Ethical Investing News/Commentaries
Commentaries by Ron
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Navigating the Sustainable Investment
Landscape. "A survey of over 100
investment professionals shows that institutional
investors – including pensions, foundations,
universities, and NGOs – are increasingly
considering the material importance of social,
environmental, and governance factors in
constructing their portfolios... Despite the
enthusiasm and more capital flowing, WRI found key
gaps in the market that prevent even the most
motivated asset owners from deploying capital
This is an informative paper to read, particularly for
institutional investors new to sustainable investing.
Navigating the Sustainable Investment Landscape,
by Elizabeth Lewis, Ariel C. Pinchot and Giulia
Christianson, December 2016, World Resources
Fossil Fuel Divestments Now Represent
$5.2 Trillion. "A network of local
governments, pension funds, faith organizations,
philanthropies and wealthy individuals representing
$5.2 trillion in assets have committed to — and in
some cases already started — divesting
from fossil fuel companies, according to a
The odds of President elect Donald Trump inspiring a
major reversal in the fossil fuel divestment
movement get slimmer everyday. In time he’ll come to
understand that the world is moving past fossil
fuels and that industry is entering old age.
Fossil Fuel Divestments Now Represent $5.2 Trillion,
by Brian Kahn, December 12, 2016, Climate Central,
The Just 100 -- America’s Best Corporate
Citizens In 2016. "Social impact is
woven into the mission statements of nearly every
major company on the planet. But which companies
actually practice what they preach? FORBES has
partnered with Just Capital, a nonprofit created by
billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones II, to
determine which ones are the best corporate
citizens--the Just 100.
In all, some 1,000 companies were scored and
ranked within their industries according to ten
metrics: worker pay and benefits, worker treatment,
supply chain impact, community well-being, domestic
job creation, product attributes, customer
treatment, leadership and ethics, environmental
impact and investor alignment."
This is a great new approach in determining the
value of corporate actions accross a spectrum of
stakeholder concerns. It should be well accepted in
the responsible investing community.
The Just 100: America’s Best Corporate Citizens In
2016, by Steve Schaefer, November 30, 2016,
2016 Global RepTrak®
by Reputation Institute. "Reputation
Institute′s Global RepTrak® 100 uncovers
the world′s most reputable companies in innovation,
governance, citizenship and more. Download the
report or view the recorded presentation of the
results to discover which companies are leading the
way in the reputation economy this year."
Reputation Institute’s reports are always worthwhile
for ethical investors to review.
2016 Global RepTrak® by Reputation Institute,
December 2016, USA.
Investors in the Americas show soaring
demand for green investments but barriers still
remain: HSBC survey. "According to the
research, investors in the Americas are seeking more
green investment opportunities, with nearly three
quarters (74%) planning to increase their climate
related or low carbon exposure... the report
revealed that the vast majority of investors in the
Americas (82%) believe a lack of credible
opportunities is the largest obstacle to making
green investments. Furthermore, 79% of the same
investors cited moderately or highly inadequate
disclosures as a top barrier to making green
With stock exchanges demanding more ESG disclosure
from listed companies and investors demanding the
same, the onus on companies to produce better and
more detailed sustainability reports grows strongly.
Investors in the Americas show soaring demand for
green investments but barriers still remain: HSBC
survey, press release, December 8, 2016, HSBC,
Sustainability reporting in stock exchanges ’comes
of age’. "As many as 21 stock
exchanges across the world could introduce
sustainability reporting standards in the coming
months. They would join the 17 exchanges that
currently recommend listed companies to report on
environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues —
going a step further by providing model guidance to
I hope that US President-elect Donald Trump soon
realizes that sustainability pays. The rest of the
world realizes it. It’s great news that stock
exchanges everywhere are creating sustainable
reporting standards for their listed companies.
in stock exchanges ’comes of age, by Anya
Khalamayzer, December 7, 2016, GreenBIz.com, USA.
EU Workplace Pensions Now Required to Incorporate
ESG Issues. "The new directive will cover
European workplace retirement plans, which is
estimated to be a market of around 125,000 plans
with €2.5 trillion investment. The new directive
needs to be passed by the European Council (which is
expected to take place in early 2017), following
which there will be a 2-year period granted for
Member States to transpose it into national law."
Assuming the European Council passes the directive,
this will be a terrific step forward setting a
precedent for pension plan and other investment
regulatory authorities everywhere.
EU Workplace Pensions
Now Required to Incorporate ESG Issues,
by Latham & Watkins LLP, December 6, 2016,
2016 ET Carbon Rankings Report.
"The 2016 ET Carbon Rankings report represents an
in-depth analysis of the greenhouse gas emissions
data gathered to produce the public ET Carbon
Rankings. In addition to providing further context
to the Rankings and their application for low-carbon
and fossil-free indexes, it assesses the current
state of Scope 3 emissions disclosure and the
emissions reduction potential across the most
This is an illuminating report on the carbon
rankings of the world’s largest public companies.
2016 ET Carbon Rankings
Report, December 2016, ET Carbon
Green bonds: New study shows extraordinary growth
and signals potential in financing Europe′s climate
and environment goals. "In 2012 USD 2.6 billion of
green bonds were issued globally. By 2015 total
issuance had multiplied to USD 41.8 billion. It rose
to USD 74.3 billion by end of November 2016.
European and Chinese issuers make up the largest
share of the climate-aligned bonds market globally.
In Europe, France and UK are the biggest issuers."
the above figures suggest, there’s a huge latent
market for green bonds. As most of us know, we’re
still at the early stages of their issuance.
Green bonds: New study
shows extraordinary growth and signals potential in
financing Europe′s climate and environment goals,
press release, December 2, 2016, European
The league table of countries with the
most ’caring’ investors. "Europeans are
less concerned about environmental issues when it
comes to selecting investments than Asians or
Americans, according to a major study of attitudes
in 28 countries."
The results of this survey are surprising! However,
upon reflection, perhaps they’re understandable.
The league table of countries with the most ’caring’
investors, by Andrew Oxlade, December 2, 2016,
CITY AM, UK.
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