E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul April 29, 2011
Top ethical investing news for April 2011
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
Twitter allows me to cover more--and breaking news--to help you do better!
Greenpeace Ranks Tech Giants On Their Data Centre's Coal Dependency. - [COMMENTARY] "The report ranks operators of major data centers -- Apple, Facebook, Google, etc. -- according to a number of factors, including their source of electricity, i.e. whether the cloud is powered by coal, natural gas, wind, hydro, or other energy sources."
Yahoo! comes out on top, with Apple being the worst.
However, there are caveats regarding the quality of the data.
European Firms Failing In Carbon Emissions Reporting. - [COMMENTARY] "Less than half of Europe's top 300 firms are publishing full and verified carbon emission data, with French and Swiss companies ranking worst at greenhouse gas reporting, a study showed Tuesday. British financial services company Aviva placed first in the rankings based on emissions and levels of disclosure and verification, while Polish mining company KGHM came in last, according to the non-profit Environmental Investment Organisation (EIO)."
companies generally lead in carbon reporting, so the reporting problem
is probably worse elsewhere.
Much US Corporate Political Spending Undisclosed.
Bolivia About To Enact A 'Mother Earth' Law.
Well done Bolivia! This small country might be setting the
standard for all other countries to eventually follow as countries
everywhere realize the full implications of global climate change.
UPDATED: Allianz Global Investors' Study Says ESG
Reduces Portfolio Risk. - [COMMENTARY]
"The study found the tail risk of an ESG risk neutral emerging market
equity strategy defined by the MSCI Emerging Markets Index can be
reduced from -64.5 p.a. to -38.8 per cent. The same is true for
corporate bonds defined by the Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market
Corporate Index, it added, where the tail risk ‒ measured as conditional
value at risk (95 per cent) of the default strategy ‒ can be reduced
from -8.1 per cent p.a. to -4.9 per cent. ESG risk factors are also
important for core asset classes such as developed market equity."
This is highly useful information. Source document now available.
SolarWorld Earns Highest Green Score Among Top 10 PV
Makers. - [COMMENTARY] "German PV
maker SolarWorld earned the best environmental grade of the 10 largest
manufacturers in the industry with a score of 91 out of possible 100
points for practices in four categories: recycling, green jobs, toxics
and disclosure. Trina Solar, based in China, followed in second place
with a score of 89. Tying for third place with scores of 87 were two
firms among the top 10 largest, REC of Norway and First Solar of the
U.S., and another U.S. firm, Abound Solar." Most investors are
unaware that the making of PVs can be quite environmentally unfriendly.
So if you're an ethical investor interested in this sector, you might
want to read this article.
World’s First Halal Food Index. - [COMMENTARY] "The halal food industry has now become an asset class within the investment community with the launch of the world’s first halal food indices, called SAMI (Socially Acceptably Market Investments) Halal Food Index and SAMI Halal Participation Index... The SAMI Halal Food Index comprises 200 companies listed in Muslim-majority countries with a total market capitalisation of over $100b. Of the 200 companies in the index, almost half (95) are Malaysian with market capitalisation of $53b, while others are from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia and Nigeria."
With the huge economic growth of the Mid East and Asia,
western ethical investors will want to keep an eye open to possible new
and unusual ethical investing opportunities.
Unilever, General Electric, Interface, Wal-Mart And
Marks & Spencer, Top SustainAbility's 2011 Sustainable Leaders List.
- [COMMENTARY] "Some 559 sustainability
experts from corporations, government, non-government organizations,
academia and entities that provide services, such as consultancies,
participated in the online survey last month that focused on perceptions
of sustainability leadership... conducted by research firm GlobeScan
Incorporated and SustainAbility Ltd."
One useful study would be to see if there is any correlation between
SustainAbility's rankings and their relative stock market performances.
Nonetheless, it is an interesting survey to review.
Bloomberg Markets Magazine Ranks World's Greenest Banks.
- [COMMENTARY] "Banco Santander,
Spain’s biggest bank, got the first place... Goldman Sachs took the
second place and Italy-based holding company UniCredit ranked third."
Unfortunately, for the entire list and commentary a subscription to
the magazine is required.
One-Third Of UK Wealthy Interested In Social Investment, Says Nesta. - [COMMENTARY] "The research... quizzed 505 people with investment assets ranging from £50,000 to £1m on their interest in social investment... Those under 40 years of age were more likely than those over 55 to be receptive to social or ethical investments. The research also found that when considering making social investments, two-thirds (67 per cent) of wealthy individuals are likely to invest in a financial product that benefits society as well as giving a comparable return on their money."
This research adds to the already significant body of
evidence that investors want to invest socially responsible and
New Proxy Monitor Site. - [COMMENTARY] "ProxyMonitor.org—shedding light on shareholder proposals submitted to publicly traded corporations via the annual proxy process. This site is sponsored by the Center for Legal Policy, part of the non-partisan and non-profit Manhattan Institute for Policy Research."
This is another useful
site whereby ethical investors can research to see the results of
environmental, social and governance initiatives among the world's
FTSE4Good Launches Corporate ESG Ratings.
- [COMMENTARY] "A decade after the launch of the
FTSE4Good Index Series, FTSE Group has launched a new FTSE4Good ratings
system that is designed to measure environmental, social and governance
(ESG) factors. FTSE Group claimed this new data service provides a
comprehensive, transparent and objective system to measure ESG practices
of over 2,300 public companies worldwide." FTSE4Good is likely to be
a formidable competitor in this space. However, it's good for ethical
Latest Commentaries by Ron Robins on Alrroya.com
Short Term Gain, Long Term Pain, March 31, 2011.
Eliminate Corporate Taxes and Spur Economic Growth, April 7, 2011.
Financial and Economic Modelling - A Waste of Time? April 21, 2011.
Climate Capitalism: Capitalism in the Age of Climate Change, by L. Hunter Lovins and Boyd Cohen, Hill and Wang 2011.
Valuing Corporate Responsibility: How Do Investors Really Use Corporate Responsibility Information? By Rory Sullivan, Greenleaf Publishing 2011.
Note: Articles are linked to the original source. Some sites may require registration, and may, or may not, archive stories. All links were active at the time of publication.
Disclaimer: Neither The Soul Investor nor Ron Robins make investment recommendations. Nothing in this newsletter should be interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation to buy/sell any securities or investments. The Soul Investor is a source of general information and resources for spiritual investing, ethical investing, and socially responsible investing (SRI). Investors should consider their actions thoroughly and consult their professional advisers prior to taking any investment action. The Soul Investor does not necessarily agree with the opinions expressed in articles in its newsletter or offered on the web pages to which it might be linked. Such opinions are the responsibility of the writers themselves. Furthermore, The Soul Investor does not offer or provide any warranties, representations, guarantees, implied or otherwise, as to the accuracy, legality, copyright compliance, timeliness or usefulness of the information, materials or services in this e-newsletter, or other sites, to which it might be linked. Also, Mr. Ron Robins is not an investment advisor, nor is he licensed with any professional investment related body, and thus is not able to, nor does he make, any investment recommendations.
The Soul Investor is a publication of Investing for the Soul, a registered business name in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2011 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.