Benefit corporation governance provides increased accountability. Most of our financial capital is allocated and stewarded through a system that has a primary goal of creating financial return. This goal directs the real economy, where shareholders treat corporations as accountable for financial results, but not for their economic, social or environmental impact. Continue Reading →
Tag Archives | SRI
Part 4 28th Annual SRI Conference in San Diego. Search #AllinForImpact on Twitter to see more posts. See Parts 1, 2, and 3. Yes, I know, this conference was held months ago but I’m still digesting… maybe until the next one. I could spend a productive year just exploring links to the work of the speakers. Mark your calendar for November 1-3, 2018. The SRI Conference returns to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Get on the mailing list. Continue Reading →
SRI engagement and monitoring was a major theme during my first day at the 28th Annual SRI Conference this year (#AllinForImpact), although my 1st impressions were interrupted by the issuance of SEC SLB 14I, as previously noted. SRI has grown more than 13% a year since 1995 (when I started this blog) and now total over $8.7 trillion in assets. No longer just focused on screening or even ESG, SRI has become a mainstream investment strategy AND it holds the power to address our most pressing societal challenges in a way the public sector simply cannot. Continue Reading →
Moskowitz Prize Winner Announced
Moskowitz prize winner for 2017 was announced today by the Center for Responsible Business at the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with The SRI Conference (#AllinForImpact). The prize is named after research pioneer Milt Moskowitz, one of the first researchers to look for the connection between good corporate citizenship and profitability. Sustainable and responsible investing remains the focus.
Continue Reading →
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA) released its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016, showing that global sustainable investment assets reached $22.89 trillion at the start of 2016, a 25% increase from 2014.
Sustainable investment encompasses the following activities and strategies:
- Negative/exclusionary screening,
- Positive/best-in-class screening,
- Norms-based screening,
- Integration of ESG factors,
- Sustainability themed investing,
- Impact/community investing, and
- Corporate engagement and shareholder action.
Yet, many in the mainstream press continue to disparage sustainable investing. This morning, Justin Baer of the Wall Street Journal reported that “interest in so-called environmental, social and governance investing is surging.” (State Street Offers New Tool to Gauge Environmental, Other Social Risks) There is nothing “so-called” about the movement to ESG investing. It is real.
After making the decision to apply the principles of SRI investing, many clients embark on the initial step of selecting a core stock fund. Traditional investors have literally hundreds of highly efficient core investment solutions. However, SRI investors aren’t so blessed—which is why I put together this core list of Best SRI Funds.
Best SRI funds need to start out by being financially sustainable. Some fund companies seem to believe that they can rake in higher fees on the backs of well meaning investors. The primary objective of a core fund is to match the market with as little cost drag as possible. Continue Reading →
The Department of Labor (DOL) rescinded Interpretive Bulletin 2008-2 relating to the Exercise of Shareholder Rights and replaced it with Interpretive Bulletin 2016-01 which reinstates the language of Interpretive Bulletin 94-2 with some modifications. US SIF supports this change as IB 2008-2 was not only inconsistent with prior guidance, but may have discouraged ERISA plan fiduciaries from exercising their shareholder rights.
The guidance appropriately notes the positive role fiduciaries play through the exercise of shareholder rights. Additionally, this guidance also reinforces the language of IB 2015-1 on economically targeted investments which clarified that environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts can be intrinsic to the market value of an investment. Continue Reading →
A lack of affordable SRI investing solutions may incentivize some savvy investors to do their own research and purchase their own portfolio of individual stocks, but this is almost always a mistake. There is power in the SRI Movement.
If you’re joining the SRI movement, it’s likely because you have a vision for our world and the economy that’s bigger than your own portfolio. To leverage the full scope of impact, you should identify ways that you can coordinate your efforts with others whose values overlap with your own. The easiest way to do this is by purchasing a SRI fund, but there are other ways to maximize your impact. Continue Reading →
The Responsible Investor Handbook; Mobilizing Workers’ Capital for a Sustainable World by Thomas Croft and Annie Malhotra provides a ‘how-to’ manual for workers and trustees who seek to ensure our money is working us, not against us. Buy the book from Greenlead Publishing or Amazon.
As I write this review, the US SIF Foundation released their 2016 Biennial Report on Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing (SRI) Trends. SRI assets now account for $8.72 trillion, or one in five dollars invested under professional management in the United States, according to the report. Continue Reading →
US SIF Foundation Releases 2016 Biennial Report on UA Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends. Sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) assets now account for $8.72 trillion, or one in five dollars invested under professional management in the United States according to the US SIF Foundation’s biennial Report on Responsible and Impact Investing Trends 2016, which was released today. Continue Reading →
On September 29, 2016 Tim Smith, Walden Asset Management’s director of ESG Shareowner Engagement, will be honored at the annual event of the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) for his decades-long, indefatigable leadership shaping the landscape of shareholder advocacy for more just and environmentally sound business policies and practices.
Tim is the first secular recipient of the ICCR Legacy Award, a recognition of his nearly quarter-century history at the helm of ICCR as well as 16 years at Walden where he continues to demonstrate daily how shareholder leverage can be an effective vehicle for positive change.
ICCR describes Tim as having had a profound impact on the field of sustainable and responsible investing, noting:
Tim plays a valuable role in virtually every ICCR program area but has been an especially effective leader of investor engagements on climate change and on governance topics including lobbying and political spending, executive compensation and separate Chair/CEO, as well as board diversity.
Marrone Bio Settles Class Action: Announcement
Marrone Bio settles class action; time to move on. Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. (the “Company”) (NASDAQ:MBII, $MBII), a leading provider of bio-based pest management and plant health products for the agriculture, turf and ornamental and water treatment markets, recently announced the Company and other defendants, including certain of the Company’s current and former officers and directors, have reached an agreement to settle the private securities class action litigation consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on February 13, 2015 as Special Situations Fund III QP, L.P. et al v. Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. et al, Case No 2:14-cv-02571-MCE-KJN.
The agreement is subject to review and approval by the court after notice and an opportunity to object are provided to the plaintiff class. The settlement agreement contains no admission or concession of wrongdoing or liability by the Company or any other defendant and includes a full release of claims. The agreement provides for a settlement payment to the class of $12,000,000, which will be paid by insurance carriers. Accordingly, the settlement of these lawsuits will have no adverse impact on the Company’s financial position or operations. Continue Reading →
It’s been two months since the SRI Conference in Colorado Springs but I’m still digesting content, like the potential of Folio Investing, and following up with other attendees. #AllinForImpact continues in San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, New York City, Boston and then Denver. Get to at least one of these conferences this year so you too can get inspired. The people and idea are about as progressive as I have found in the investing community. Continue Reading →
WeConvene Extel and SRI‐CONNECT announced the results of the Independent Research in Responsible Investment Survey 2015; “the most authoritative global survey evaluating how asset managers rate the services of independent providers of sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) & corporate governance (CG) research.”
Award winner from the major categories were: Continue Reading →
At the recent #AllInForImpact SRI Conference – on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing I presented a “Topic Table.” These are informal gatherings of up to 10 people during lunch. Topics are submitted prior to the conference by any registrant who wishes to lead a discussion on an issue related to sustainable, responsible, impact investing. Mine was on Proxy Access and Advocacy.
I started out with a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon depicting how many people see business today… run by narcissists, producing little of real value and looking to be subsidized. Continue Reading →
All In For Impact: The 26th Annual SRI Conference will take place November 3–5, 2015 at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO. I am pleased to announce conference scholarships for SRI/ESG investing are now being made available to students and young professionals.
The SRI Conference is an annual gathering of the responsible investment industry designed to stimulate, inspire, and serve the needs of investment professionals, as well as institutional and high net worth investors who seek to direct investment capital in positive, healthy, transformative ways—toward a truly sustainable future. Continue Reading →
I hope those concerned with good corporate governance are also concerned with stewardship. Investors shouldn’t be making money by investing in products that harm the environment. Their are plenty of alternatives to plastic microbeads.
This 2-minute video “explainer” shows how tiny plastic microbeads go down the drain and into our rivers, lakes, and oceans. We can do to stop this ridiculous assault on our public waters. TAKE ACTION!
CivicSpark, a partnership of California’s Local Government Commission and the Governor’s Office of Planning & Research is an AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity in local governments to address climate change. They are now recruiting team members for the 2015-16 service year. Follow on Facebook and Twitter @LGC_media.
CivicSpark: Climate Leaders
If you are interested in joining the next generation of climate leaders, building your already considerable skills and creating a meaningful and lasting impact, now is the time to start the application process.
CivicSpark members work on projects that provide local governments with the support they need in their climate and sustainability initiatives. (Local governments can also propose projects at this time and volunteer support is welcome.) Continue Reading →
Now in its 26th year, the SRI Conference will be November 3-5, 2015 at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado and will probably be the largest ever. Leaders in the philanthropy and foundation worlds are invited to participate in the largest, longest-running annual meeting of responsible investors and investment professionals. Early-bird registration is now open. Contact Krystala Kalil at 888-774-2663 to answer your questions. Continue Reading →
I see Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Representative Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) are again pushing legislation to add a “Corporate Responsibility Index” option to the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). (Federal employees miss out on sustainable investment option, The Hill, 12/12/14)
I certainly agree, federal employees should be able to direct their retirement savings into companies with socially responsible businesses practices – also known as sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI). Continue Reading →
This is the third in a multi-part series on the main program of the 25th annual SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing held November 9–11, 2014 at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. See also Video Friday: What is Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing?, Violating Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Increases Industry Risks, Surveys: Nonprofit Board Members & SRI 2014 Conference Attendees, 25th Annual Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, Part 1 and Part 2. The Agenda page of the Conference site now has links to video, audio and presentation slides. Continue Reading →
Mercer is a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments. Mercer helps clients around the world advance the health, wealth and performance of their most vital asset – their people. Mercer’s 20,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. Continue Reading →
“Green Investing” is the phrase I use to describe the process of aligning your investments with your values, social as well as environmental. Many people don’t know that they own companies in their mutual funds and retirement plans that conflict with their beliefs.
Financial advisors who specialize in this area use different terms to describe what we do: socially responsible investing, ethical investing, sustainable investing and many more. Whatever term we use, most of us would agree there are three key components of green investing: social screening, shareholder activism and community loans.
Mike Tyrrell is Editor of SRI-Connect – an online research marketplace for professional institutional investors, analysts & companies interested in sustainable development. He is keen to open up the site to corporate governance analysts & corporate governance research. Mike kindly gave permission to reproduce the interview on CorpGov.net. Continue Reading →
The September issue of Corporate Governance: An International Review is devoted to papers on corporate governance systems and corporate social responsibility. The opening editorial (accessible without subscription) begins with a civics lesson:
One cannot understand the CSR strategy and politics of organizations without understanding the nature of the institutional environments in which they choose – or are forced – to operate. Continue Reading →
Join ICGN in Cape Town, following PRI in Person, on 3-4 October for the ICGN Debate and Responsible Investing Programme, hosted by IoD in Southern Africa and endorsed by the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Continue Reading →
I am delighted to announce that Kalpona Akter, a former garment worker from Bangladesh who is the executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity, will have access to the floor of the WalMart ($WMT) annual meeting on Friday, June 7 in Bentonville, Arkansas. She has been an outspoken critic of sweatshop conditions in Bangladesh where Wal-Mart is the second largest producer. Ironically, she will be presenting my proposal to allow shareowners to call a “special meeting.” Continue Reading →
Colleges and universities, philanthropic foundations, and other endowed institutional investors could see better financial returns and lower their portfolio risk by divesting from fossil fuels, according to a new report released this morning by Tellus Institute, Responsible Endowments Coalition, Sustainable Endowments Institute, and 350.org. Continue Reading →
As always, you can keep up to date on vacancies at the PRI by visiting their website.
• Director of Policy and Research – position summary
Let’s just label these notes as “for entertainment purposes only.” Attending the conference was a real pleasure. Unfortunately, I was too busy catching up with people to take more than impressionistic notes at a few of the discussions. Prepare to be frightened about global climate change and our irresponsibly slow pace addressing the catastrophic consequences we are already beginning to see all around us. Save April 30 and May 1 for Ceres Conference 2014 in Boston. Continue Reading →