Green Bank Network aims to
unleash private clean energy capital.
"During the Paris
climate conference, six green banks and two
nonprofit organizations jointly announced the
opening of the network Dec. 7. The network will
accelerate clean energy installations and mobilize
private investments worldwide... The six
participating green banks are Connecticut Green
Bank, Japan’s Green Fund, Malaysian Green Technology
Corporation, UK Green Investment Bank, NY Green Bank
and Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation."
joining of these banks could be the beginning of a
global green bank network. We will see if over time
it becomes a significant player in global green
energy finance. Some green banks, like the UK's
Triodos Bank, seem to be left out.
Green Bank Network aims to unleash private clean
energy capital, by Yinong Sun, February 9, 2016,
The First Benefit
Corporation IPO Is Coming, And That’s A Big Deal.
ready for the first public stock offering by a
chartered Benefit Corporation. This ain’t no
friendly neighborhood organic coffee roaster,
either. Laureate Education promises to operate as a
triple-bottom-line business, but this is a much
bigger, more complicated deal.
Laureate is the world’s largest for-profit operator
of online and campus-based higher education. It
owns, controls or manages 88 institutions that
enroll more than 1 million students, 90 percent of
whom live outside the United States. It has been
growing rapidly, and in 2014 its revenues exceeded
$4.4 billion. It’s a 16-year-old company, but it
announced its new charter as a Delaware Benefit
Corporation just four months ago, on the same day it
registered for its IPO."
investors in Laureate are KKR and the World Bank's
International Finance Corporation! So this deal
looks like it will be very widely watched and could
the beginning of a whole new era of financing for
companies focused on triple bottom line results.
Ethical investors everywhere could get excited and
interested in such deals.
The First Benefit Corporation IPO Is Coming, And
That’s A Big Deal, by Brad Edmondson, February
4, 2016, TriplePundit, USA.
JPM teams up with World Bank
and S&P for ESG platform.
Investment Bank’s structured products team has
launched a new ESG-related platform alongside index
provider S&P and World Bank, the group has
The platform is called JP Morgan Ethos Investments
and it is aimed at investors seeking to deploy
capital in ESG-focused assets by investing across
trackers, principal protected products, equity,
credit and fixed income."
new product will be fascinating to watch. It
certainly has a blue-chip pedigree. Clearly, with
this type of backing it could go far.
JPM teams up with World Bank and S&P for ESG
platform, by Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli, February
1, 2016, Citywire Selector, UK.
Adviser launches ethical
online investment service for the UK.
Financial's expertEthical website is powered by
Parmenion and will provide advice exclusively on
ethical investments. The company said it wants to
make specialist advice on ethical products more
affordable for consumers."
investment advisory services are proliferating, but
I believe this is the first in the UK to offer
purely ethical products.
Adviser launches ethical online investment service,
by Carmen Reichman, February 1, 2016, Professional
The SEC Isn’t Enforcing
Climate Risk Disclosures By Fossil Fuel Companies.
"Peabody Energy is not the only fossil fuel company
to fail to disclose climate change risks.
ExxonMobil, the largest oil and gas company in the
U.S., is being investigated by both California and
New York for not disclosing climate risks to
investors and the public. So, what does it say about
certain economic elites who are hugely invested in
fossil fuels are restraining the SEC. However, their
power is waning! I expect the SEC to be much more
forceful on corporate disclosure of climate change
impacts in the years to come.
The SEC Isn’t Enforcing Climate Risk Disclosures By
Fossil Fuel Companies, by Gina-Marie Cheeseman,
January 28, 2016, TriplePundit, USA.
RepRisk Special Report: Most
Controversial Companies (MCC) 2015.
"How a company
manages environmental, social, and governance (ESG)
issues is now seen as directly linked to its
operational excellence and social license to
operate. ESG risks – such as environmental
degradation, human rights abuses, and corruption –
can also translate into compliance, reputational,
and financial risks."
their top companies for ESG risk are: Uber
Technologies Inc., Takata Corp., HSBC Private Bank
(Suisse), Sony Corp., Volkswagen AG., and GM. It's
interesting to read their analysis of how they view
the issues related to these, and many other,
RepRisk Special Report: Most Controversial Companies
(MCC) 2015, January 2016, RepRisk, Switzerland.
Investors still sceptical
some 64%, of institutional investors polled by
Natixis Global Asset Management in its annual survey
said environmental, social and corporate governance
measures offered by fund managers were 'primarily a
findings in this Nataxis survey run almost counter
to other surveys of investors. Actually, when I read
this article I wondered how thoroughly those
institutional investors were
aware of the research that predominantly finds
utilizing ESG criteria generally improves returns?
The survey -- and the tone of the article -- left me
believing that most of those surveyed
were still a little ignorant about ESG.
Investors still sceptical about ESG, by Andrew
Pearce, January 26, 2016, Financial News, UK.
Socially Responsible Firms
Tend to Pay Less Taxes.
"If you cynics
figured the do-gooders pay less in taxes, you’re
right, according to a study published in the
January/February issue of the American Accounting
Association journal, The Accounting Review.
The study finds that a higher CSR corresponds to
lower taxes paid. In a sample of US companies with
an effective tax rate averaging 26 percent, the
do-gooders ranking in the top fifth of CSR paid an
average of 1.7 percentage points below other
companies – and, ultimately, about 6 percent less
when factoring in other differences in tax rates."
is a puzzling finding. Even the authors of the study
were at a loss as to the reasons why this is
happening. If anyone has some good theory or insight
into this, please let me know.
Socially Responsible Firms Tend to Pay Less Taxes,
by Terry Sheridan, January 25, 2016, Accountingweb,
Warming up to ESG funds in
"According to The
Vanguard Group, only 9% of all [US]
defined-contribution retirement plans offered a
socially responsible domestic equity fund in 2014."
I have another interpretation -- other than that
mentioned in the article -- as to why US DC plans
offer few SR-ethical offerings. Since they have plan
participants 'over a barrel' -- in that plan
participants have to put their annual contributions
and possibly those of their employers into what's
presently being offered -- so maybe many DC plans
figure why bother creating extra expenses for new
fund offerings? Am I too cynical?
Warming up to ESG funds in 401(k)s, editorial,
January 24, 2016, Investment News, USA.
2016 Global 100 Most
Sustainable Corporations in the World Ranking.
"European companies continued to dominate the
ranking, comprising 53 per cent of the total. North
American companies made up 27 per cent of the
remainder, followed by a combined 20 per cent from
Asia, Africa and Australia."
annual ranking by Corporate Knights is worthwhile
reading for all SR-ethical investors.
2016 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the
World Ranking, January 21, 2016, Corporate
Corporate Risk Disclosures
Dominated by Non-Specific "Boilerplate" and Fail to
Provide Investors with a Clear Risk Picture, New
Study Finds. "The findings are contained
in a new study, The Corporate Risk Factor Disclosure
Landscape, published today by the Investor
Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi).
Ernst & Young LLP (EY) was the primary research
entity and contributor to this report. The study
examines the risk disclosures of 50 large companies,
including the five largest publicly traded companies
in ten different industries with an aggregate market
capitalization of approximately $8 trillion."
study comes at an opportune time as ESG factors are
increasingly integrated into mainstream investment
analysis. Analysts and funds will demand greater
corporate disclosure of risks and companies that
don't respond appropriately will likely be punished
with lower stock prices. So we're going to have much
more transparency of risk by companies in the
Corporate Risk Disclosures Dominated by Non-Specific
"Boilerplate" and Fail to Provide Investors with a
Clear Risk Picture, New Study Finds, press
release, January 21, 2016, Investor Responsibility
Research Center Institute (IRRCi)/Ernst & Young LLP
Morningstar ethical rating
could cost funds billions. "High quality
global journalism requires investment. Please share
this article with others using the link below, do
not cut & paste the article.
Asset managers fear losing
billions of dollars as a result of a Morningstar
initiative that will enable investors to compare the
ethical ratings of thousands of funds tracked by the
data provider. Morningstar will release the
environmental, social and governance scores of a
large proportion of the 200,000 funds it tracks for
the first time before the end of March."
has the contract to supply Morningstar with ESG
ratings on some 4,500 companies, who will in turn
apply those ratings to fund holdings. Since most
investors are now interested in sustainability, a
funds ESG rating could become a big deal for all
fund managers -- forcing them to improve their ESG
scores! This is wonderful news for ethical
investors and for those of us desiring the greatest
use possible of ESG criteria in funds' management.
Morningstar ethical rating could cost funds
billions, by Attracta Mooney, January 17, 2016,
Financial Times, UK.
2015 seeing $41.8bn green
bonds issued – that’s the biggest ever!
"Achieving scale hasn’t been the only reason to
celebrate the green bond market at the year-end; the
real success is the geographical spread of green
bonds across the world. Green bond markets are
popping up all across the world, in Brazil, China,
Estonia, Mexico and India… just to name a few!"
most SR-ethical investors want to have green bonds
in their portfolio -- some might even have some now.
Opportunities for investing in green bonds will likely increase markedly in
the years ahead. It's great to see the Climate Bonds
Initiative playing such an active role in assisting
and promoting their development.
2015 seeing $41.8bn green bonds issued – that’s the
biggest ever! January 2016, Climate Bonds
Tiny materials, big
questions: How green is nanotechnology?
"Working at the nanoscale — which can mean the
near-atomic scale, with substances a million times
shorter than the length of an ant, a thousand times
thinner than human hair — brings the ability to
create new materials that can perform tasks in ways
that otherwise might not be possible.
But it also brings new concerns and challenges
related to understanding environmental and human
health impacts, because at the nanoscale, substances
often take on chemical, biological and physical
properties they otherwise might not have and behave
in ways they might not at conventional sizes."
blame short-termism for most of the problems in the
markets today. However, short-termism may also cause
potentially large-scale human health and environment
difficulties with new technologies -- such as GMOs,
nanoparticles, etc. It seems few people want to
apply the 'precautionary principle' when it comes to
the potential for profit. SR-ethical investors
should especially read this article.
Tiny materials, big questions: How green is
nanotechnology? By Elizabeth Grossman, January
14, 2016, GreenBiz, USA.
Ethical investing: making
money, making a difference. "'We
surveyed about 1,100 investors last year from coast
to coast [in Canada], and 92% said that it was
important for them to invest in products that are
consistent with their own personal values,' says
Chris Nickerson, senior vice president, sales and
distribution, NEI Investments. 'And 71% of Canadians
want their investments to help change or make
SR-ethical investment advisors should understand
they can do even better for themselves and their
clients when they know the personal values of
Ethical investing: making money, making a
difference, by Donald Horne, January 12, 2016,
Wealth Professional, Canada.
"According to TRACE’s 2014 Global Enforcement
Report, there were 211 investigations involving
foreign bribery being conducted in 27 countries by
the end of that year. These cases are being
investigated by countries that even five years ago
were considered to be anemic enforcers, including
China, Slovakia and Argentina. And while the U.S.
leads the world in total enforcement actions
overall, in 2014 more enforcement actions were
brought outside than within the United States."
interesting that the increasing interest of
countries everywhere to rid themselves of corruption
parallels the rise of ESG and ethical investing.
They go together. This is a further promising sign
for SR-ethical investors that the world is moving
towards their ideals and can only help their
financial returns too.
Corruption interruption, by Alexandra Wrage,
January 8, 2016, Corporate Knights magazine, Canada.
Europe Leads Sustainable Investing.
Lie, director of manager research, Benelux with
Morningstar’s EMEA fund research team said in the
firm’s latest bi-monthly magazine that $13.6
trillion was invested in sustainable assets in
Europe compared to $6.6 trillion in the US. Lie said
that a total of $21.4 trillion was invested globally
in ESG (environmental, social and governance) assets
in 2014, 60% more than in 2012."
article further discusses how institutional
investors a far ahead of individuals in using ESG
criteria in selecting investments. However, in all
surveys of individual investors a significant
proportion of them want to invest with ESG/ethical
criteria in mind. Thus, again, I suggest it's the
advisors not doing their job of 'knowing their
client' is where the real bottleneck lies for
Europe Leads Sustainable Investing, January 5,
2016, Markets Media, USA.
Investment Managers Raising ESG Offerings
To Meet Demand, Study Says.
"Over 75 percent of
investment managers are increasing their use of
environmental, social and governance products and
impact investing to meet customer demand, according
to a survey released this week by Tiburon Strategic
75% figure is the highest I've seen among such
surveys. Seeing that it was reported by a reputable
advisors magazine, it has some credibility.
Investment Managers Raising ESG Offerings To Meet
Demand, Study Says, by Ted Knutson, December 31,
2015, Financial Advisor, USA.
50 Best (US) Workplaces for Diversity.
"Fortune and Great Place to Work partnered with
Essence and People en Español to survey companies
that make inclusiveness a top priority. Rankings
were determined by employee feedback and the
representation of racial and ethnic minorities and
public companies, the top three are: Camden Property
Trust (which was ranked #1 over all); Ultimate
Software (#4); and Workday (#6). This is a must see
list for those ethical investors who rate diversity
highly when selecting investments.
50 Best (US) Workplaces for Diversity, Forbes,
December 2015, USA.
Climate Bonds releases new Standard V2.0
- post COP21 global guidance for green bond market
Initiative has released the Climate Bonds Standard
V2.0, the next iteration of an overarching
multi-sector standard that allows investors and
intermediaries to easily assess the environmental
integrity of bonds claiming to be green and funding
the low carbon and climate resilient future.
Standard V2.0 has been built on consultation with
market actors, incorporates the latest amended Green
Bond Principles and is a key part of Climate Bonds’
work to mobilise debt capital markets and develop
sound and sustainable international green bond
the market for green bonds escalates, it's
imperative that some standards be incorporated in
their structure, issue and marketing. I greatly
welcome the Climate bonds initiative in this
Climate Bonds releases new Standard V2.0 - post
COP21 global guidance for green bond market
participants, by Sean Kidney, December 22, 2015,
Climate Bonds Initiative, UK.
Largest-ever analysis of ESG investment
studies sees ‘well-founded’ relation to profit.
"The analysis of more than 2,200
academic studies and more than 60 review studies
published since the early 1970s concludes that
investment based on ESG criteria has a positive
effect on corporate financial performance (CPF) that
is ‘stable over time’.
The authors, including Timo Busch of the
University of Hamburg, Alexander Bassen of the
University of Reading and Gunnar Friede of Deutsche
Asset and Wealth Management, say that 90 percent of
the studies they reviewed showed a non-negative
relationship between ESG investment and corporate
financial performance. They also say the ‘large
majority’ report positive findings."
is a phenomenal study and should put-to-rest any
argument about ESG being unimportant to corporate
profits. It might well win next year's Moskowitz SRI
Prize! (Download study
ESG & Corporate Financial Performance, PDF.)
Largest-ever analysis of ESG investment studies sees
‘well-founded’ relation to profit, by Adam
Brown, December 24, 2015, IR Magazine, UK/USA.
Pension funds agree ESG is vital to
investment returns. "The vast majority
of pension funds (93%) say that environmental and
social governance (ESG) issues are linked to
investment returns, a significant increase since
2013, when only 81% viewed the link.
The Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association has
released its annual survey which also found that
there is near universal agreement that pension funds
have stewardship responsibilities (98%)."
more evidence of the rise of ESG in the investment
community. The massive belief of the surveyed fund
managers that they have stewardship responsibilities
for their investments is also highly encouraging to
the hearts of ethical investors.
Pension funds agree ESG is vital to investment
returns, December 21, 2015, Funds Europe, UK.
IBE Survey Highlights Key Public Concerns
in Business Ethics.
Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) recently released
the findings of its latest survey on the British
public’s opinion about business behavior. The survey
revealed that the people’s general opinion about
ethical business conduct has not shown any
improvement over the last three years, with nearly
40 percent of the respondents still saying they
believe British business behaves unethically."
the percentage of people behaving unethically -- in
some manor -- is probably similar to the 40% of UK
public thinking that business behave unethically.
After all, since businesses employ the majority of
adults, they must largely reflect the ethics of those it employs.
IBE Survey Highlights Key Public Concerns in
Business Ethics, by Vikas Vij, December 11,
2015, Justmeans, USA.
Special note: Due to personal affairs
there were no postings in mid December.
So, what do you think of these seemingly
two contradictory studies! (Are they
looking at the same parameters CSR versus ESG?)
1) How Ethical Compliance Affects
Portfolio Performance And Flows: Evidence From
Mutual Funds. "Using an asset-weighted
composite CSR fund score based on firm-level
ratings, we find that funds with high CSR scores
display poor performance and strong performance
reversal. Furthermore, high-CSR funds exhibit weaker
performance-flow relationships and slightly stronger
funds with "high CSR scores display poor
performance." Now go to 2).
How Ethical Compliance Affects Portfolio Performance
And Flows: Evidence From Mutual Funds, Sadok El
Ghoul, University of Alberta and Aymen Karoui,
University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), December 4,
2) Responsible Investing Is Hot: ESG AUM Hits
$21 Trillion. "According to HSBC, companies
with significantly improving ESG indicators
outperformed those who lagged by 26pp since 2008.
So, by investing responsibly, you could also improve
"HSBC’s analysis is in line with the broader
academic literature, where 80% of studies have shown
that prudent corporate sustainability programs tend
to boost company performance."
Responsible Investing Is Hot: ESG AUM Hits $21
Trillion, by Rupert Hargreaves, December 10,
2015, Valuewalk, USA.
Two-thirds of (UK) investors don’t know
if they are investing ethically.
"Sixty-three per cent of investors surveyed by
Triodos Bank said they did not know whether or not
the activities of the companies they are investing
in are ethical.
Only a quarter (25%) said they were actively aware
of how ethical their investees are. Investments made
through pension funds, stocks and shares ISAs, for
example, can lead consumers to inadvertently finance
activities they ethically or morally object to."
survey could've been even more illuminating if they
had asked if the investors who didn't know if they
were investing ethically, plan to actually
investigate the ethical character of their
investments. At least some responders to the
questionnaire might to do that.
Two-thirds of investors don’t know if they are
investing ethically, by Daniel Hunter, December
11, 2015, freshbusinessthinking.com, UK.
Northern Trust Survey: Majority of
Institutional Investors Expect to Introduce Climate
Risk Profiling Within Two Years.
"Eighty percent of
institutional investors surveyed at a recent event
hosted by Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS) in Stockholm
expect their firm to introduce climate risk
profiling within the next two years.
“The Nordic region has for many years had a strong
emphasis on sustainable business, with many
institutional investors demonstrating strong
leadership addressing climate change risks.” More
than 30 Nordic institutional investors were surveyed
including some of the largest and most sophisticated
asset owners in the world about their perspectives
on sustainable investing and maintaining investment
has a history of leading in CSR/ESG issues, so it's
unsurprising that the survey got such good results.
However, there's no doubt that ESG/climate change
corporate initiatives are gaining ground. The COP21
Paris climate change talks are also infusing a new
thrust for sustainability in corporations
globally. The future is bright for ESG!
Northern Trust Survey: Majority of Institutional
Investors Expect to Introduce Climate Risk Profiling
Within Two Years, press release, December 8,
2015, Northern Trust, UK/Sweden.
Companies with greater carbon efficiency
"According to a new
report published by the world’s largest asset
manager BlackRock, businesses that have been at the
forefront of improving their carbon efficiency for
the last three years have dramatically outperformed
the ones that have been laggards in this area.
The report analyzed the stock market performance of
over 1,850 companies that have joined the CDP
(formerly, Carbon Disclosure Project). It includes
companies across sectors, ranging from energy and
auto giants such as BP and General Motors to
technology leaders such as IBM."
study like this from the world's largest asset
manager is likely to influence corporate boards
globally. Blackrock is clearly showing that ethical
investors positioned in companies with carbon
reducing strategies -- especially compared to their
peers -- offers the opportunity for superior
Companies with greater carbon efficiency outperform
markets, by Vikas Vij, November 30, 2015,
Stronger Focus Needed on Business Ethics
and Whistleblowing Arrangements: IBE Survey.
Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) has published its
Ethics at Work Surveys for Britain, France, Germany,
Italy and Spain. The survey shows that about half of
employees who aware of misconduct do not voice their
concerns. According to Philippa Foster Back,
Director of IBE, weak speak-up arrangements leave
companies vulnerable. If managements do not know
what is going on, they cannot protect their
businesses against crisis.
The survey showed that 61 percent of those who did
speak up said they were dissatisfied with the
outcome. This percentage has more than doubled when
compared with 2012."
that ethics is still an issue at most companies.
Generally, businesses reflect the ethics of the
society where they operate. It's obvious that only
in a highly ethical society will the majority of
businesses behave with high ethics. I believe ethics
is largely a societal issue. However, that's not to
say that individual businesses should not attempt to
be more ethical.
Stronger Focus Needed on Business Ethics and
Whistleblowing Arrangements: IBE Survey,
by Vikas Vij, November 26, 2015, Justmeans, USA.
(Benefits) Consultants adding ESG factors
to decision mix. "According to research
from Cerulli Associates, consultants are finding
that they need to incorporate ESG factors into their
manager selection decision-making process. More than
half (53 percent) of consultants polled by Cerulli
have dedicated resources for ESG manager research,
and another 20 percent are considering adding
in ESG continues to spread -- with this report that
benefits consultants in their choice of investment
managers are now largely taking managers'
perspectives on ESG into account.
Consultants adding ESG factors to decision mix,
by Marlene Satter, November 25, 2015, Benefits Pro,
Decarbonizer: The first planetary
investment tool... answers the question - 'Does it
pay to decarbonize?' "Created by
Corporate Knights and powered by carbon data from
South Pole Group, the Clean Capitalist Decarbonizer
is a free interactive tool that shows the financial
implications of divesting high carbon companies in
favour of those that derive at least 20% of their
revenues from environmental markets or new energy.
The Clean Capitalist database covers 7,000
securities (comprising more than 85% of global
market capitalization), including all primary public
equity securities with a market cap over $2 billion
and/or listed on major national and global indices.
A professional version of the Clean Capitalist tool
for the investment community will be launched at the
upcoming Paris Climate Conference."
to Corporate Knights and the South Pole Group for
creating an extraordinarily useful tool for
investors wanting to know how portfolios would do
were they to rid themselves of carbon related
by Corporate Knights and South Pole Group, 2015.
Institutional Investors Increasingly
Consider ESG Factors.
"The number of U.S.
institutional investors that incorporate
environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors
into investment decision making increased from 22%
in 2013 to 29% in 2015, according to results of a
Callan survey. The investment consultant’s 2015 ESG
Interest and Implementation survey found that, by
fund type, foundations (39%) and endowments (37%)
have the highest rates of ESG adoption. Public fund
usage of ESG factors has nearly doubled in the past
two years, from 15% in 2013 to 27% in 2015."
really wonder if I should continue posting these
surveys. They're all so repetitive -- but in a great
way! The only remarks I'll make about this survey is
that it demonstrates how far ahead foundations
and endowments are relative to others and it
would've been good to compare them to European
Institutional Investors Increasingly Consider ESG
Factors, by Rebecca Moore, Asset International,
Stranded assets may add up to $2.2
trillion — blame COP21?
"U.S. fossil fuel
companies and their shareholders are exposed to $412
billion in potentially unusable assets from oil,
coal and gas projects on their books that may never
be needed, according to a report released today.
That vast U.S. exposure is part of $2.2 trillion
globally in excess in fossil fuel drilling or mining
projects that could well become stranded assets on
the books of various private and state-run
companies, according to Carbon Tracker."
Tracker has produced a fascinating study on this
subject. All investors have to be aware that their
portfolios often contain expose to many investments
that could be hit hard due to asset write downs,
etc. Fortunately, many ethical investors are ahead
of the game.
Stranded assets may add up to $2.2 trillion — blame
COP21? By Barbara Grady, November 24, 2015,
Low level of climate integration into
"Only a minority of
major European investors, found in a sample of asset
owners that invests €7.3 trillion, integrate climate
change into their investment policies.
However, research into these asset owners also found
that 53% consider climate change to be a top
priority. Nearly 90% of those surveyed use one of
three recognised methods of responsible investment:
stock screening; shareholder engagement; or
selecting stocks based on environmental, social and
governance criteria. Novethic says this shows
investors are strengthening their responsible
survey continues the trend -- found in countless
other surveys too -- that responsible investment/ESG
factors are increasingly a concern for investors.
Low level of climate integration into investments,
November 23, 2015, Funds Europe, UK.
How your pension can change the world.
"According to BNY Mellon research millennials would
allocate an average 42% of their investment
portfolio to social finance products, with those in
the UK keen to invest in projects that focus on
crime prevention and homelessness.
However, they feel that the pension industry is not
listening to them as 95% said that pension funds and
insurers only provide limited, poor or no options
for investing in social finance initiatives."
pension industry is generally slow to adapt to new
opportunities -- though there are some outliers such
as Canada's Canada Pension Plan. It has used a
responsible investment approach for many years.
However, it too, I believe, hasn't gotten into
investments related to the areas mentioned above:
crime prevention and homelessness.
How your pension can change the world, by
Michelle McGagh, November 21, 2015, citywire money,
Individual Investors Can Now Divest From
Fossil Fuels with One ETF.
"A San Francisco
investment firm today launched on the New York Stock
Exchange what it touted as the world’s first
diversified, socially responsible and fossil-free,
exchange-traded fund (ETF) based on a climate
be interesting to watch how this ETF performs
financially compared to other fossil fuel free
funds. It appears unique in its methodology.
Individual Investors Can Now Divest From Fossil
Fuels with One ETF, by Jim Pierobon, November
19, 2015, TriplePundit, USA.
Investors use technology as tool to
dissect ESG portfolios.
investors increasingly turn to new ways of deploying
technology and data to up their ESG game.
Environmental, social and governance issues have
been moving up on the agenda in recent years. Now
they are coming to a head with the onset of
regulatory demand; new guidance from the Department
of Labor stating that investors can consider ESG
factors in their investment without fear of
repercussions; student protests; and general
pressure from investors across the globe."
is a fascinating article on how technology is aiding
portfolio integration of ESG criteria.
Investors use technology as tool to dissect ESG
portfolios, by Sophie Baker, November 16, 2015,
Pension & Investments, USA.
S&P 500 companies up their game on
level responsibility for climate change has soared
to 95 percent in 2015 from 67 percent five years
ago, according to a 2015 climate change report from
the CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project.
Among the other findings, S&P 500 companies actively
working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
have increased to 96 percent from 52 percent."
are dramatic numbers and bode well for adaptation by
business to not only climate change but for all
issues related to ESG. It seems the ESG message to
companies from SR-ethical investors over all these
years is finally taking root!
S&P 500 companies up their game on climate: Report,
by Heesun Wee, November 16, 2015, CNBC, USA.
Is this a tipping point? Business action
moves past the 'climate A-list.'
not-for profit CDP released the latest figures in
its annual report on corporate carbon emissions
disclosures on behalf of 822 investors representing
$95 trillion worldwide...
The report indicates that corporates have passed an
important business tipping point with 89 percent of
companies having activities to reduce GHG emissions.
This is compared to less than 50 percent five years
ago, before the ill-fated COP15 in Copenhagen."
great findings! As I've previously commented, it
looks like the wind is at the back for a successful
COP21 Paris conference. Long-term, ethical investors
are likely big winners.
Is this a tipping point? Business action moves past
the 'climate A-list,' by Michael Mathres,
November 11, 2015, GreenBiz.com, USA.
SRI Research Prize Winner: The Market
Places Significant Monetary Value On Greater
"The market values
better corporate disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions and these effects appear strongest among
firms in carbon-intensive industries. That
conclusion is drawn by Professor Philipp Krüger in a
major study that was awarded the 2015 Moskowitz
Prize for Socially Responsible Investing during a
special ceremony last night at the 26th annual SRI
Conference in Colorado Springs, Colorado."
good news is the continuing and rapidly growing
market of acceptance of GHG reporting due to the
kind of research of Professor Philipp Krüger.
Congratulations Professor Krüger on winning the 2015
Moskowitz Prize! (See
Research Prize Winner: The Market Places Significant
Monetary Value On Greater Transparency, press
release, November 5, 2015, First Affirmative
Financial Network, LLC/The SRI Conference, USA.
World Exchanges Agree Enhanced
"The WFE Guidance &
Recommendations identifies material ESG metrics
which exchanges can incorporate into disclosure
guidance to companies listed on their markets.
Specifically, the enhanced guidance highlights 34
key performance indicators, including energy
consumption, water management, CEO pay ratio, gender
diversity, human rights, child and forced labour,
temporary worker rate, corruption and anti-bribery,
tax transparency in addition to other corporate
great news for ethical investors. Soon all stock
exchanges will have ESG guidelines for their listed
companies, making the task of promoting ESG and
SR-ethical investing that much easier.
World Exchanges Agree Enhanced Sustainability
Guidance, press release, November 4, 2015, World
Federation of Exchanges, UK.
The ‘Sin Stock’ Premium: A Neat Illusion
associated with the University of Reading’s ICMA
Centre, in a new paper, take on the notion that the
so-called “sin stocks” (chiefly: stocks of companies
whose business plan is tied to highly addictive
behaviors) outperform other stocks in an actionable
is a fine article about an important study. The
study counters the notion of sin industries
The ‘Sin Stock’ Premium: A Neat Illusion Dismantled,
by "cfaille," November 3, 2015, UK.
If you are a
spiritual investor, or believe in ethical investing
and socially responsible investing, get the latest
relevant news in your inbox. Sign-up now for our
The Soul Investor.
Special note on news intermediaries.