Tag Archive for ‘SRI’
Impact investing is an emerging asset class focused on the flow of capital towards companies that align market incentives with scalable impact. In other words, investing in for-profit companies that are making the world a better place. One problem: there is actually very little investment being made, especially for seed and early-stage companies.
“Slow Money” is the name for a movement started by socially conscious investing pioneer and author, Woody Tasch, who essentially borrowed the conceptual framework of “Slow Food”—whereby participants eschew convenience-oriented “fast” foods, instead filling up their plates with traditional, unprocessed and, ideally, locally produced foods—and applied it to personal finance and investing.
A study by analysts at J.P. Morgan concludes that impact investing – which is intended to generate social good as well as financial return – could represent a highly-profitable trillion dollar market over the next decade. “In fact, we believe that impact investing will reveal itself to be one of the most powerful changes within the asset management industry in the years to come,” the study says.
Factors pertaining to ESG (environmental, social and governance) issues are now included in mainstream corporate stock and bond analysis in numerous investment firms, funds and managers globally. Why? Because it provides analysts better insight into companies and a possibility of producing higher investment returns with less risk.
As each headline about corporate malfeasance is juxtaposed against record profits and bonuses, Americans become more jaded about the ethics of today’s business leadership. Many CEOs seem to lack the emotional awareness to deal with their own image problem.
For generations, philanthropy was the exclusive domain of the wealthy and powerful. Many of the great benefactors of the early 20th century made their fortunes from the railroad, steel, and oil industries. How times have changed. Many of today’s entrepreneurs are building their businesses based on the idea of fulfilling a new kind of social contract, one in which organizations voluntarily take responsibility for the “triple bottom line”: people, planet, and profits.
A major new paper from Ceres, the investor and environmental group, “is a guide to companies on their journey to comprehensive sustainability – from the boardroom to the copy room – and throughout the supply chain,” says the organization’s president.
The resolutions, up 40% from last year, have been presented to some of the nation’s largest coal companies, electric power and oil producers, home builders, big box retailers, financial institutions and other businesses thought to be not adequately disclosing and managing potential climate-related business impacts.
The Center for Political Accountability, the Council of Institutional Investors and a number of shareholder advocate groups have launched a letter-writing campaign urging companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to disclose all political contributions they make with corporate funds.
Data on 160 socially responsible mutual funds found that 65 percent of them outperformed their benchmarks last year across nearly all asset classes, including balanced, large cap, small cap and global funds, as well as bonds.