E-newsletter of Investing for the Soul May 30, 2016
Top ethical investing news for May 2016
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!
Bloomberg Financial Services Gender-Equality Index (BFGEI). "For investors who prioritize gender equality, new market data tools are emerging to help them assess a company’s efforts on this front. This week, Bloomberg launched an index that scores financial-service companies on how well they treat women and whether they are promoting gender equality."
all know that more women on boards and in management help companies
perform better. Thus, this index could be useful in determining which
financial firms are better investments for ethical investors.
2016 Country Sustainability Ranking by RobecoSAM and Robeco. "The country sustainability score is based on 17 environmental, social and governance indicators, which receive a weight of 15%, 25% and 60% of the total score, respectively. The score ranges from 1 to 10 and should be interpreted as a grade, with the highest grade being 10 and the lowest 1. The purpose of the score is to compare countries on the basis of ESG indicators that we consider to be relevant for investors."
top three countries are who you might expect -- Sweden, Switzerland and
Norway. Amazingly, the UK is rated fourth! The ratings and detailed
country ESG analysis are useful for ethical investors when assessing
sovereign bonds, particularly, from rated countries.
BlackRock, World Bank team with scientists to assess climate risk (for investors). "Norwegian scientists have teamed up with some of the world's leading investment firms to assess the financial risks associated with global warming.
The new Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) Climate Finance initiative will bring together climate scientists and investors, including BlackRock and the World Bank, to develop tools to help investors more effectively incorporate climate risk into long-term investment decisions."
establishment of CICERO with major institutional investors could present
a new era for investors wanting to know how to assess investments in
light of climate change risk. Hopefully, the results of their findings
will not be proprietary but open for all to use. Perhaps with the
involvement of the World Bank that will be ensured.
Influencing climate policy. "The British non-profit Influence Map has released new research quantifying how much money is spent each year by leading oil majors and trade associations attempting to block climate change policy. It found that ExxonMobil spent an estimated $27 million (U.S.) in 2015, followed by Shell at $22 million. The American Petroleum Institute and two other key trade organizations spent a combined $74 million during the same year.
When extrapolated out to encompass oil majors and other trade associations, Influence Map estimated that global spending could be as high as $500 million a year."
it's unsurprising that the fossil fuels' industry is spending such sums
attempting to protect their profits. It is also good that Influence Map
has done the sums. Investors can now make more informed opinions about
fossil fuel investments, particularly as many of these
companies are now starting to increase their activities in renewables.
Managers score weak on ESG despite more signing up to PRI. "Half of managers that are signatories to the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) in reality have a weak responsible investment rating, according to research."
inference from the research is that many PRI signatories signed-up for
public relations reasons and not for the genuine implementation of the
six PRI ESG principles. However, I believe that the PRI is planning
significant steps to encourage its members to be more aggressive with
their ESG commitments. This must be done if the PRI are to be respected.
They should even throw-out those signatories that are not serious about
When markets ignore vital warning signs. "MSCI was not the only company highlighting governance concerns about VW at the time. At Sustainalytics, which rates companies based on ESG factors, VW ranked in the bottom quartile of businesses globally when it came to governance. Vigeo, the French agency that provides corporate responsibility analysis to investors, also ranked VW far below its peers before the scandal broke."
information here demonstrates the importance of governance and ESG
ratings in helping ethical investors avoid possible disasters in their
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 © 2016 Ron Robins. All rights reserved.