What is Responsible Investing (RI) ?
Responsible Investing -- often referred to as mission investing, socially responsible investing, ethical investing, and values-based investing -- is an investment strategy that considers the investor's financial needs, social concerns, and an investment’s impact on society. Consideration of the social and environmental impact of your investment dollars in line with your values and beliefs is what RI is all about. Since 1987, our firm has been helping investors incorporate their various concerns and interests into their investment portfolios. We are one of the region’s few specialists in this complicated arena. Responsible investing typically differs from Green or Sustainable Investing in that is deals with a wider range of issues than just environment and energy. For more on Green Investing, Click Here...
Given recent corporate scandals, climate change and environmental issues, investors more than ever have been demanding more from their investments, and socially screened assets in the United States have grown to over $2 trillion. No longer considered just a “fringe” movement, major foundations, state pension plans, private investors and investment firms have recognized that effective corporate governance, environmental awareness and strong employee relationships could be significant factors in a company’s profitability and investors’ earnings. Good corporate behavior makes good economic sense !
Common strategies for RI are:
- Screening – Screening involves choosing investments based not just on companies’ earning potential, but also on specific social and environmental criteria. Investors might choose to avoid investments in companies that engage in unethical behavior, or pollute, produce hazardous products such as tobacco, or discriminate in their hiring practices. On the other hand, investors may choose to screen for companies that are leaders in these areas – that produce quality products, that show exemplary behavior to their employees, or demonstrate leadership in positive environmental practices
- Shareholder Advocacy – As a shareholder, an investor owns a piece of a company he or she is invested in. By joining forces, investors can take an active role in changing corporate America. Shareholder resolutions filed by concerned investors can help improve awareness and drive change within a company in such areas as corporate governance, executive pay, climate change, political contributions, discrimination, pollution, labor practices and other areas of social and environmental concern
- Community Investing – This investment strategy involves investing in under-served communities to provide capital for local organizations to provide financial services to small businesses, low-income individuals, and for community services such as healthcare, childcare, and affordable housing. It can also include the area of microfinance - the creation of small loans to very small businesses in various parts of the world that can have tremendous impact.