E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul July 30, 2009
Top ethical investing news for July 2009
Links may only be valid a limited time Commentaries by Ron Robins
US Mutual Funds Begin Disclosing The
Carbon Footprint Of Their Holdings. -
"You want a car that gets good gas mileage and you want energy
efficient appliances (or at least I hope you do). But do you want a
low-carbon investment portfolio? The Green Century Balanced Fund is
betting that you do. The Boston-based mutual fund says it is the first
U.S.-based fund to disclose its carbon footprint, which is 66% less than
the carbon intensity of the S&P 500 Index." This is the next
frontier for companies and funds: disclosing their carbon footprints.
For many ethical investors the best funds and stocks that are good to
invest in will be those with the lowest carbon emissions. This is an
interesting article and written by a pioneer in the socially
responsible/ethical investing field.
Responsible Investments (RI) To Be 15%
Of Global Assets By 2015: Robeco/Booz & Company Study.
"We expect the RI market to become mainstream within asset management
by 2015, reaching between 15%-20% of total global Assets Under
Management (USD 26.5 trillion) and a total revenue of approximately USD
53 billion." This study again affirms investing in ethical stocks
and bonds will grow substantially over the long-term. It cites the
impact of global warming and both corporate and government responses to
it as significant factors for the mainstreaming of RI.
A Billion Euros Came Back Into SRI Funds
In May. -
a billion euros (€1,068.3m) shifted back into European SRI funds during
May as equity markets rose, according to the latest available figures
compiled for Responsible Investor by Lipper Feri, the investment data
group. Bond funds were among the biggest sellers representing three of
the top five asset gatherers during the month. SRI funds or ‘RI
Screened’ as they are labelled by Feri are those that have undergone an
‘extra financial’ ESG screen in their stock selection process."
As investors come back into the markets they are showing a preference
for ethical stocks and bonds. It seems the recent turbulence and
unethical conduct in the financial markets is now having an effect on
First European Sharia Compliant Money
Market Fund Launched. -
[COMMENTARY] "Bank of
London and the Middle East (BLME) is launching the Sharia’a Dollar
Income fund, which it describes as Europe’s first sharia-compliant
money-market portfolio, writes Nick Rice. Domiciled in Luxembourg as an
unregulated Sicav-Sif for sophisticated investors, the
Indian Ethical Indices Outperforming
Conventional Benchmarks. -
[COMMENTARY] "Even as
socially responsible investing (SRI) is yet to find its feet in India,
indices that screen stocks based on ethical and environmental concerns
have been outperforming their benchmark peers... For example, while the
Nifty has delivered 73 per cent returns since March 9 when markets
started showing an uptrend, the S&P ESG (environmental, social
50 Investor Groups, Social Investment
Forum (SIF) Urge SEC To Require Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG)
[COMMENTARY] "The organizations are
asking the SEC to require companies to report: (1) annually on a
New UK Corporate Responsibility Index
[COMMENTARY] "SocialFunds.com -- In
London yesterday, the Corporate Responsibility Index was launched by
Business in the Community (BITC), a U.K. consortium of 700 companies
devoted to improving their
Global Reporting Initiative--A Standardized CSR
Report--Makes Gains, But Used In Only 13% Of S&P 500 Companies & 22% Of
FTSE 100 UK Companies. -
[COMMENTARY] "With 46
percent growth over 2007 numbers, the GRI reported today that a record
1,002 companies issued sustainability reports based on the
organization's G3 Guidelines in 2008. Because there is no requirement to
inform the GRI that a report has been issued in accordance with its
guidelines, the number of GRI-compliant reports in 2008 is likely higher
than the reported figure, but still represents a minuscule portion of
the world's corporations... " More government induced
standardization and CSR reporting requirements are needed. Again, see my
We Need Mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reporting.
UN's PRI: 25% Rise In Members
Incorporating Responsible Investing (RI) Elements In Fund Manager
[COMMENTARY] "The PRI said it had
surveyed almost 300 global pension funds (asset owners) and fund manager
signatories, and that 63% of the asset owners – which include some of
the world’s biggest retirement plans – now made RI elements a part of
manager hire stipulations, up from 38% in 2008." This is continuing
great news for responsible (ethical) investing. It demonstrates that a
higher consciousness is beginning to permeate the investment industry.
United Nations Environmental Program
(UNEP) Financial Initiative Issues New Report On Legal & Fiduciary
Responsibilities Of Integrating Environmental, Social, & Governance
(ESG) Factors Into Asset Management. -
This is a landmark report and makes a convincing case for asset managers
and investors to incorporate ESG factors into their decision making
process. Over time, this report should prove helpful to boosting the
fortunes of ethical stocks and bonds.
SEC Considers Making Mandatory Company
Reporting On How Climate Change Is Likely to Affect Them.
"The SEC is taking on climate change. Regulators there are
considering requiring companies to disclose the effects of climate
Companies Rated 'High' On CSR Measures Often Rated Differently By Consumers. - [COMMENTARY] "The results of a recent corporate responsibility study – the Corporate Citizenship Study (CCS) – have experts befuddled. The CCS asked consumers to rank several corporations’ level of corporate social responsibility, or CSR (a corporation’s transparency in its practice and reporting of environmental, financial, and other policies). The results of the CSS were unexpected: consumers ranked several corporations (including Microsoft and General Mills) over other companies (including Pepsi, Coca Cola, Apple, and McDonald’s) deemed more socially responsible by the CRO 100 (a CSR policing agency that annually ranks corporations in its “Best Corporate Citizens” list)."
It seems that in the eyes of the consumer,
brand recognition often trumps a company's corporate social
responsibility credentials. Nonetheless, for companies, the advantage of
using corporate social responsibility can, over time, add to the bottom
line in many ways.
Ethical Investing Grows In Africa.
"Databank Financial Services on Friday added to its annals of
investment banking, an equity fund named ARK Fund, which seeks to
integrate ethical and environmental concerns into its investment
decisions. Databank is therefore the first to introduce ethical fund in
Ghana, which aims at investing the fund’s proceeds in companies, which
make only positive contributions to the world and thus exclude
investment in specific activities or industries that are not in harmony
with investors’ moral, religious and value orientations." It is
wonderful to see that ethical investing is growing even among some of
the poorer countries in this world.
ShareOwners.org. New Site For US
Stockholders To Organize And Fight For Financial Industry Changes
Benefiting Shareowners. -
is working to help promote market fairness for investors like you and
me. This is our chance to have
US SRI Firms Write To SEC Slamming
Chamber Of Commerce Voting Report As Fatally Flawed.
"US SRI firms and advisors have attacked as 'fatally flawed' a recent
report published by the US Chamber of Commerce that claims that
shareholder proposals at corporate AGMs show no clear evidence of short-
or long-term improvements in operating or stock market performance of
target firms and could be placing trustees in breach of their fiduciary
duty under ERISA guidelines... At a Responsible Investor conference on
ESG in New York last week, Adam Kanzer, managing director and general
counsel of Domini Social Investments, said the research methodology was
not rigorous and claimed it showed significant political bias in its
First U.S. Islamic ETF Launched.
"The first U.S. exchange traded fund to comply with Islamic law began
trading today on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol
JVS. Javelin Exchange Traded Funds launched the fund to match the
performance of the Dow Jones Islamic Market Titans 100 Index, which is
composed of 100 companies located in 23 countries outside the U.S."
This is exciting news as it means that ETF products are now being
launched based on the new Islamic/Shariah indices crafted by the major
index providers. Undoubtedly, investor demand for these products is
likely to grow in the years ahead, in part due to the ethical
characteristics and values evidenced by the underlying investments.
Blogs for Ethical Investors, by Ron Robins, July 19, 2009.
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.
The Soul Investor is a publication of Investing for the Soul, a registered business name in Ontario, Canada. Copyright © 2009 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.