity. Fourteen of those companies were members of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC), an industry trade group dedicated to social and environmental responsibility.”

Investors might recall that in 2010, 14 workers committed suicide at Foxconn’s Chinese plants making parts for the above-mentioned companies. Their suicides were related to working conditions at Foxconn’s plants. It’s great that these high-tech companies are now leading the charge to improve the working conditions for workers at these and other similar plants.
HP, Apple Show Strong Leadership on Supply Chain Transparency, by Matthew Wheeland, October 28, 2011, GreenBiz, USA.

Canadians View SRIs As Futuristic & Win-Win For Individuals & Society, Says Ipsos Survey. – [COMMENTARY] “the majority (54%) of Canadians who have discussed socially responsible investments (SRIs) with their advisor raised the topic themselves… Canadian investors are generally favourable towards SRI. A third (32%) said they are ’very’ or ’somewhat’ interested. [Additionally] 55 per cent indicated that they would consider SRI if the return was ’as good or better’ than other investments… The majority of investors surveyed view SRIs as ’futuristic’ (78%) and ’a win-win for the individual and society’ (77%).” Again, it’s clear that it is financial and investment advisors who are restricting the growth of ethical investing.
Socially responsible investing consumer driven: Ipsos survey, press release, October 27, 2011, Ipsos Reid/Standard Life, Canada.

Boston Common Asset Management (US), Natcan Investment Management (Canada) & F&C Investments (UK) Are Among World Finance Magazine 2011 ESG Awards Winners. – [COMMENTARY] “The winners World Finance’s ESG Awards 2011 represent the companies who have augmented their business positions through their dedication to ESG practices. Their commitment to making principled investments that support people and the environment has significantly improved their standing among their competitors and allowed them to take advantage of opportunities gifted by their committed ESG position. World Finance congratulates them all.” Most developed countries have a winner.
World Finance 2011 ESG Awards, October 27, World Finance, UK.

76% Of Americans Worried About “nation′s lack of progress on energy efficiency and development of renewable energy sources,” Says University Of Texas Poll. – [COMMENTARY] “The vast majority of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction when it comes to energy policy and want more leadership when it comes to dealing with future needs, according to a new poll. In survey of 3,406 Americans conducted by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, less than 14 percent of respondents said they think the country is headed in the right direction on energy… “

US polls continually show how totally out-of-touch is the US Congress with how its electorate thinks. And this poll can only bolster the support for renewable energy supporters and for ethical investment.
Americans Think U.S. Headed Wrong Way on Energy, New Poll Finds, October 20, 2011, Environment 360, Yale University, USA.

Sustainable & Responsible Investing Assets In “Alternative Investments” Jumped 16 Percent In 2010. – [COMMENTARY] “The latest sign that sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) is increasingly entrenched in the mainstream of the financial world: It now is making major strides in the world of ’alternative investing,’ according to a new report prepared for the US SIF Foundation by the Center for Social Philanthropy at the Tellus Institute. The US SIF Foundation is affiliated with US SIF – The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment.” This is more evidence that socially responsible, sustainable and ethical investments continue to make good gains in all asset classes everywhere.
Study: “Alternative Investment” Assets in Sustainable & Responsible Investing Jumped 16 Percent in 2010, press release, October 26, 2011, US SIF/Center for Social Philanthropy at Tellus Institute, USA.

New App Measures Supplier Carbon & Water Footprint. – [COMMENTARY] “Rosslyn Analytics, the leader in one-click data discovery and business intelligence software, and Trucost today launched the world’s first self-service sustainability app which enables procurement, supply chain and corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments to calculate and manage the carbon and water footprint of every supplier in their supply chain across the world in seconds.” This app could be a real boon not only for companies, but also for investment analysts, fund managers and even for investors desirous of doing some real homework. Trucost is a highly respected name in corporate carbon information and analysis.
Rosslyn Analytics and Trucost Launch World’s First Sustainable Procurement App, press release, October 26, 2011, Trucost/Rosslyn Analytics, UK/USA.

Kaiser, KPMG, State Street Are Top Firms For Green IT. – [COMMENTARY] “One of the reasons that green IT is a core focus area for us — and why IT is central to the VERGE future — is the broad range and deep impact of the many types of green IT practices. The annual list of top green IT users from Computerworld magazine, published this morning, reinforces that point, with profiles of 12 firms that have done everything from tried-and-true data center virtualization programs to managing employee travel to creating an entirely new data center energy-management metric.” It is recognized that IT energy consumption is huge, so it’s great that companies strive to reduce it. And that the best ones are honoured.
Kaiser, KPMG, State Street Named Top Firms for Green IT, by Matthew Wheeland, October 24, 2011, GreenBiz, USA.

South Korean Sustainable Companies Outperform. – [COMMENTARY] “The ’SolA Sustainable 50’ has consistently outperformed the markets every year since inception in 2007 by margins that exclude statistical coincidence. The portfolio has also outperformed ESG benchmarks ( DJSI Korea and KRX SRI), indicating that sustainable investment returns depend on the quality of the research and methodology.”

Ron Robins Interviewed About SRI On Financial Impact Factor Radio (FIFR). – [COMMENTARY] “The main problem as Mr. Robins pointed out was the lack of recommendation [of SRI] by the financial services industry.” This 60-minute programme is one of the best of its type. The attentive and knowledgeable hosts were Paul Petillo and Dave Kittredge.
On the Radio with Ron Robins, October 24, 2011, Financial Impact Factor Radio, USA.

New Meta-Analysis Of SRI Studies Says SRI & ’Conventional’ Returns Are Similar. – [COMMENTARY] “21 academic studies are reviewed. Seven studies conclude that SRI have similar performance relative to their conventional peers. Five studies report that SRI outperforms conventional investment. Three studies find that SRI generates inferior performance relative to its conventional peers. Finally, six studies report mixed results. We can conclude that results point in all different directions, and that there is no clear link between SRI and financial performance. Our results implicates that it would be unwise to make general statements about the performance of SRI based on only one or a few studies.”

The term SRI is a huge ’catch-all.’ I believe that SRI studies should be sub-divided and studied in a thematic way. For instance, those that are purely ’ethical’ might be divided from those where ESG or sustainability dominates. I suspect that purely ESG studies might have an edge on returns too. What do you think?
The Performance of Socially Responsible Investment – A Review of Scholarly Studies Published 2008-2010, by Emma Sjöström, October 17, 2011, Stockholm School of Economics; Nuwa AB, Sweden.

Harvard Researchers Report On Relevance Of Corporate Nonfinancial Information To Investors, Others. – [COMMENTARY] “During the past two decades, there have been many ideas for improving business reporting of nonfinancial information such as on a company’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance. Using data from Bloomberg, authors Robert G. Eccles, Michael P. Krzus, and George Serafeim provide insights into market interest in nonfinancial information at a level of granularity not available until now. They identify exactly what information is of greatest interest, contrasting both the global and U.S. market across the full spectrum of ESG information and for each component of ESG, as well as Carbon Disclosure Project metrics.”

Some key findings, “there is a large market interest in the level of a company′s degree of transparency around ESG performance and policies… at the aggregate market level, interest in Environmental and Governance information is greater than interest in Social information… the highest market interest is shown for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other climate change data, such as CO2 emissions. However, this is not true for the US market where the interest in these data is very low… “

This is an interesting read, though I believe that for most of us engaged in ethical investing these findings aren’t revolutionary. However, it’s good to see the data back-up what we believe to be true.
Market Interest in Nonfinancial Information, by Robert G. Eccles, Michael P. Krzus, and George Serafeim, Harvard Business School, USA.

Global Cleantech 100 2011 List Now Available. [COMMENTARY] This list is always useful to review, especially for ethical investors. You need to register to read their full report. Registration is free.
Global Cleantech 100 2011 List, Cleantech Group, US/UK.

Companies Using The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Framework For CSR Reporting Experience Reputational Benefits. – [COMMENTARY] From our analysis we concluded that by their reporting according to the GRI Framework, companies could expect to rank higher in rankings and ratings, and have more opportunity to be recognized by the third parties.” This study makes the case for companies to use the GRI and to perform well on it. You will need to register–which is free–to see the study.
Corporate ESG/Sustainability Reporting. Does it matter? October 21, 2011, Governance & Accountability Institute, Inc., USA.

Campbell’s, GE, HP, Nike Are Among Top Green-Minded Firms, Says Report. – [COMMENTARY] “A new report from Two Tomorrows tries to pierce the veil of greenwash claims and identify which companies are best adding value and stability to their brands with their sustainability efforts — and which are likely to disappoint in the long-term. The Tomorrow’s Value Rating 2011 report from Two Tomorrows looks at the sustainability performance of 92 companies and ranks them into eight groups. Only 11 firms made the top-level cut to a triple-A rating.”

I’m increasingly seeing studies that try to wean out the greenwash in corporate products, services and activities. This study is along those lines. Such studies are always useful for ethical investors to read, though one must always be aware of their biases and financial backers.
Campbell’s, GE, HP, Nike Rank Among Top for Green-Minded Firms, by Matthew Wheeland, October 19, 2011, GreenBiz, USA.

285 Investors With $20 Tn In Assets Demand New Carbon Emissions Treaty. – [COMMENTARY] “Large investors urged governments on Wednesday to sign a binding treaty on carbon emissions at the U.N. climate talks in South Africa in December. A group of 285 investors representing more than $20 trillion (€14.62 trillion) in assets say only legally enforceable carbon limits can spur the level of investment needed to keep temperatures from rising further. The group includes three major investor networks in the U.S., Europe, Australia and New Zealand.” Everyone knows that the world has to move forward on carbon emissions’ controls. For companies, the need is stultifying. Without a common framework it is difficult for companies to plan ahead. This, therefore, is bad for investors, and particularly for ethical investors.
Major investors with more than $20 trillion in assets seek new treaty on carbon emissions, AP, October 19, 2011, Washington Post, USA.

Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen Have Best ESG Practices, Says Calvert Investments Study. – [COMMENTARY] “Three automakers – Toyota Motor Corporation, Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG – were recognized today by U.S. sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) firm Calvert Investments for their leadership in environmental policies and practices, human rights and supply chain impacts through the development of strong workplace policies and programs, and leading product safety policies and practices, respectively.” This is good news for these companies. Furthermore, it adds impetus to all auto companies to focus on ESG issues since investors are taking increasing notice of them.
Ford, Toyota and Volkswagen Recognized for Best ESG Practices, press release, October 17, 2011, USA.

Offshore Wind Investments Grow To New Record. – [COMMENTARY] “Investors poured a record $41.8 billion into utility-scale renewable energy projects in the third quarter of 2011, driven by a surge in offshore wind, according to analysis firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).” Renewable energy is becoming increasingly cost competitive with fossil-based fuels. The future is bright for them.
Offshore wind drives record project finance quarter – BNEF, by Jess McCabe, October 14, 2011, Environmental Finance, UK.

Ceres Announces New Water Tool For Companies, Investors. – [COMMENTARY] “Against a backdrop of increasing business exposure to global water supply threats, Ceres today released a new tool for evaluating those risks – and opportunities – that both investors and companies can use as a roadmap to enhanced water stewardship.” We might well see many companies using this tool. For ethical investors it will be a way to do company comparisons in ways they have not been able to do before. Congratulations to Ceres for perfecting this tool!
Ceres Aqua Gauge: New Tool for Companies, Investors to Manage Risks of Worldwide Water Supply Pressures, press release, October 17, 2011, Ceres, USA.

Most Oil & Gas Companies Shunning Sustainability Goals. – [COMMENTARY] “Green Research, a New York-based corporate sustainability research and advisory firm, today released its latest benchmark of corporate environmental sustainability goals, this one analyzing the oil and gas industry. The study found that the industry is distinguished by its reluctance to set specific sustainability goals.” This is not surprising to me as long as the consumer’s thirst for oil continues unabated, then oil and gas companies have a relatively free reign!
Most Oil and Gas Companies Shunning Sustainability Goals, by Frank Came, October 18, 2011, GreenBiz, USA.

IBM, HP, Sprint Take Top Spots In Newsweek’s Latest Green Rankings. – [COMMENTARY] “The annual Newsweek Green Rankings, which have become perhaps the most anticipating green ratings in the world, are published this morning, bringing a new methodology to bear, and bringing a few surprises with it. IBM has moved into the top spot from its third place finish last year, while Hewlett-Packard stays in second place. Dell moves down the list to fifth place after last year’s third place rank, and Sprint moves up to third from sixth place last year.”

Such ranking lists are always interesting, but you have to know who is ranking them and on what basis they are ranked. In this case Sustainalytics is doing the ranking, and this is a company I rate highly.
IBM, HP, Sprint Take Top Spots in Newsweek’s Latest Green Rankings, by Matthew Wheeland, October 17, 2011, GreenBiz, USA.

UK Financial Advisors Failing To Advise Investors On Ethical Investments. – [COMMENTARY] “New research has revealed that 76% of investors have never had ethical investment mentioned to them by their independent financial adviser (IFA)… An additional 18% of respondents stated that their IFA had mentioned ethical investing in passing, while only 6% said their IFA was knowledgeable about the area.”

As I have said repeatedly, financial advisors–not only in the UK but throughout the developed world–largely do not know about, or recommend, ethical investments. This is despite the fact that the majority of their clients are interested in hearing more about them. Most industries could not tolerate such an inconsistency. It is the ’power’ of the advisor in this very uneven ’knowledge’ relationship that continually allows this to happen. It is a problem that financial regulatory authorities everywhere need to investigate and act upon!
Ethical investing ignored by IFAs, October 17, 2011, Which UK.

GMI Ratings Says Apollo Group, Comstock Resources & Discovery Communications Are Among 10 US Companies That Carry Significant ESG Risks. – [COMMENTARY] “The most important investing lesson of the 21st century is that traditional measures for evaluating risk are inadequate. Not only inadequate, but too often misleading and easily manipulated. In just over a decade, despite comprehensive market and regulatory responses and reforms, shocks and scandals have destroyed shareholder value and global confidence in what were once market leaders.” I agree with their analysis of the problem and encourage their research. Of course only time will tell if their analysis proves prescient.
The GMI Risk List, October 2011, GMI Ratings, USA.

UK’s National Ethical Investment Week 2011 Underway. – [COMMENTARY] “Sunday marked the start of National Ethical Investment Week 2011 in the UK and new research from YouGov, the internet market research company, has revealed how much the green and ethical investment market has evolved in recent years. For example, more UK adults now define ’green and ethical investment and finance’ as a positive investment in activities that ’benefit society and/or the environment’ rather than the traditional view that it is about “excluding companies involved in undesirable practices”. Congratulations to the UKSIF on their National Ethical Investment Week. From my media review, the Week is being well followed!
Green and ethical investment comes of age, by Penny Shepherd, October 16, 2011, Financial Times, UK.

38% Of UK Investors Interested In Green Or Ethical Financial Products Or Services, Says EIRIS. – [COMMENTARY] “Increased interest in ethical finance is backed up by the findings of EIRIS’ latest Ipsos MORI national consumer survey which explores consumer attitudes to ethical finance in Great Britain. The poll surveyed 1,030 adults and finds that 38% of the British public with a financial product or service are interested in green or ethical financial products and services with more women than men (41% versus 34%) expressing an interest. Of those interested, 90% said they would be likely to switch to a different provider if it offered green or ethical investment products.”

Let me repeat my earlier comment with regard to similar findings in the French EIRIS survey: “Investors want to invest ethically and responsibly, but financial/investment advisors aren’t versed in how to provide it. Often they aren’t interested to find out either, since they are easily able to thwart an investor’s desire for ethical funds by simply proclaiming the standard untruth that ethical funds don’t perform well.”
UK ethical investment hits record £11.3Bn high, press release, October 6, 2011, EIRIS, UK.

Baruch Index Of Corporate Political Disclosure Rates Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. & U.S. Bancorp Among Most Transparent. – [COMMENTARY] “Seven national companies were ranked as top corporations in political transparency according to the 2011 Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure, produced by Baruch College′s Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity. ’Top tiered companies should take pride in their dedication and efforts with regards to sharing information about their political activity with their stakeholders and the general public.’ On September 15, 2011, the Zicklin Center presented the results from The Baruch Index, which rates the S&P 100 companies from ’transparent’ to ’opaque,’ with a system of 57 items measuring corporate political activity at all levels and branches of government.”

Most ethical investors would agree that it is terrifically important that public companies are completely open and transparent about their political contributions. The Zicklin Center needs to be encouraged in this endeavour, even though some of its findings might be controversial!
Seven Companies Rank among Top Tier in Baruch Index of Corporate Political Disclosure, press release, October 11, 2011, Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity, USA.

60% Of French Retail Investors Attach Importance To Environmental, Social & Ethical Factors. – [COMMENTARY] “The EIRIS consumer survey underlines the growing importance of SRI in France with 60% of survey respondents saying they attach either ‘great importance′ or ‘some importance′ to incorporating environmental, social and ethical issues when selecting financial products. However, the survey also identifies a lack of awareness of SRI financial products as a key barrier to SRI with 64% of respondents saying they have never heard of an SRI fund.”

It is a remarkably similar situation throughout the developed world: investors want to invest ethically and responsibly, but financial/investment advisors aren’t versed in how to provide it. Often they aren’t interested to find out either, since they are easily able to thwart an investor’s desire for ethical funds by simply proclaiming the standard untruth that ethical funds don’t perform well.
Ethical investment: are the French public interested? October 6, 2011, EIRIS, UK.

Most Large Canadian Companies Taking Sustainability Seriously. – [COMMENTARY] “More than half of the [Canadian] companies that responded to the survey said they sell at least some products or services that help clients reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. At the same time, more than 85 per cent said they have a program in place to reduce their emissions – usually by cutting energy use in their buildings or plants.” Ethical investors know that the best corporation to invest in over the long term is one that takes sustainability seriously. And large Canadian companies are beginning to get it!
Canadian firms warming to climate-change measures, by Richard Blackwell, October 12, 2011, The Globe & Mail, Canada.

Malaysia Gets New Islamic Finance Indices. – [COMMENTARY] “Thomson Reuters and Bond Pricing Agency Malaysia launched a family suite of indices across a range of Islamic instruments to provide the most transparent guidelines for investors interested in Malaysia, a globally accepted Islamic finance hub. The Thomson Reuters-Bond Pricing Agency (BPA) Malaysia Sukuk and bond Ringgit indices are based upon market and industry standards and aimed at investors, money managers and analysts.” Islamic finance will soon be a $1.5 tn industry and because of some similarities with ethical finance and investing, might be of interest to some ethical investors.
Thomson Reuters And Bond Pricing Agency Of Malaysia Unveil Co-Branded Sukuk And Bond Indices 108 Sukuk That Will Benefit Malaysian And International Investors, press release, October 12, 2011, Thomson Reuters, Malaysia.

Belgium Hosts SRI Week October 17-24, 2011. Organized by The Belgian Sustainable and Socially Responsible Investment Forum. See SRI Week Opening Event – SRI: CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS.

Investors Should Make Tax An Ethical Issue, Says Christian Aid. – [COMMENTARY] “‘Along with traditional concerns such as involvement in tobacco, weapons and environmental issues, a company should also be assessed on its tax practices,′ says Dr David McNair, Christian Aid′s Principal Adviser on Economic Justice.” The main thrust of this article refers to companies avoiding paying taxes in developing countries. Not paying such taxes is certainly anathema to me.

However, also and related, a few months ago GE created waves by reporting handsome profits, yet proclaimed paying relatively little in taxes. Should companies be penalized for legally minimizing their tax burdens? Unfortunately, if companies don’t minimize their corporate tax burdens to what is legally permitted, it might even be possible for their executives to be sued or fired for mismanagement by disgruntled shareholders.

Some economists argue that if corporate taxes were abolished–they make-up about 9% of US federal taxes–that this could be a major way to spur job creation!? The issue of corporate taxes is just as much a political and economic issue as it is an ethical one.
Investors should make tax an ethical issue, press release, October 7, 2011, Christian Aid, UK.

Consumer Electronics Companies Lead Ratings of Corporate Social Responsibility, According to Pike Research. – [COMMENTARY] “Less than 10% of the companies contacted by Pike Research for an interview related to sustainable design were willing to talk about their processes. In addition, many issues integral to a holistic view of CSR, such as the social and environmental impacts of the extraction of basic raw materials feedstocks (e.g., mining of metal ores or refining of crude oil), remain to be addressed. Regardless, Pike Research’s analysis finds that electronics suppliers and manufacturers have relatively advanced understandings of CSR, compared to other sectors, and that sustainability is evolving from a program or a process to a corporate culture.”

This is interesting research. However, like all research of this nature one needs to dig deeper to really understand their parameters, biases and conclusions. But generally, it’s good that such research is getting done.
Consumer Electronics Companies Lead Ratings of Corporate Social Responsibility, According to Pike Research, press release, October 10, 2011, Pike Research, USA.

“Most Innovative Islamic Investment Bank” Is Citi, Says The Banker Magazine. – [COMMENTARY] “In Islamic finance, The Banker pointed to Citi having led the first ever exchange, tender and consent solicitation ever executed in the Sukuk [Islamic bond] market. The Banker also cited that Citi led the first Islamic deal ever done in Turkey, a US$100 million issue for Kuveyt Turk Participation Bank.” Considering all Citi’s troubles, it’s great to see this huge bank so engaged in Islamic finance–a system of finance that shares a real kinship with ethical finance and investing.
Citi Named “Most Innovative” in FX and Islamic Finance, press release, October 10, 2011, Citi, UK.

Investment Banking Ethics Studied. – [COMMENTARY] “Investment banks are required to train bankers in “compliance”, which ensures a literal obedience to laws, but put little or no emphasis on ethics. If investment banks don’t start changing the way they behave, though, regulation will increase and society will continue to suffer the consequence of bankers’ excesses.” This is a useful article for ethical investors to read. It is by John Reynolds Chairman of the Church of England Ethical Investment Advisory Group. He recommends industry ’ethical committees.’ Personally, I believe any approach that doesn’t create an intrinsic, internalized higher values system, is doomed to failure.
Investment banks need ethics as well as a desire to make money, by John Reynolds, October 10, 2011, The Telegraph, UK.

Stock Exchanges Requiring More Stringent Sustainability Reporting. – [COMMENTARY] This story offers a good global overview of what stock exchanges are doing concerning sustainability reporting for listed companies.
Stocking up on sustainability information, News 2011, Global Reporting Initiative, The Netherlands.

Alberta Is Home To Tar Sands Oil. It’s $15 Bn Heritage Savings Trust Fund Favours Ethical Investments. – [COMMENTARY] “Alberta recently dumped its direct investments in numerous companies that Norway’s government deems unethical, says the head of the Crown corporation that manages the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund.” For many environmentalists, this action is surprising. Nonetheless, ethical investors can only applaud such a move.
Alta. dumps investments in companies deemed unethical by Norway, by Andrea Sands, October 8, 2011, Postmedia News, Canada.

2011 Moskowitz Prize Awarded To Researcher Who Finds Cost Of Capital Lower For Companies With Good CSR! – [COMMENTARY] “The winning paper, announced tonight at SRI in the Rockies, finds that cost of equity capital is lowered for companies with good corporate social responsibility practices… Every year since 1996, the Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing, awarded for outstanding quantitative research in sustainable investing, is announced at the annual SRI in the Rockies conference, held this year in New Orleans.” Ethical investors have long believed this to be true. Now this study should spur even greater corporate emphasis on CSR. The study is titled: “Does corporate social responsibility affect the cost of capital?” Congratulations to the study’s authors: Sadok El Ghoul, Omrane Guedhami, Chuck C. Y. Kwok, and Dev R. Mishra.
Winner of 2011 Moskowitz Prize for Socially Responsible Investing is Announced, by Robert Kropp, October 3, 2011, SocialFunds, USA.

European Pension Plans Embrace SR-Ethical Investing. – [COMMENTARY] “More than half (56%) of EU corporate pension funds now have an SRI policy in place while a quarter of those without intend to implement one within the next 12 months, research shows. Eurosif’s 2011 Corporate Pension Funds Study of 169 respondents from 12 EU member states found 60% believed ESG factors affect pension funds’ long-term performance, while 66% felt having an SRI policy was part of their fiduciary duty.” The evidence continues to mount that mainstream investment managers are incorporating ESG. It’s continuing good news for ethical investors.
European plans embrace SRI, by Chris Panteli, October 3, 2011, Global Pensions, UK.

Governments Blamed For Holding Back Corporate Investments On Sustainability, Finds Deloitte Study. – [COMMENTARY] “’Governments around the world have struggled with finding the right level of regulation and their role in facilitating sustainable business has proven fraught with uncertainty.’ [Quote from Fadi Sidani, partner in charge for Enterprise Risk Services at Deloitte in the Middle East.]” I’m sure that most ethical investors would concur with this finding. Failing a sudden increase in collective consciousness and agreement on what to do, it might yet take, most unfortunately, an environmental tragedy to wake-up people and their governments as to the magnitude of what needs to be done.
Deloitte: companies around the world cautious about investing in sustainability initiatives, October 1, 2011, AMEinfo.com, UAE.

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