Ethical Investing News/Commentaries
Commentaries by Ron
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Prince Of Wales Calls On Pension Funds To Make
"Addressing an audience of pensions professionals at
a Prince of Wales Charities event, Resilience and
the Long-term: Rethinking Portfolio Strategy, the
Prince said the current signs of economic recovery
were based on a ’return to the Elysian Fields of the
business of usual scenario of ever increasing
consumption’. The capital required to maintain
growth in this manner comes from ’diminishing our
reserves of natural resources’, something which
cannot continue, he said." The Prince has always
been pro ESG. It’s great to see him aggressively
Prince of Wales calls on pension funds to make ESG
mainstream, by Naomi Rainey, June 28, 2013,
Professional Pensions, UK.
The 21st Century Investor: Ceres Blueprint For
"This Blueprint is written for the 21st Century
investor— institutional asset owners and their
investment managers—who need to understand and
manage the growing risks posed by climate change,
resource scarcity, population growth, human and
labor rights, energy demand and access to
water—risks that will challenge businesses and
affect investment returns in the years and decades
to come." The blueprint is good
reading for all ethical investors. Download it
The 21st Century Investor: Ceres Blueprint for
Sustainable Investing, press release, June 26,
2013, Ceres, USA.
German Attitudes Towards Sustainability
"The attitude of German institutional investors
towards sustainable investment strategies has
improved slightly, according to an index compiled by
professor Henry Schäfer of Stuttgart University on
behalf of Union Investment... Bonds dominate
sustainably managed investments, with a share of 45%
and rank ahead of real estate with 20% and equities
It’s interesting how bonds dominate sustainably
managed German portfolios, whereas its equities in
most other developed countries.
ESG roundup: German attitudes towards
sustainability, PPF, IMA, by Nina Röhrbein, June
26, 2013, Pensions & Investments Europe, UK.
Review Of Evidence: Database of SRI Academic
Studies, Commissioned By Calpers, Compiled By UC Davis Graduate School Of Management.
"CalPERS has commissioned this review of evidence as
part of its Sustainable Investment Research
Initiative (SIRI). It is a searchable database of
over 700 academic studies on sustainability factors
spanning four decades of research, which examine the
impact of these factors on investment risk and
return." This is a great comprehensive review of SRI
research that many ethical investors might want to
Review of Evidence: Database of SRI Academic Studies,
Compiled by UC Davis Graduate School of Management,
June 2013, USA.
Why ’The 3% Solution’ Is 100 Percent Right.
"’The 3% Solution: Driving Profits Through Carbon
Reduction’ (being released Tuesday [June 18] via a
GreenBiz.com webcast that I′ll be hosting) begins
with a hopeful premise: that U.S. business can
reduce carbon emissions sufficient to meet
science-based goals for avoiding a 2°C rise in
global temperatures. And do so while capturing
hundreds of billion dollars in savings and creating
new business opportunities." This sounds like a
most interesting study! It’ll be fascinating to see
how mainstream businesses respond to it.
Why ’The 3% Solution’ is 100 percent right, by
Joel Makower, June 17, 2013, GreenBiz, USA.
Insurers Inflating Books, New York Regulator
"New York State regulators are calling for a
nationwide moratorium on transactions that life
insurers are using to alter their books by billions
of dollars, saying that the deals put policyholders
at risk and could lead to another taxpayer bailout."
Here we go again with yet more unethical behaviour
among the financial elites!
Insurers Inflating Books, New York Regulator Says,
by Mary Williams Walsh, June 11, 2013, DealBook, The
New York Times, USA.
The 2013 Best Green Global Brands.
"The 2013 Best Green Global Brands is produced by
Interbrand and “powered by” Deloitte, according to
the study′s — well, branding. The study measures the
environmental perception of 100 global brands and
compares it to those companies′ actual environmental
performance. This year′s ranking shows Toyota
maintaining the No. 1 spot, with Ford, Honda,
Panasonic, Nissan, Johnson & Johnson, Volkswagen,
Danone, Nokia and Dell rounding out the top 10."
What is useful is not so much the ranking as how the
survey is explained in the linked article.
Why are Toyota, Ford and Honda the ‘best green
global brands′? By Joel Makower, June 12, 2013,
Barclays, MSCI Launch Fixed Income ESG
"Barclays and MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI) today announced
the launch of a global family of Environmental,
Social & Governance (ESG) fixed Income Indices, the
first fixed income benchmark indices based primarily
on ESG factors. The indices are co-branded “Barclays
MSCI” and will be independently marketed by both
firms." This is milestone development. It
demonstrates that large investors are showing
interest in fixed income ESG products. Fixed income
ESG products could see more rapid growth now. For a
good description of the green bond market see,
Painting the Bond Markets Green at yourSRI.com
Barclays, MSCI Launch ESG Indices, press
release, June 11, 2013, Barclays/MSCI, USA.
Deb Abbey Named as Canada’s Social Investment
Organization (SIO) Executive Director.
"Abbey was one of the first investment advisors to
focus on SRI and was the founder of Real Assets, an
SRI investment management firm. The company was
acquired by Vancity in 2005. Abbey is the author of
two books on sustainable investing, The 50 Best
Ethical Stocks for Canadians — co-authored with
Michael Jantzi — and Global Profit and Global
Justice, Using Your Money to Change the World."
Deb will make an outstanding Executive Director for
Canada’s SIO. Congratulations to Deb!
Deb Abbey Named as Social Investment Organization
Executive Director, by Doug Watt, June 11, 2013,
SRI Monitor, Canada.
Private Equity Adopting ESG, Says Malk
Sustainability Partners Survey.
"’Our study shows that ESG management is growing up.
Over the past year, more private equity firms have
initiated ESG efforts. Those with programs are
pushing further. As a relatively young concept in
private equity, ESG management is catching on as an
important area to align GP performance with LP
interests,’ said Andrew Malk, Managing Partner of
MSP." Private equity and limited partnerships
can be more entrepreneurial and nimble--better able
to adopt new trends they find profitable. Thus, you
see the interest of these asset managers in ESG.
Malk Sustainability Partners′ Second Study Reveals
ESG′s Drivers, Communication Mechanisms, and
Effective Management Programs, press release,
June 10, 2013, Malk Sustainability Partners, USA.
Top 50 Canadian Socially Responsible Companies
"For the fifth year in a row, Maclean′s has
partnered with Sustainalytics, a global leader in
sustainability analysis, to select 50 leaders in
corporate social responsibility–companies who know
that doing good is just good business. Canada′s Top
50 Socially Responsible Companies were selected on
the basis of their performance across a broad range
of environmental, social, and governance indicators
and rank at the top of their industry groups."
For ethical investors investing in Canada, this is a
good review to read.
Top 50 Socially Responsible Companies 2013,
Maclean’s Magazine/Sustainalytics, June 6, 2013,
CFO Survey: Corporate Social Responsibility
Lags in U.S., Optimism About U.S. Economy Grows.
"U.S. businesses trail their global counterparts in
terms of how much importance they place on corporate
social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability.
Nearly half of U.S. chief financial officers rate
CSR and sustainability as moderately important or
very important items in their business strategies.
By contrast, the rating in Europe is 63 percent, 67
percent in Asia, 76 percent in Latin America and 83
percent in Africa." The data revealed here is
nothing new. The US has lagged for many years. In
some European countries and elsewhere, government
mandates promote corporate awareness and interest in
CSR and sustainability.
CFO Survey: Corporate Social Responsibility Lags in
U.S., Optimism About U.S. Economy Grows, press
release, June 6, 2013, Duke University/CFO Magazine
Global Business Outlook Survey, USA.
MSCI Launches New ESG Indices For Emerging
Markets And ACWI.
"LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MSCI Inc. (NYSE: MSCI), a
leading provider of investment decision support
tools worldwide, today launched two new
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Indices,
the MSCI Emerging Markets ESG Index and the MSCI
ACWI ESG Index. The new indices bring comprehensive
global coverage to the MSCI Global Sustainability
Indices family." Again, the growth in ESG
indices wouldn’t be happening unless the demand was
there. Such growth in ESG indices augurs well for the future of
MSCI Launches New ESG Indices for Emerging Markets
and ACWI, press release, MSCI, UK.
GIIN Launches IRIS Data Briefs.
"The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) today
released the first IRIS Data Brief, kicking off a
regular series that presents aggregated social,
environmental, and financial results of
organizations receiving impact investment capital.
This first Brief includes performance data from more
than 4,000 mission-driven portfolio companies."
This is a great new service for some ethical
GIIN Launches IRIS Data Briefs, press release,
GIIN, June 4, 2013, USA.
WattzOn Survey: U.S. Workers Want Their
Companies to Take More Action to Protect the
Environment, Perception and Participation Is Low.
"Three out of four (76 percent) U.S. workers say
it’s important that their employer takes action to
protect the environment. While recycling and waste
reduction programs are the most prevalent programs
employers utilize in and outside the workplace (66
percent and 44.4 percent, respectively), only 27
percent of U.S. workers are very satisfied with
their employer’s efforts to help the environment."
I’m curious, were many senior managers included
in this survey? I wonder what their response was?
I’m sure that privately, many managers respond to
such questions similarly to the mass of employees,
but, with financial constraints and other
priorities, environmental activities just aren’t a
WattzOn Survey: U.S. Workers Want Their Companies to
Take More Action to Protect the Environment,
Perception and Participation Is Low, press
release, WattzOn, June 4, 2013, USA.
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