December 18, 2012
Just finished reading the Governance & Accounting Institute's report "2012 CORPORATE ESG / SUSTAINABILITY / RESPONSIBILITY REPORTING DOES IT MATTER?"
My highlights: Over 1/2 of all fortune 500 companies are now disclosing ESG informations, compared to about 20% two years ago. The findings "show that companies who measure, manage, and ultimately disclose more and engage in structuring reporting on their Sustainability or ESG issues enjoy considerable advantage when compared to their non-reporting peers."
December 13, 2012
If you think it's only a few fringe players worried about the enviroment and clean energy, think again. A new report by Calvert, Ceres and the WWF shows nearly 60 percent of world's largest companies have renewable energy or greenhouse gas reduction commitments, citing the strong business case to make such a move.
December 3, 2012
US SIF CEO Lisa Woll has a new article on the Triple Pundit website talking about mandatory ESG disclosures and the SEC. It mentions some of the progress that has been made in the last 5 years and some of the immediate goals moving forward with new leadership at the SEC.
December 2, 2012
Interesting blog article today from Marc Gunther. It discusses how many of the top SRI managers have relatively large plays in oil companies. It goes over some of the rationals for these holdings for some and why others won't touch them at all. The blog has many follow ups in some of the SRI online forums with some very heated discussions.
November 30, 2012
In time for Thanksgiving there was a very good article in the Chicago Tribune's Your Money column on SRI. It goes over some of the very basics of how it works and what clients should expect. Some of the industry leaders are quoted.
November 19, 2012
The US SIF Foundation (United States Social Responsible Forum) just released their "2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States". Among many highlights were that SRI assets were up over 22% in the last two years and accounts for 11.23 percent of all assets under professional management in the United States at year end 2011.
November 12, 2012
For those of you who follow Socially Responsible Investing, you might see a new standard in responsible investment research called ARISTA. But don't worry. It's not one more layer trying to add confusion. It's the relaunching of one of the first standards called CSRR-QS. The standard is the same, only the name is different. They are hoping the new name will bring new awareness.
October 22, 2012
Newsweek just released their GREEN RANKINGS of the US and world's greenest companies. What is more important than the results is the fact that 20% more companies gave information for the study. As time passes more companies are not only reporting their earnings, but also their impact on the world allowing us to better pick those companies to invest in.
October 9, 2012
Just saw a great TED VIDEO ON YOUTUBE. In 20 minutes you can really see why it makes sense for companies to look not only at it's bottom line, but the world's bottom line.
August 30, 2012
The WOMEN IN GREEN FORUM was held the last two days in Santa Monica. I attended part of each day. Some great ideas about on ways to look at Green businesses and some good insight on some of the different needs of women investors.
August 22, 2012
Just got back from the LPL National Conference in San Diego. Lot's of good general and break out sessions on all sorts of planning and investment techniques. But related to this blog, there was a great breakout on Double Bottom Line investing. It went over trying to find companies that are not only doing well financially, but doing well in the community.
August 10, 2012
If you want to get to the basics of Socially Responsible Investing, a good read is the PRINCIPLES FOR RESPONSIBLE INVESTING that was backed by the United Nations. It really talks about the big picture issues that are important to SRI and the basics one should look for in a responsible company.
August 6, 2012
Just read an interest REPORT on college endowments and Enviromental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues. While universities were some of the leaders in SRI investing in the 70's and 80's, they are no longer on the front line. Many endowments are looking into it, but haven't started to act yet.
July 31, 2012
Just read a report from the GAO regarding Socially Responsible Investing in their Thrift Savings Plan. Yes, that's the United State Government Accountability Office Even the Fed is realizing that this a trend that is here to stay.
July 26, 2012
Presented a seminar on Socially Responsible Investing as a volunteer for the Financial Planning Association last night. It went well with a lot of participants who were very passionate about the subject. Several came up afterwards and told me how much they learned and how it helped them think about their portfolio better.
July 25, 2012
Think you're alone in wanting your investments to be socially responsible? A new STUDY shows that total assets managed by U.S. private equity managers with the goal of achieving both financial returns and intentional social benefits at approximately $4 billion.
July 18, 2012
Just read an interesting ARTICLE on Extended Producer Responsibility. The idea is that makers of products should be partially responsible for the waste of the packaging. The study shows it would increase green jobs and decrease the amount of waste in our landfills. The concept has worked in some other countries.
June 23, 2012
The Rio+20 conference was held on Sustainable Development was sponsored by the UN last week. While discussing a lot of issues, found the article from CORPORATE SECRETARY very interested as it related the conference from a pure business point of view. In the UK, all public corporations need to report on their social and environment performance, or explain why they aren't doing it. Other countries are now looking to follow suit. We'll see if it gets to the US.
June 7, 2012
Signed up our home for a Drip Irrigation System. With incentives it will cost us about $800 out of pocket and probably save $30/month in our water bill. When investing in socially responsible companies, the trick is finding ones that can use this leverage at a large scale to create long-term profits.
May 21, 2012
I just was scheduled at WISE AND HEALTHY AGING next month to talk about Green Investing. It is part of my pro-bono activities there through the Los Angeles Chapter of The Financial Planning Association. Let me know if you want more information. It should be appearing on their website soon.
May 11, 2012
Went to the ALTBUILD EXPO at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium this morning for a Local Business Mixer. We got a private tour through the exhibits. It's amazing how many products are available that could lead to energy and/or water savings AND pay for themselves in less than a year.
April 2, 2012
We have worked with many non-profits in trying to match their investments to their mission. Often a member of the board is worried that these changes will hurt the organization because it could reduce it's long-term capital. NONPROFIT QUARTERLY just published an article considering SRI a "Free Good" and shouldn't hurt long-term performance.
March 22, 2012
The US SIF (Formally the Social Investment Forum) just published their SRI impact paper. This 39 page report, for members only, highlighted some of the advances in SRI from helping promote democracy in South Africa 20 years ago to changing governance today.
March 12, 2012
MORNINGSTAR.COM today had an article on Socially Responsible Investing. My take aways was the following sentences: "Modern portfolio theory says that they should hurt, because anything that makes an investment universe less diversified results in a lower expected return for a given level of risk. In practice, though, it has been surprisingly difficult to prove that social screens make any significant long-term difference to investment returns."
March 8, 2012
MNN.com just published a great ARTICLE on SRI investing. Look it up to see some of the basics and some of the questions to ask.