Category Archives: Sustainable Investing

Fulfilling America’s Promise: Build Equity, Bridge the Gap

The TakeAway: As we celebrate Independence Day, it’s time to rededicate ourselves to those very ideals on which our nation was founded: liberty, opportunity, and justice for all. That means bridging the equity gap that undermines the American dream and … Continue reading

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2013 Memorable Moments and Values

Part 1 of 3 The TakeAway: It was a year of breakthroughs, tempered by loss. But as we look back on 2013, four memorable moments stand out. I’ve a personal connection to each, but they embody universal values worth amplifying … Continue reading

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The Power of Two, Plus You! OpenLetter2013

The Takeaway: Two friends from Boston, increasingly alarmed by the dearth of meaningful action on climate change, decided to take matters into their own hands. The pair are crowdfunding a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal calling out the … Continue reading

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Time to Talk About the Public Interest

The TakeAway: Current global activity about “materiality” and “multiple capitals” seek to embed environmental, social, and governance considerations within corporate and investor commitments to accountability and sustainability. But they’re the latest iteration of an ancient ethic waiting to be reborn. … Continue reading

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Gift Xchange: Giving, Investing, and Grantmaking for Good

Part One of Two The TakeAway: Charitable requests are a constant, but the end of the year brings a blizzard of appeals. In addition to our donor dollars, there’s a vast amount of untapped money power held by nonprofit institutions, … Continue reading

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A Valentine’s Bouquet: Twelve for 2012

The TakeAway: The blooms of sustainable prosperity and justice are fed by at least twelve currents that will get stronger throughout 2012. They involve the maturation of corporate social responsibility and corporate governance; rethinking the meaning of “fiduciary”; balancing internationalism … Continue reading

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Song of Sorrow or Call to Arms? Four Stratagems to Improve Our Politics

The TakeAway: While extremist politics dominate Washington, financial markets continue to seize, and US credit-worthiness takes a beating, advocates of sustainability and good governance need to stop moping and get off the bench. Here are four stratagems to reverse the … Continue reading

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Corporate Philanthropy: Greenwash or Sustainable Solution?

Part One of Two The TakeAway: Corporate philanthropy, often criticized as mere PR or greenwash, has evolved strategically in ways that advance sustainable value creation. December, the “Big Ask” month for nonprofits, inundates individual and organizational inboxes alike – including … Continue reading

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Cancún Talks Bridge Trust Deficit

The TakeAway: COP16 climate talks accomplished more than expected, while restoring trust in the international process that can lead to stronger future measures. Despite media reports citing lowered expectations – and fear that Copenhagen’s dysfunctions would spill over to this … Continue reading

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A Window on Corporate Anti-Sweatshop Efforts

Guest Commentary by Conrad MacKerron, Senior Program Director of As You Sow Foundation The TakeAway: Gap, Levi’s and Walmart top first-of-its-kind supply chain scorecard from As You Sow, while Abercrombie & Fitch, Saks, and Sears fail to provide info. Eight … Continue reading

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Moving Beyond Modern Portfolio Theory

The TakeAway: Harvard’s Initiative for Responsible Investment works to build a “master narrative” for responsible investing, along with educational tools for improving trustee performance. Massive changes in financial regulations and ramped up activism – aided in part by interactive technology – make … Continue reading

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IT Leads ET, But Needs Public Policy and $$$

The TakeAway: Information technology leader Google advances energy technology development, but clean energy progress relies on smart policy and capital flows, too. “Google it.”  Over the past decade, the term has gone viral, as the name of the information technology  … Continue reading

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Divesting from Genocide: A Fiduciary Duty?

The TakeAway: Congressional hearing on ways to improve the Sudan Accountability & Investment Act proposes using the UN “Protect, Respect, Remedy” human rights framework to define fiduciary duty. The moral case for flexing investment muscle (from shareowner engagement to outright … Continue reading

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Both/And: The Big Tent of Socially Responsible Investing

Commentary by Murninghan Post Editor Bill Baue The TakeAway: Seeming dichotomies thrive side-by-side as complementary strategies at the SRI in the Rockies Conference. Attire at the SRI in the Rockies Conference last week in San Antonio ranged from tie-dye to … Continue reading

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The Urgency of Water Stewardship

The TakeAway: The Carbon Disclosure Project’s new Water Disclosure program establishes water risk management as an investor concern while helping companies gauge their “water footprint”. Water is to the world what blood is to our bodies: the vetturale di natura, … Continue reading

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Burma’s History of Freeing “The Lady”

The TakeAway: The release of Aung San Suu Kyi caps a long process of advocacy including state and local sanctions, shareholder activism, and consumer boycott campaigns. Saturday’s release of Burmese pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (fondly called “The … Continue reading

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The $3 Trillion Socially Responsible Investing Market

The TakeAway: Nearly one out of every eight dollars professionally managed in the US employs sustainability criteria, according to the Social Investment Forum SRI Trends Report. As the US economy slumped into the worst recession since the ‘30s over the … Continue reading

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The Business Impact on Human Rights

The TakeAway: Social materiality gains traction as the role of business in advancing human rights attracts wider support. After years of neglect, companies now increasingly consider their impacts on human rights as material issues, with clear impacts on the bottom … Continue reading

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The Three I’s of Sustainability Reporting’s Future

The TakeAway: The Global Reporting Initiative leads sustainability disclosure into a new era through Integration, Implementation, and Integrity. Around the world, thousands of organizations rely on the GRI Reporting Framework and its multi-stakeholder approach to sustainability reporting covering the range of … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Human Rights, Interactive Technology, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainability Ratings, Sustainable Investing, Web 2.0 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Sustainability News Roundup

The TakeAway: CalPERS to factor ESG issues in all its funds by mid-2011; GRI announces work on fourth generation reporting guidelines; and a BSR poll shows increased support for CSR/sustainability. Three developments this week demonstrate the rising acceptance of incorporating … Continue reading

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Social Materiality: A New Lens for Sustainable Investing

Guest Commentary by Liz Umlas As the concept of ESG – addressing environmental, social, and governance factors in business and investment considerations – gains traction, the focus often seems more firmly on the first and last than on the middle … Continue reading

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Say-on-Pay: A Bird’s Eye View

The TakeAway: New SEC rules on executive compensation advisory votes take steps toward broader board-shareholder engagement. On Monday afternoon, the SEC proposed rules for Say-on-Pay (shareholder advisory votes on executive compensation) and golden parachutes (big payouts to executives dismissed after … Continue reading

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Who Pays the True Cost of Environmental Damage?

The TakeAway: Institutional investors need to assert their ownership power to offset environmental costs and push for sustainable companies and public policy. Despite the worldwide recession, the economic crisis isn’t the only cause of financial losses affecting innocent bystanders.  There’s … Continue reading

Posted in Biosphere Economy, Climate Change, Corporate Governance, Corporate Sustainability, Investor Governance, Natural Disasters, Public Policy, Sustainable Investing | 2 Comments

Sustainability News Roundup

The TakeAway: This week’s notable news features items on advances in integrated reporting, clean energy, sustainable investing, and women in business Despite the Monday holiday here in the US, it’s been another busy week on the sustainability front.  Among the … Continue reading

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… Something Borrowed, Something Green

Part Three of Three Parts The TakeAway: A growing number of foundations achieve sustainability and social justice goals through program-related and mission-related investing. In 2007, the Los Angeles Times ran a series of stories about the Bill & Melinda Gates … Continue reading

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Something Old, Something New…

Part Two of Three Parts The TakeAway: Organized philanthropy wakes up to new opportunities for connecting their grantmaking ideals to their investments, thereby addressing problems more comprehensively Earlier this week, a group of foundation presidents, treasurers, and trustees – representing … Continue reading

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A Movement Takes Hold

Part One of Three Parts The TakeAway: Yesterday’s More for Mission national conference represents a giant step toward unification of portfolio investing across asset classes in pursuit of social and financial prosperity. On Tuesday almost 150 foundation officials, investment advisors … Continue reading

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The New Fiduciary: Stewardship and Sensibility

The TakeAway: Changes in financial regulations place new responsibilities on institutional investors, requiring new forms of engagement, education, and behavior. These days, financial and corporate governance reform advocates have concentrated a lot of attention on corporate boards, and for good … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate Governance, Corporate Reporting, Corporate Sustainability, Investor Governance, Proxy Voting, Public Policy, Stakeholder Engagement, Sustainable Investing, Web 2.0 | 4 Comments

A Tale of 3 Cities: Key Events on the Sustainable Prosperity Agenda

The TakeAway: An overview of this week’s events on climate change, corporate governance, and fiduciary duty. It’s a busy week for sustainable prosperity, as people journey to New York City, San Diego, and Cambridge to share insights and forge solutions … Continue reading

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Climate Skeptics’ Arguments Crushed By Global Bank

The TakeAway: Deutsche Bank powerfully rebuts arguments used by climate deniers, and snubs US for lagging on climate policy and clean energy investments. Climate deniers faced another massive debunking of their flimsy claims in last Tuesday’s release of a white … Continue reading

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