Corporate / Financials
Investors Challenge Mutual Funds on Proxy Voting (01/20)
Sustainable investment firms respond to update by Ceres by pressuring mutual funds on their proxy voting records relating to climate change. Second in a two-part series.
Many Large Mutual Funds Continue Failure to Address Climate Change (01/07)
Ceres updates its annual report on voting climate-related resolutions by mutual funds, noting that several PRI signatories failed to support a single resolution in 2016. First in a two-part series.
Impact Measurement Can Drive Business Value (08/26)
The Global Impact Investing Network surveys impact investors and learns that in addition to environmental and social benefits, measuring their investments can improve financial performance.
Financial Stability Board to Review Governance Principles (08/16)
The international body, formed to promote financial stability following the global financial crisis, seeks to determine how its member jurisdictions have implemented the G20/OECD Principles of Corporate Governance.
Major Pension Funds Still Funding Deforestation (07/29)
Friends of the Earth and As You Sow create a free online database to help educate individual investors about which retirement funds continue to invest in companies engaged in deforestation for palm oil production.
Banking Lags on Human Rights (07/08)
A report by the NGO BankTrack reveals that most major global banks are failing to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in their financing.
Are Big Banks Ignoring Paris Climate Agreement? (07/07)
The seventh edition of the Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card reveals that while some progress has been made in exiting the financing of coal mining, global financial institutions are lagging badly in other extreme fossil fuels and human rights.
BlackRock Shareowners Vote on CEO Pay (05/26)
The Stephen M. Silberstein Revocable Trust files a shareowner resolution with the mutual funds giant, requesting that its proxy voting practices reflect a link between executive compensation and corporate performance.
Institutional Investors Support Increase in Solar Deployment (04/29)
The Green Infrastructure Investment Coalition, launched during the COP21 negotiations, now counts over $60 trillion in assets under management supporting a trillion dollar investment in solar.
Community Capital Management Publishes Annual Impact Report (03/21)
In a webinar, Chief Impact Investment Officer David Sand emphasizes the importance the sustainable fixed income firm places on environmental and social impacts.
A Wealth of Insights in the 2016 Proxy Preview (03/11)
Report authors Heidi Welsh and Michael Passoff detail a total of 314 pending shareowner resolutions, the majority of which target environmental issues and corporate political activities.
ICCR Publishes 2016 Proxy Voting Guide (02/25)
Members of the faith-based investor organization have filed 257 shareowner resolutions thus far this proxy season, with climate change and corporate political expenditures receiving the most attention.
Community Capital Management a Top Fund Performer in 2015 (01/23)
The fund tracker Morningstar ranks the performance of the firm's fixed income investment product among the top one percent of 309 funds in the intermediate government category.
Resolution on Climate Change Will Be on Franklin Templeton's Proxy Ballot (12/10)
A proposal submitted by Zevin Asset Management, requesting that the mutual fund company “assess any incongruities” in its proxy voting practices relating to climate change, is allowed onto proxy ballot by the SEC.
NGOs Urge Green Climate Fund to Deny Accreditation to Scandal-Plagued Banks (11/14)
HSBC and Crédit Agricole finance environmentally destructive projects and rank at the bottom of major banks in implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Second in a two-part series.
Bank Financing of Fossil Fuels Dwarfs that of Renewables (11/10)
A new study by Fair Finance Guide and BankTrack reveals that since 2009, investment in fossil fuels by 75 of the world's largest financial institutions is more than nine times greater than investment in renewable energy.
Banks Still Failing to Incorporate Climate Risks in Lending (11/05)
A year after Boston Common Asset Management organized an investor initiative, major global banks continue to fail to account for greenhouse gas emissions in their lending and underwriting portfolios.
Labor Department Repeals Controversial Fiduciary Standard (10/31)
A 2008 ERISA standard that has discouraged pension plan fiduciaries from considering environmental and social factors in investment strategy has finally been repealed.
EarthFolio Launches First Robo-Advisor for Sustainable Investors (10/30)
SocialFunds.com talks with Art Tabuenca, founder of Blue Marble Investments and EarthFolio, about the development of the first online investment platform specifically dedicated to sustainable investing.
Report Details Impact Investment Opportunities in East Africa (08/12)
The Global Impact Investing Network and Open Capital Advisors publish a country by country analysis of impact investing activity in the region.
Investment Losses from Climate Change to Be in Trillions, Report States (08/07)
The Economist Intelligence Unit warns that $4.2 trillion in assets could be at risk, with losses exponentially greater for every increase in global temperature.
Green Bond Investments Reach $600 Billion (07/13)
The fourth edition of Bonds and Climate Change, published by the Climate Bonds Initiative, reports that 70% of climate-aligned bonds are invested in low-carbon transport, while another 20% focus on clean energy.
Morgan Stanley Issues $500 Million Green Bond (06/15)
The investment bank intends to fund a number of wind energy projects in the US.
Community Capital Management Expands Green Bond Offerings (06/08)
The fixed income investment adviser offers opportunities for sustainable investors to meet their community investment mission.
Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy (05/21)
Nobel Economist Joseph Stiglitz and Senator Elizabeth Warren speak at the Roosevelt Institute about the pressing need to rewrite the rules governing the economy in order to lessen inequality. Second of a two-part series.
At Yale, John Fullerton Presents on Regenerative Capitalism (05/15)
Speaking to the generation that will have to reverse the course of multiple crises, the founder of the Capital Institute envisions a holistic organization of social systems to replace the current reductionist and competitive approach. Third of a three-part series.
Forest Conservation Strategy Wins Morgan Stanley Sustainable Investing Challenge (04/21)
Four students from the Haas School of Business are awarded the $10 thousand grand prize for developing an institutional investment vehicle that will help alleviate drought and reduce forest fire risk.
Market for Conservation Investments Expected to Grow Dramatically (04/03)
A first ever report on the practice of conservation investing, co-authored by The Nature Conservancy, anticipates that private investment will triple by 2018, from $2 billion to nearly $6 billion.
No Financial Sacrifice in Sustainable Investing (03/30)
The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing analyzes thousands of sustainable mutual funds and separately managed accounts, and finds that most meet or exceed the performance of traditional investments.
Report Analyzes Impact Investing Funds (03/09)
The Global Impact Investing Network reports on more than 300 impact investment funds that direct investments by foundations and high net worth individuals to social and environmental opportunities in North America and emerging markets.
Individual Investors Struggle with Sustainability (03/06)
More than half of individual investors surveyed by Morgan Stanley believe financial returns will be compromised by a sustainable investment strategy, but demand from millennials and women are likely to drive an increase in the strategy.
Second Global Sustainable Investment Association Review Published (03/03)
Negative screening persists as the investment strategy most often practiced, but integration of environmental, social, and corporate governance considerations into financial analysis has grown at the fastest rate over the last two years.
Citi Announces $100 Billion Sustainability Commitment (02/27)
Having met several targets of a $50 billion goal two years early, the bank now commits twice that amount to activities such as financing large renewable-energy projects and reducing its absolute emissions by 80%.
ICCR Publishes 2015 Proxy Resolutions and Voting Guide (02/09)
Climate change and wealth inequality lead members of the the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility to increase for the third year in a row the number of shareowner resolutions filed. Second of a two-part series.
1% to Own More than Half the Wealth by Next Year (01/23)
A briefing by Oxfam reveals that lobbying on budget and tax issues in the US has contributed to enabling the richest 1% of people in the world to compile 48% of global wealth, a percentage that is likely to exceed 50% by 2016.
New Congress Off to Expected Start (01/16)
The Republican majority votes to roll back key elements of the Dodd-Frank bill, and Bernie Sanders introduces an amendment to force Senators to vote on whether or not they believe the science of climate change. First of a two-part series.
Engage or Divest? (01/10)
Investors know what has to be done to prevent the worst effects of climate change, but many continue to debate whether moving their assets from fossil fuel companies might affect their returns in the short term. Second of a two-part series.
The Risk to Investors of Stranded Assets (01/09)
In a roundtable hosted by Environmental Finance, investors, analysts, and corporate managers convene to discuss the financial risks associated with stranded fossil fuel assets. First of a two-part series.
Report Calls for Climate Resilient Stock Exchanges (01/06)
Arguing that risks associated with climate change are increasingly likely to destroy value, the Climate Disclosure Standards Board calls on stock exchanges to mandate corporate reporting that includes climate risk assessments.
New Controls for Old Risks at JPMorgan Chase (01/02)
In response to shareowner pressure, the bank endorses the Shareholder-Director Exchange as a means of improving the quality of engagement between investors and board directors. Second of a two-part series.
JPMorgan Publishes Governance Report in Return for Resolution Withdrawal (12/30)
Members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility withdraw a key corporate governance resolution after the financial institution agrees to publish a report detailing its efforts at governance reform. First of a two-part series.
Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund Declines to Divest from Fossil Fuels (12/12)
Nongovernmental organizations criticize an expert report that recommends active ownership instead of divestment, which was published one week after Norway's largest private pension fund announced a policy of divestment.
Green Bonds Growth a Positive Development in 2014 (12/10)
In a year when ExxonMobil rejects stranded assets and half a million march for climate in New York, green bonds offer an increasingly popular fixed-income investment strategy for sustainable investors.
Efforts Underway to Benchmark Companies on Human Rights (12/04)
A coalition launches project to rank companies on human rights as BankTrack reports that few financial institutions are making progress on the issue.
Book Review: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, by Naomi Klein (12/01)
The author and activist argues that global trade policies promoting privatization and government austerity have doomed the climate movement thus far, but insists that there is still time for massive public infrastructure programs to address both climate change and inequality.
Sustainable Assets Up by 76% Since 2012 (11/28)
The biennial Trends Report by US SIF reveals that consideration of environmental, social, and corporate governance factors by money managers has contributed to sustainable assets in the US that now total $6.57 trillion.
Eurosif Updates Study of Sustainable Investment in Europe (11/10)
The sixth study published by the European Sustainable Investment Forum since 2003 details a continuing increase in assets devoted to aligning investments with social and environmental goals, and includes a lengthy analysis of the phenomenon of impact investing.
Contrasting Views on the Financing of Coal (10/30)
Rainforest Action Network congratulates US investment banks for backing away from Australian coal export terminal, while BankTrack reports that $83 billion was provided by banks to finance coal mining and coal power projects.
Founder of Hope Credit Union Receives 2014 Ned Gramlich Award for Responsible Finance (10/17)
Bill Bynum, CEO of the Mississippi-based Hope Credit Union, is awarded for his efforts to advance economic opportunity in low-income communities.
Only 10% of Distressed Asset Stabilization Loans Require Neighborhood Stabilization (10/10)
A report by the Center for American Progress finds some benefits to homeowners in the Federal Housing Agency program, but recommends that many more be included in the Neighborhood Stabilization pool. Second of a two-part series.
Federal Program Helps Wall Street, not Homeowners (10/08)
Distressed mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration are being sold to the highest bidder without regard to neighborhood stabilization. First of a two-part series.
$50 Million to be Invested in Sustainable Agriculture (10/04)
Community Capital Management commits to investing $50 million of fixed income investments in sustainable agriculture initiatives.
Institutional Investors Pledge to Disclose Carbon Footprint of Portfolios (10/01)
Signatories to the Montreal Pledge, launched at last week's UN Climate Summit, will measure and disclose the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis.
Three CDFIs receive NEXT Awards for Opportunity Finance (09/24)
The annual awards, which focused this year on expanding affordable housing, will presented at the annual meeting of the Opportunity Finance Network in October.
NGOs Express Concern that Climate Summit Could be Hijacked (09/21)
An extensive network of nongovernmental organizations write to the UN Secretary-General arguing that private investment is not a replacement for public funds, while a campaign by the Indigenous Environmental Network warns against influence of corporations in the upcoming Climate Summit. Second in a two-part series.
$24 Trillion Calls for Climate Policy (09/20)
In advance of next week's climate summit at the United Nations, a group of institutional investment organizations representing 348 investors and $24 trillion under management call for climate policies that encourage clean energy investment. First in a two-part series.
Opportunities for Green Bond Investment Increasing (09/15)
The investment advisory firm Community Capital Management publishes a white paper describing several green bond opportunities that have become increasingly popular among sustainable fixed income investors.
Reporting by Equator Banks Lacks Transparency (09/10)
An academic paper published by the Center for International Governance Innovation concludes that only five percent of financial institutions reporting to the Equator Principles disclose all the information required of them.
Two Sustainable Investment Funds Reach Milestones (09/04)
Community Capital Management's flagship fixed income fund celebrates its fifteenth anniversary, and the fossil fuel free Green Century Equity Fund reaches $100 million in net assets.
Instability in Middle East Dampens Investment (08/26)
A white paper from Business Monitor International analyzes foreign direct investment in the Middle East and North Africa and concludes that political instability has led to declines in several countries.
California CDFI First Recipient of Guaranteed Treasury Bond (08/25)
Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution will use the $100 million bond to finance community development projects in California and Nevada.
Wisconsin CDFI Wins 2014 NEXT Seed Capital Award (08/14)
Impact Seven, a nonprofit community development financial institution, wins the unrestricted $100,000 grant for its program for preserving affordable housing in multifamily rental units in rural Wisconsin.
Investors Call on Banks to Consider Climate Risks (08/07)
Boston Common Asset Management publishes a report on climate risks in the banking sector and invites investors to sign on to letter to be sent to major banks.
Colombian Securities Exchange Joins Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative (08/01)
The stock exchange becomes the second in Latin America to join the United Nations' initiative, and commissions a report from Sustainalytics on the state of sustainable investment in the region.
Finalists for Annual CDFI Awards Announced (07/10)
Opportunity Finance Network announces that four community development financial institutions are finalists for $8.25 million in awards provided annually for safe and affordable housing in low-income communities.
UK Clarifies Long Term Fiduciary Duty (07/03)
A report issued by the UK Law Commission determines that it is the duty of pension fund fiduciaries to consider environmental, social, and corporate governance factors when they could impact long-term investment.
Partnerships Between Government and Private Sector Needed to Bring Impact Investing to Scale (06/30)
Citing the Community Reinvestment Act as an example of effective federal support, a report from the US National Advisory Board calls for additional government action to help maximize the impact of community development initiatives.
Pope Francis Calls for Sustainable Investment to Help the Poor (06/20)
At a symposium on impact investing held this week at the Vatican, the Pope calls on the capital markets to serve the good of humanity.
PRI Assets Top $45 Trillion (06/19)
During the past year the Principles of Responsible Investment added more than 200 new signatories, bringing the current number of signatories to 1,265.
Four Sustainability Professionals Inducted into ISSP Hall of Fame (06/02)
Launched in 2011, the International Society of Sustainability Professionals Hall of Fame seeks to acknowledge individual contributions to the advance of sustainability.
No Surprise: Climate Change the Biggest Issue for Sustainable Investors (05/29)
A survey of eleven sustainable investors by Monitor Global Outlook reveals that while more environmental and social shareowner resolutions have been filed in 2014 than ever before, the number of withdrawals has set a record too.
Community Development Financial Institutions Improve Financial Stability (05/12)
The annual report on the state of the CDFI industry by the National Community Investment Fund anticipates an evolution that will improve revenues and fulfill mission of community development.
Opportunity Finance Network Reports on Starbucks Partnership (05/07)
The national network of community development financial institutions joined with Starbucks in 2011 to form Create Jobs For USA, an initiative to fund sustainable jobs in underserved communities.
Third National Climate Assessment Published (05/06)
In its new report, the US Global Change Research Program asserts that the effects of climate change have already become a present day concern, and announces the launch of a website to help Americans receive reliable scientific information.
NRDC Teams with Investment Firms to Offer Fossil Fossil Fuel Free Equity Index (04/29)
The Natural Resources Defense Council joins BlackRock and FTSE Group to launch a equity global index series that excludes companies engaged in exploration, ownership, or extraction of carbon-based fossil fuel reserves.
Automated Financial Reporting for CDFIs Launched (04/24)
The CDFI Assessment and Ratings System developed by CARS allows community development financial institutions to share quarterly performance data with their investors.
ICCR Writes to Bank of America on Financing Fossil Fuels (04/19)
A letter signed by 50 institutional investors accompanies a shareowner resolution filed by an ICCR member, requesting that Bank of America report on its financing of greenhouse gas emissions.
Clean Energy Bond Act Introduced in Congress (04/11)
The Clean Energy Victory Bonds Act of 2014 is modeled after the Treasury Bonds issued in the 1940s to support the World War II effort.
Harvard Joins Principles for Responsible Investment (04/10)
Harvard's endowment is the first in the United States to join the global network of sustainable investors; the university also announces it will report its greenhouse gas emissions to the CDP.
News Briefs for March 20th (03/20)
Green Century Capital Management releases an animated fossil fuel free investing video, and Community Capital Management announces the launch of the CCM Alternative Income Fund.
CDFIs Pledge $1 Billion to Support My Brother's Keeper (03/17)
Opportunity Finance Network launches campaign for $1 billion annually in new financing by community development financial institutions, to benefit low-income, low-wealth, and other disadvantaged communities across America.
Is 2014 the Year for Green Bonds? (02/25)
As You Sow hosts a webinar exploring the role of green bonds in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
JPMorgan Agrees to Report on Governance and Risk Management (02/22)
After engagement with the bank, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility withdraw resolutions addressing risk mitigation efforts and separating the positions of Board Chair and CEO.
Divest or Engage Meets the Capital Markets (02/19)
Investors aligned with Ceres with Ceres file ten resolutions addressing stranded fossil fuel assets, and Green Century Capital Management announces its Equity Fund will become fossil free.
Community Capital Management Publishes First Impact Report (02/11)
The Florida-based fixed-income investment adviser reports on its use of proceeds and the social programs financed by its investment activities.
Book Review: Trusting Harvard: The Cost of Unprincipled Investing, by Robert A.G. Monks and Marcy Murninghan (02/08)
Two notable advocates for the practice of sustainable investment—both graduates of Harvard themselves—address the discrepancies between the university's academic mission and the investment policies of its endowment.
Sustainable Investment Helps Support Missions of Foundations (01/27)
Finding that relatively few foundations manage their assets according to sustainable investment strategies, the US SIF Foundation publishes a guide to help them do so.
ICCR Members Challenge Banks on Ethics and Emissions (01/25)
A perusal of shareowner resolutions filed by members thus far reveals requests that banks report on emissions in their lending portfolios and on how to ensure an end to unethical business activities.
How to Fund Clean Energy Investment (01/23)
A report released by Ceres at the recent Investor Summit on Climate Risk suggests that the responsibility for scaling up clean energy finance to the necessary level is shared by institutional investors, banks, and policymakers. Third in a three-part series.
Climate Summit Press Conference Focuses on Policy and Fiduciary Duty (01/21)
Prominent representatives of government, business, and institutional investment meet with journalists to discuss strategies for increasing climate finance. Second of a three-part series.
Banks Announce Support for Green Bond Principles (01/14)
Thirteen investment banks indicate their support for a measure designed to ensure transparency, disclosure, and integrity in the development of a more robust green bond market.
Goldman Sachs Exits Coal Terminal Investment (01/13)
BankTrack and the Rainforest Action Network applaud the investment bank's decision to withdraw from funding a proposed coal export terminal at Cherry Point, Washington.
Genocide-Free Proposal to Stay On Proxy Ballot at Franklin Templeton (01/11)
After the SEC rules against Franklin Templeton's request to have the resolution omitted, Investors Against Genocide will return to the mutual fund family's next annual meeting and renew call for a genocide-free investment policy.
Improved Corporate Communication Key to Long Term Investment (12/23)
Based on consultations with investors and companies, a new paper finds little support for the concept of loyalty-driven securities, but investors agree on the importance of long-term investment horizons.
Volcker Rule Is Finalized (12/14)
After delays that gave rise to fears of gaming by banking industry lobbyists and led to a lawsuit by Occupy SEC, federal regulators finally issue final rules implementing the Volcker Rule.
Nelson Mandela (12/09)
Not only was the late South African leader an icon for international justice and peace; his struggles against apartheid have had a lasting impact on the quest of sustainable investors for social justice in capital markets.
Divest or Engage a Serious Question for More than Investors (12/06)
UK think tank Meteos convenes an investor dialogue on risks to energy holdings and recommends more analysis of the effects of climate change mitigation on stranded fossil fuel assets.
Mutual Fund Support for Political Spending Resolutions Inches Upward (11/27)
The Center for Political Accountability and Fund Votes release their yearly analysis of voting on resolutions addressing disclosure of political spending by corporations.
US Banks Rank Poorly on Indicators of Concern to Sustainable Investors (11/21)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and Sustainalytics rate seven major US banks on four key performance indicators relating to sustainability and corporate responsibility, finding significant room for improvement.
Banks to Receive Guidance on Reporting Emissions in Lending (11/07)
Only six percent of major financial institutions report on emissions associated with lending and investments, so guidance is being developed to help them do so.
Community Capital Management Commits $200 Million to Community Development (10/12)
The fixed income investment advisory firm announces its first Clinton Global Initiative America commitment, and will invest at least $200 million over the next year to help revitalize low-income communities.
The State of Shareowner Engagement in Europe (10/04)
Eurosif reports on investor engagement with corporations in Europe and finds that engagement on environmental, social, and corporate governance issues is steadily increasing.
New Stock Indexes Champion Sustainability (09/27)
The United Nations Global Compact creates an index of 100 companies adhering to its principles, and STOXX launches two indexes using key performance indicators developed by Axel Hesse.
Mutual Fund Challenged over Proxy Voting on ESG Issues (09/23)
Zevin Asset Management files a shareowner resolution at Franklin Resources, requesting that the mutual fund company report on proxy voting policies relating to environmental and social issues.
South Africa a Global Leader in Sustainable Investment (09/19)
Investment research by SinCo informs a new report on global best practice guidebook on sustainable investment and the incorporation of ESG factors by pension funds.
Entrepreneurs to Advertise for Investment through Crowdfunding (09/17)
SocialFunds.com talks with Judd Hollas of EquityNet about the implications of a change in SEC rules that will allow small businesses to advertise to accredited investors for capital.
Occupy Movement to Rally for a Robin Hood Tax on Financial Transactions (09/16)
On the second anniversary of the movement's birth, protestors will march on Chase Manhattan Bank and call for a financial transaction tax to raise funds for social programs.
Bank of America a Corporate Sustainability Leader? (09/13)
S&P Dow Jones Indices announces that Bank of America will be added to its influential sustainability indexes despite the bank's continuing financial support of the coal industry.
Global Impact Investing Network Publishes Guide to ESG Metrics for Investors (09/05)
The Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS) is a set of metrics designed to evaluate both a corporation's financial performance and its environmental, social, and governance impacts.
Bank of America Bankrolls Coal India Despite Poor ESG Performance (09/04)
Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are among the foreign banks selected by the government of India to sell a stake in the world’s largest coal company, despite Bank of America's statements of commitment to sustainability.
Alliance Trust Investments Measures Carbon Footprints of its Funds (08/29)
The UK investment firm’s analysis reveals that three of its sustainable equity funds emit less than half the carbon dioxide of their benchmarks.
Community Investment Practitioners Urged to Diversify Approaches (08/27)
A new report published by US SIF notes barriers to increased community investment but finds that the industry is poised for expansion if practitioners can diversify products and marketing.
Investors More Comfortable Assessing Climate Change Risks than Opportunities (08/23)
In its third annual survey, the Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change reports that assessing climate risk has become commonplace among institutional investors, but government inaction and other barriers continue to hinder a transition to low carbon investment.
Impact Economy Produces Analysis of Impact Investing (08/20)
The authors identify trends that are likely to encourage an increase in impact investing, but fail to distinguish the definition for it from that of sustainable investing.
US SIF Offers Guides on Climate Change Investment for Retail and Institutional Investors (08/15)
Warning of the urgent crisis that is climate change, the guides provide basic information on voting proxies, filing shareowner resolutions, and public policy advocacy.
Ceres Publishes Blueprint for Sustainable Investment (08/14)
In The 21st Century Investor, Ceres outlines how investors can help transform the global economy into one in which sustainability is the central concern. Second of two parts.
Investors Renew Call for Genocide-Free Investing at ING (08/12)
More than a year has passed since a majority of shareowners supported a resolution sponsored by Investors Against Genocide, but the financial services firm continues to refuse to implement a genocide-free investment policy.
Boston Common Asset Management Receives Business Leader in Human Rights Award (06/29)
The sustainable investment firm is honored by the Political Asylum/Immigration Representation Project for promoting attention to human rights issues in the corporate sector.
Investor Coalition Holds First Global Forum on Climate Change (06/20)
The Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change, a network of four regional climate change investor groups, holds its first meeting in Hong Kong and launches an action plan to facilitate low-carbon investment.
Genocide-Free Shareowner Proposal Gains Strong Support at Fidelity Investments (06/19)
Investors Against Genocide continues its campaign to pressure mutual funds and other financial institutions into adopting genocide-free investment policies.
Revised Equator Principles Fall Short, BankTrack Says (06/05)
The third version of the Equator Principles fails to adequately safeguard community rights while continuing to allow signatory banks to fund high impact sectors such as coal and tar sands.
High Profile Proxy Season Reveals the Plumbing (05/24)
A proxy distribution service abruptly reverses policy and refuses shareowner access to preliminary vote totals at JPMorgan Chase, and Institutional Shareholder Services settles charges that an employee sold voting data.
JPMorgan Shareowners Vote on Corporate Governance and Genocide-Free Investing (05/22)
A resolution calling for the separation of the positions of board chair and CEO gains the votes of one-third of the bank's shareowners, while support for a genocide-free investing proposal increases.
More than $90 Million Invested in SJF Ventures Fund (05/04)
SJF Ventures, a sustainable venture capital partnership, conducts the final closing of its SJF Ventures III fund with more than $90 million in equity investments in cleantech and technology-enhanced services.
US Banks Continue to Finance Coal (05/01)
Despite the coal industry's leading impact on climate change and the bankruptcies of several operators of coal-fired power plants, US banks continue to finance mountaintop removal and the construction of new plants.
US SIF Launches Online Course on Sustainable Investment (04/18)
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment launches the Center for Sustainable Investment Education and the first online course offering of its kind in the US.
Paper Cited as Support for Austerity Is Wrong, Researchers Find (04/17)
A 2010 academic paper warning of the consequences of high debt was cited by Representative Paul Ryan and others as justification for austerity measures, but a new analysis of the paper's findings reveals that mistakes undermine its conclusions.
Shareowners Call for a Vote in Favor of Good Governance at JPMorgan (04/15)
In a letter to the bank's shareowners, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees and its co-filers argue for support for their resolution calling for separation of the positions of Chair and CEO.
Financial Firms Agree to Disclose Diversity Information (04/10)
The New York City Pension Funds have reached agreement with three financial companies that will make public their EEO-1 data on diversity.
Bankrolling the Dismantling of the Volcker Rule (04/05)
Despite a Senate report finding that JPMorgan's London Whale losses would have been prohibited by the Volcker Rule, members of a House Committee take bank contributions and vote to advance a bill that would allow taxpayer bailouts of too big to fail banks.
On Divestment and a Portfolio Free of Fossil Fuels (04/05)
The debate over the investment implications of divestment continues, but the Green Century Balanced Fund has a carbon footprint less than half that of the S&P 500 without sacrificing financial returns.
End in Sight for Too Big to Fail? (04/01)
Senators Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders each pursue legislative initiatives to end the economic advantages of the nation's largest banks and force them to break up.
Root Capital Surpasses $500 Million in Lending to Agricultural Businesses (03/28)
Helping to address a need that has been estimated at $450 billion, the agricultural lender anticipates $1 billion in loans over the next five years to small agricultural businesses in developing nations.
Bank of America Urged to End Financing of Coal (03/21)
Sustainable investors are among the 50 signatories to a letter delivered to Bank of America, urging it to phase out the financing of coal and shift its lending priorities to renewable energy.
Insurers Still Unequipped to Deal with Climate Change (03/18)
In a survey of 184 disclosures by insurance companies, Ceres finds that only 23 have climate change strategies, and few have policies in place to help prepare for the effects of climate change.
15 Million Shares Vote for Genocide-Free Investing Proposal at Mutual Fund (03/15)
Investors Against Genocide calls on Franklin Templeton to adopt a policy against investing in companies whose operations contribute to genocide.
Pax World Adds TIAA-CREF to ESG Managers Portfolio (03/12)
TIAA-CREF's fixed-income Social Choice Bond Fund, launched in September, will be included in the Moderate and Conservative portfolios of the series of asset allocation funds.
Feds Hit with Occupy Lawsuit over Volcker Rule (03/04)
Occupy the SEC files suit against six federal agencies for failing to implement Dodd-Frank regulations governing risky proprietary trading by banks.
Investors Question Payday Lending by Banks (02/27)
The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau contemplates regulations to protect against consumer debt traps, while ICCR members call on major banks to address their own risky lending products.
Divestment can be a Fiduciary Duty (02/22)
Adam Kanzer of Domini Social Investments that divestment of holdings in firearms manufacturers is an appropriate response to tragedies such as the killing of children in Newtown.
Shareowners Renew Call for Separation of CEO and Chair at JP Morgan Chase (02/21)
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees and a coalition of institutional co-filers will return to the banking giant's annual general meeting this year with a resolution that gained 40% of shareowner support in 2012.
SEC Allows Climate Change Proposal at PNC Financial Services (02/15)
The bank had sought to exclude a proposal by Boston Common Asset Management requesting that it report on climate change risks in its lending portfolio.
Sustainable Investors Pressure Visa on Lobbying Expenditures (01/26)
A shareowner resolution co-filed by Boston Common Asset Management and the Unitarian Universalist Association, calling on Visa to fully disclose all payments used for lobbying purposes, will be voted on at the company's annual general meeting on January 30th.
Genocide-Free Investing Proposal on Proxy Ballot at Franklin Templeton (01/26)
For the first time in at least 19 years, investors in the mutual fund will vote on a shareowner resolution, calling on the company to adopt policies to avoid investing in companies that contribute to genocide.
Cuomo Proposes $1 Billion Green Bank for New York (01/19)
The bank will leverage public funds with private sector investment to hasten the transition to a clean economy and environment in New York State.
Sustainable Investment Assets Continue Growth in Canada (01/17)
The biennial report by the Social Investment Organization of Canada reveals that sustainable assets under management now represent 20% of the total.
European Sustainable Funds Hold Own in 2012 (01/11)
The twelfth annual study of Green Social and Ethical Funds in Europe by Vigeo Italia notes that consolidation of the industry has continued for a third year.
Feds Hand Foreclosure Relief over to Banks (01/08)
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve Board reach an agreement with ten mortgage servicers that will end the Independent Foreclosure Review and instead provide $3.3 billion in direct payments to eligible borrowers.
Non-Violent Protest or Terrorist Threat? (12/31)
FBI documents obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund reveal that coordination between the Bureau, the Department of Homeland Security, and the financial sector began even before the first demonstrations by the Occupy movement.
Major Stock Market Indexes can Elevate ESG Risk for Investors (12/13)
A study by GMI Ratings analyzes the environmental, social, and corporate governance performance of major stock market indexes, and finds that most perform poorly against the research firm's normative distribution.
EU Nations Preparing a Financial Transaction Tax (12/12)
A similar measure before the US Senate appears to be going nowhere, despite the fact that such a tax would discourage high frequency trading and encourage a long-term approach to investing.
Mutual Funds Slow to Engage on Political Spending (12/11)
Despite growing attention to the risks for corporations, support by mutual funds for resolutions addressing political spending decreased in 2012.
FairPensions Calls on UK Ethical Funds to Adopt Positive Screening and Increase Corporate Engagement (12/10)
A survey of nineteen UK-based ethical funds finds that most continue to rely on negative screening of sin stocks, and few have committed to shareowner engagement with corporations.
Community Capital Management Helps Fund Sandy Relief (12/04)
The fixed income investment manager announces that through its CRA Qualified Investment Fund it will dedicate $100 million in assets toward investing in recovery from the hurricane.
US SIF Publishes Biennial Sustainable Investment Trends Report (11/24)
The 2012 Trends Report notes a total of $3.74 trillion in assets allocated to sustainable investment, a 22% increase over a two-year period.
Community Capital Management Invests over $4 Million on Behalf of Sustainable ETF (11/21)
The Florida-based fixed income investment manager, one of the portfolio managers for the AdvisorShares Global Echo exchange-traded fund, invests in projects that promote job creation and provide housing for low- and moderate-income residents.
Investors Urge Citigroup Board to Consider Breakup of Too Big to Fail Bank (11/16)
Trillium Asset Management and AFSCME Employees Pension Plan file a shareowner resolution with Citigroup asking its board to explore a separation of one or more of its business units.
Assets of PRI Signatories Exceed $32 Trillion (11/15)
With 254 new signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment, the number now exceeds 1,100, even as 61 former signatories are delisted.
2012 ESG Leaders Award Winners announced by TBLI Group (11/14)
SJF Ventures, oekom research, and Hazel Henderson are among the recipients of awards for achievements in sustainable investment by institutional capital owners.
Quality Standard for ESG Research Launched (11/13)
The Association for Responsible Investment Services re-launches the Responsible Investment Research Standard as ARISTA to increase awareness of the standard and to meet a growing demand for comparability among sustainable investment research firms.
Calvert Launches Emerging Markets Fund (11/07)
The Calvert Emerging Markets Equity Fund uses the firm's environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria in determining the components of a portfolio investing in the fastest-growing segment of the global economy.
For Sustainable Investors, Obama or Romney? (11/05)
The candidates differ markedly on climate change, financial reform, and health care, issues on which sustainable investors have engaged with corporations for many years.
Senate Republicans Quash Findings on Wealth Inequality (11/03)
After the Congressional Research Service issues a report finding no correlation between economic growth and lower tax rates for the wealthiest, Senate Republicans force its withdrawal to protect the party orthodoxy on taxes.
Romney Charged with Ethics Violation for Failing to Disclose Hedge Fund Investment (11/02)
The Office of Government Ethics receives a complaint that by not revealing profits his family received from the Obama administration's auto industry bailout, Romney has failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest.
US Banks Persist in Financing Climate Change (11/01)
A report from BankTrack and the Rainforest Action Network urges financial institutions to measure and report on financed emissions, and recommends that they support expanded disclosure requirements being developed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
Sanders Chides Corporate CEOs for Calling on Congress to Cut Programs (10/27)
The Vermont Senator says that the statement by 80 CEOs fails to account for the role of financial institutions in causing the recession, and calls instead for a deficit reduction plan in which the wealthiest pay their fair share of taxes.
Founder of New Hampshire Community Loan Fund Wins Responsible Finance Award (10/18)
Juliana Eades, President and founding Executive Director of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, receives the fifth annual Ned Gramlich Award for Responsible Finance from Opportunity Finance Network.
ICCR Ally Succeeds in Bank of America Engagement (10/15)
Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement persuades Bank of America to help homeowners in Virginia county hit hard by mortgage crisis.
BankTrack not Satisfied with new Draft of Equator Principles (10/12)
While acknowledging that the new draft is an improvement, the Netherlands-based NGO finds insufficient commitments by signatory banks to transparency, human rights, and climate change mitigation.
Three Community Development Financial Institutions Receive 2012 NEXT Awards (10/09)
Primary Care Development Corporation will receive $4.25 million to expand beyond New York State, while Clearinghouse CDFI and the Corporation for Supportive Housing each receive awards of $2 million.
Growth of Sustainable Investment in Europe Continues to Outpace the Overall Market (10/06)
In its fifth biennial survey of sustainable investment in Europe, Eurosif identifies norms-based screening as the fastest-growing strategy, and urges improved communications to encourage greater uptake of sustainable investment by retail investors.
Task Force Files Lawsuit against JPMorgan Chase (10/04)
The Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, a state-federal task force, announces its first legal action, charging the bank for fraudulent misrepresentations of mortgage-backed securities by Bear Stearns & Co.
Bank of America Settles Shareowner Lawsuit for $2.43 billion (10/03)
The bank's 2008 acquisition of Merrill Lynch $20 billion preceded disclosure of $27.6 billion in losses, and led to lawsuit by pension funds charging the bank with making false or misleading statements.
GMI Licenses Research for Corporate Governance Indexes (10/01)
The firm's agreement with the Global Index Group, which will create the first indexes focusing on corporate governance performance, is commended by governance advocate James McRitchie as a very important development for investors.
Sustainalytics Partners with Chinese Consultancy Firm (09/22)
The research partnership with SynTao will provide clients of the Netherlands-based firm with analysis of the ESG performance of Chinese companies.
Insurers Unequipped to Deal with Climate Change (09/20)
A report from Ceres warns that as payouts for extreme weather events increase to record levels, the insurance sector is falling behind other industries in returns on investment.
Occupy Movement Celebrates First Anniversary (09/18)
Despite efforts to marginalize its accomplishments, the Occupy Movement has succeeded in keeping the issue of wealth inequality in the forefront of the national consciousness.
Opinions Differ on the Future of Sustainable Investing (09/07)
Industry veterans weigh in on likely developments over the next twenty years, and their opinions range from optimism to concern.
Muhammad Yunus, Father of Microcredit and Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, to Address SRI Conference (09/05)
The founder of the Grameen Bank will be the keynote speaker at October's SRI Conference on Sustainable, Responsible, Impact Investing, which will also feature author Deepak Chopra and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Second of a two-part series.
Rebranded, the SRI Conference Heads East (09/03)
SocialFunds.com talks with Steve Schueth of First Affirmative Financial Network about the history of the conference and the decision to locate it at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut this year. First of a two-part series.
Emerging Markets ESG Updates Database of Contacts (08/18)
SocialFunds.com talks with Geoffrey Mazullo, whose twenty years of involvement with environmental, social, and corporate governance issues in emerging markets have provided him with a wealth of data and contacts compiled in a unique resource.
Wells Fargo Settles Mortgage-Backed Securities Charges for $6.5 Million (08/16)
The Securities and Exchange Commission charges the bank for selling investments tied to mortgage-backed securities without disclosing the risks to investors.
A Record Amount of Dollars Awarded by CDFI Fund in 2012 (08/14)
Almost $187 million is awarded to 210 community development financial institutions that provide financial services to distressed communities that are often overlooked by mainstream financial institutions.
Mercer to Incorporate ESG in Mainstream Client Reports (08/13)
Citing a growing interest in environmental, social, and corporate governance from institutional investors, the consulting firm will include ESG factors in reports relating to fund manager search and performance.
Goldman Sachs Escapes Criminal Charges (08/12)
Despite evidence of conflicts of interest detailed in last year's report by the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, the Justice Department announces that it will not bring a criminal prosecution against the bank.
News Networks Ignore a Major Banking Scandal (08/11)
The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility writes to ABC and NBC, asserting that the networks have failed to cover the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal and its severe impacts on the poor and most vulnerable.
Finalists for 2012 Wells Fargo NEXT Awards Announced (08/01)
Three community development financial institutions are named as finalists for $8.25 million award to expand affordable housing, health care, or community facilities in distressed markets.
Eurosif Supports Sustainability Disclosures for Retail Investors (07/30)
The European Commission proposes legislation that would require investment funds and other packaged retail investment products to disclose in key information documents whether they target sustainable outcomes.
PRI Publishes Case Studies of Sustainable Investment (07/27)
A report provides examples of sustainable investments by CalPERS and other signatories to the Principles for Responsible Investment, and argues for government policies to help mitigate the risks of such investments.
Institutional Investors: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? (07/24)
Authors Ben Heineman and Stephen Davis argue in a working paper that many institutional investors lag behind corporations in transparency, and call for a national database on the behavior of institutions. Second of a two-part series.
College Endowments Lagging in Sustainable Investment (07/19)
Once leaders in sustainable investment and shareowner advocacy, college and university endowments now lag behind many mainstream institutions in the uptake of environmental, social, and corporate governance investment criteria.
A Guide to Economics for the 99% (07/06)
The Center for Popular Economics publishes Economics for the 99%, a handbook which describes the roots of economic inequality and offers a solidarity economy as an alternative.
Community Investment Options Increase but Barriers Remain (07/04)
A report from US SIF details an increasing number of community investment options, but low awareness, perceptions of low returns and high risk, and increased regulatory scrutiny remain as barriers to a wider uptake of the practice.
Genocide-Free Investing Resolution Wins Majority Vote (06/30)
Investors Against Genocide's request that the ING Emerging Countries Fund refrain from investing in companies that provide funding to governments engaged in genocide is supported by over 59% of shareowners.
A Giant Leap Forward, or Unsustainable Business as Usual? (06/22)
The Natural Capital Declaration, launched at Rio+20, aspires to properly value the environment in financial transactions, but at least one nongovernmental organization argues that the pricing of environmental assets is a fatally flawed solution.
Get to Work, the Financial Stability Oversight Council Is Told (06/21)
The newly-formed Systemic Risk Council observes that two years after Dodd-Frank, most of its financial reforms have yet to implemented, and urges the Financial Stability Oversight Council to prioritize the identification of systemically important nonbank financial institutions.
Sanders Calls for End of Conflicts of Interest on Federal Reserve Boards (06/14)
After introducing legislation prohibiting bank executives from serving on Federal Reserve boards, Sen. Sanders of Vermont names 18 Fed directors whose firms benefited from the bailout during the financial crisis.
CDFIs Rebound from Financial Crisis (06/13)
The National Community Investment Fund reports that 88 certified community development financial institutions earned a net income of $82 million in 2011, reversing a two-year decline.
Proxy Voting on Climate Change by Mutual Funds Fails to Account for Materiality (06/09)
An analysis by Ceres and Fund Votes of 2011 proxy voting reveals that the three largest mutual funds failed to vote in favor of a single climate-related resolution.
Fund Seeks to Improve the Lives of East African Farmers (06/08)
The Global Impact Investing Network publishes a case study of the African Agricultural Capital Fund, which invests in environmentally sustainable agriculture projects to benefit the rural poor in sub-Saharan Africa.
Advocates for a Fair Economy Call for End to Payday Lending by Banks (06/06)
A coalition including several sustainable investment organizations ask federal regulators to investigate banks offering payday lending, which can trap low-income borrowers into a cycle of debt with interest rates as high as 417%.
JP Morgan Chase Holds Annual Meeting Days After $2 Billion Loss (05/17)
A resolution calling for improved corporate governance through separating the roles of Chair and CEO gains 40% of shareowner support.
Shareowners Renew Call for Improved Governance at JPMorgan Chase (05/11)
After the bank reports $2 billion in losses on risky trading, the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees calls for the appointment of an independent Chair, stating that the stakes are too high to leave CEO Jamie Dimon unsupervised.
Sustainable Investment by Pension Funds Total Less than One Percent of Assets (05/04)
Despite the necessity of a low-carbon economy and the opportunities for investment in the transition, efforts by governments and institutional investors remain inadequate. Second of a two-part series.
US Banks Receive Failing Grades for Financing Coal (05/01)
While most of the nation's largest banks have publicly stated commitments addressing mountaintop removal coal mining and coal-fired power generation, the financing of such projects continues.
UKSIF Endorses Key Investor Initiatives for Rio+20 (04/30)
The Natural Capital Declaration commits financial institutions to integrating environmental considerations into their products and services, while the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Coalition seeks a convention on corporate reporting.
Power of the Proxy Confirmed at Citigroup (04/27)
In the aftermath of the shareowner vote against Citigroup's executive compensation package, Mark Regier of Everence Financial talks with SocialFunds.com about the evolution of say-on-pay.
New Exchange Traded Fund Will Support Sustainability Themes (04/21)
A portion of the assets of AdvisorShares Global Echo ETF will support the Global Echo Foundation, a charitable foundation co-founded by Philippe Cousteau.
Shared Interest to Reach More Low-Income South Africans (04/19)
The investment fund's Campaign for the Next Generation seeks to provide opportunities for an additional 500,000 low-income South Africans, while reforming the practice of mainstream banking.
Shareowners Vote Down Citigroup Pay Package (04/18)
Fifty-five percent of Citigroup's shareowners vote against the executive compensation package proposed by management, marking the first time that shareowners have done so at a big bank.
JPMorgan Chase Faces Investing in Genocide Resolution (04/13)
For the second year, Investors Against Genocide submits shareowner proposal addressing JPMorgan Chase's extensive holdings in PetroChina, a corporate contributor to genocide in Sudan.
SEC Reconvenes Investor Advisory Committee (04/11)
The Committee, which was formed in 2009 and terminated after passage of the Dodd-Frank bill, again includes representatives of the sustainable investment industry.
Shareowner Advocates Disappointed by Goldman's Choice for Lead Independent Director (04/07)
The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees withdraws resolution calling for separation of Chair and CEO at Goldman Sachs, then expresses disappointment at the firm's choice for lead independent director.
Academics Propose Agency to Regulate Financial Products (04/05)
Eric Posner and Glen Weyl of the University of Chicago state that a Financial Products Administration would be the Food and Drug Administration of financial derivatives.
Sustainable Investment Forums to Produce Global Trends Report (04/02)
The report, scheduled for December, will be the first to assess environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) investment strategies across jurisdictions; a global website is also planned.
$1 Million Grant to Automate Reporting by Community Development Financial Institutions (03/28)
The grant from Citi Foundation will help the CDFI Assessment and Ratings System automate its financial performance data collection system for community development financial institutions.
Private Equity Increases Sustainability Focus (03/27)
Programs encouraging the uptake of environmental, social, and corporate governance considerations by private equity firms include the Environmental Defense Fund's Green Returns initiative.
Initiative of Calvert Foundation Seeks to Invest in Women (03/15)
A $1 million grant from the Citi Foundation launches the Calvert Foundation's Women Investing in Women Initiative, which seeks to raise $20 million for economic opportunities for women.
Occupy Movement Focuses on Volcker Rule (03/14)
Financial professionals form the Occupy the SEC movement and submit a 325-page comment letter to the SEC, calling for effective regulation of proprietary trading by banks.
SJF Ventures Announces Initial Closing of Impact Investment Fund (03/10)
Capitalized entirely by private investment, the $75 million SJF Ventures III fund will target growth-stage cleantech companies with positive impacts on low-to-moderate income communities.
Study Identifies Financial Institutions Investing in Nuclear Weapons (03/07)
The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons names 322 financial institutions from 30 countries with substantial investments in the $100 billion-a-year nuclear weapons industry.
Reinsurers Call for National Climate Policy (03/05)
After a year in which losses due to extreme weather events totaled $44 billion, representatives of the reinsurance industry call on US policymakers to acknowledge the reality of climate change and take action on a national policy.
Lydenberg's Argument for Reasonable Investment Wins IRRC Award (02/25)
Steven Lydenberg, Chief Investment Officer of Domini Social Investments, wins the first Post-Modern Portfolio Theory award from the IRRC Institute for his paper espousing reasonable, rather than merely rational, investment.
Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance Publishes Compendium of Case Studies (02/16)
The Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance wraps up its first year with case studies designed to help provide sustainable financial products and services to the world's poor.
Only 9% of Fund Managers Incorporate ESG Factors (02/15)
Mercer's evaluation of environmental, social, and corporate governance uptake by fund managers reveals that there is considerable room for improvement in how they communicate ESG integration to investors.
House Republicans Gut Key Provision of STOCK Act (02/11)
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor strips provision requiring political intelligence consultants to register as lobbyists from version of bill passed by Senate.
States Require Insurers to Respond to Climate Risk Survey (02/02)
California joins New York and Washington in requiring insurers that that write in excess of $300 million in premiums to respond to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Climate Risk Survey.
Pax World Appoints New Portfolio Manager for Global Women's Equality Fund (01/10)
Ivka Kalus-Bystricky will lead Pax World's Global Women's Equality Fund, which invests primarily in large-cap companies that promote gender equality and women's advancement.
Brazilian Stock Exchange Recommends that Companies Report or Explain (01/07)
BM&FBOVESPA, the Brazilian Stock Exchange, adopts report-or-explain position to encourage sustainability reporting by listing companies in advance of the Rio+20 conference in July.
Top Sustainable Investment Stories of 2011 (12/31)
Many sustainable investors see affinities between their concerns and those of the Occupy Movement, and global emissions from the burning of fossil fuels in 2010 were the highest in human history.
Mutual Fund Support for Political Spending Disclosure Inches Upward (12/22)
An analysis prepared for the Center for Political Accountability by Jackie Cook of Fund Votes reveals that mutual fund support for corporate political spending disclosure increased in 2011 for eighth year in a row.
Schapiro Remarks Suggest Regulation of Proxy Advisors (12/20)
The SEC Chairman cites corporate concerns over quality of information used for recommendations, and potential conflicts of interest, as reasons for regulation of proxy advisory firms.
Community Capital Management's Flagship Fund Surpasses $1 Billion in Assets (12/14)
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Qualified Investment CRA Shares fund, which helps banks meet the credit needs of the communities in which they operate, now has over 300 bank shareowners.
Mexican Stock Exchange Launches Sustainability Index (12/08)
Bolsa Mexicana de Valores selects EIRIS and Ecovalores to develop framework for an Index assessing the environmental, social, and corporate governance performance of Mexican companies.
BankTrack Names Banks Funding Dirty Coal Power Plants (12/02)
Four US banks top the list of those spending the most on financing the construction of new coal-fired power plants.
Film Review: Margin Call (11/28)
First-time director J.C. Chandor's film provides a fictionalized version of Lehman Brothers awakening to the fact that inadequate risk management had launched the financial crisis.
Zuccotti Park Cleared of Occupy Protesters (11/15)
Police action to remove activists from original Occupy Movement encampment occurs two days before planned rally to shut down Wall Street.
New SJF Ventures Fund Is Designated a SBIC Impact Fund (11/04)
The North Carolina-based venture capital partnership receives green light to capitalize a $75 million fund that will invest in cleantech startups in low-to-middle income communities.
More Alternative Investment Funds are Embracing ESG (10/27)
US SIF and Tellus Institute report that sustainable investment strategies by alternative investment funds increased to $80.9 billion in assets under management by 2011.
CDFIs from Maine and Pennsylvania are 2011 NEXT Awardees (10/26)
Coastal Enterprises will expand its Working Partner Initiative, while The Progress Fund will expand and support replication of its Trail Town Program.
More Fodder for Uprising Against Economic Inequality (10/26)
The Congressional Budget Office reports that household income of the top one percent grew by 275% between 1979 and 2007.
Time to Improve the Equator Principles, BankTrack Says (10/24)
As the Equator Principles Association prepares a draft of new principles, BankTrack calls for increased transparency and more attention to climate change and human rights.
How Occupy Wall Street and Sustainable Investment are Aligned (10/21)
SocialFunds.com talks with Sonia Kowal of Zevin Asset Management about social unrest and its impact on the prospects for long-term sustainable investment.
New Green Bonds Product Will Support Climate Protection (10/20)
State Street Global Advisors says its High Quality Green Bond product will invest in green bonds issued by supranational or multilateral development banks.
SRI in the Rockies: CDFI Fund Director Donna Gambrell Delivers Keynote Address (10/08)
Gambrell challenges sustainable investors to help "realize the tremendous potential that exists for a partnership" with the CDFI industry.
Pension Funds in US Slow to Add Sustainable Investment Options (10/03)
US SIF survey of ESG uptake by defined contribution plans reveals that while most respondents have little or not understanding of sustainable investment, most expect an increase in interest in next five years.
New Equity Fund to Invest $25 Million in East African Agribusiness (09/30)
Members of the Global Impact Investing Network will invest $25 million to grow small and medium-sized enterprises in the agricultural sector of the region.
Clinton Praises $10 Billion Green Infrastructure Investment (09/24)
The Investment and Training for American Infrastructure, launched by the AFL-CIO and the American Federations of Teachers, commits $10 billion in investment in energy-efficient infrastructure improvement and will train 140,000 workers.
CalPERS to Quadruple Investment in California Infrastructure (09/17)
Pension fund earmarks $800 million for investments of at least $150 million in infrastructure projects that support essential community services.
Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes Completes Annual Update (09/10)
Medtronic and Goldman Sachs are added, while Coca-Cola, Hewlett-Packard, and Microsoft are dropped.
Sustainable Initiatives Supported by Fixed Income Investing (09/08)
A white paper from Community Capital Management describes five categories of fixed income investments that can support environmental and social goals while providing competitive returns.
Report Surveys Ten-Year Performance of Community Development Banking Institutions (09/05)
The National Community Investment Fund reports that community development banking institutions have risks and returns comparable to mainstream banks, while offering far greater social impact.
Insurers Unprepared for Climate Change (09/02)
A report from Ceres analyzes responses from insurance companies to a survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and calls for mandatory disclosure to correct failures of risk management.
Bond Program Will Increase Funding for CDFIs (08/26)
Mark Pinsky of the Opportunity Finance Network talks with SocialFunds.com about the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program, which will allow community development financial institutions to access $3 billion in guaranteed financing.
AfricaSIF Co-Founder Describes Challenges to Sustainable Investment in Africa (08/24)
Graham Sinclair talks with SocialFunds.com about a recent report he authored on sustainable investment in sub-Saharan Africa, and the challenges to mainstreaming the practice on the continent.
Trucost Environmental Data to Reach More Investors (08/19)
The environmental research provider partners with FactSet to add environmental risk management to the financial research company's offerings to clients.
Community Development Financial Institutions Anticipate Expanding Services (08/17)
Mark Pinsky of Opportunity Finance Network talks with SocialFunds.com about the challenges and opportunities of providing financial products and services to low-income communities over the next 15 years.
TIAA-CREF Publishes 2011 Socially Responsible Investing Annual Report (07/26)
The report describes the accomplishments of the $470 billion financial services company in promoting sustainable investment according to environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria.
ImpactAssets Seeks to Administer $1 Billion in Impact Investing Assets (07/15)
Ten years after developing the Giving Fund for the Calvert Foundation, Tim Freundlich talks with SocialFunds.com about the nonprofit's efforts to catalyze investment for environmental, social, and financial impact.
Council of Institutional Investors Supports Dodd-Frank Regulation of Derivatives Market (07/05)
In a letter, the CII calls on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to reduce risk to the financial system by mandating that previously unregulated swaps meet margin requirements.
ING Retirement Plan Adds Sustainable Investment Option (06/20)
ING's US Retirement Services will offer Pax World's ESG Managers Portfolios series of funds to participants in many of its defined contribution retirement plans.
Shadow Banking Scrutinized for Role in Financial Crisis (05/30)
A report from Standard & Poor's details the effect of unregulated financial institutions on the financial crisis, and calls for regulatory oversight based on function rather than institutional charter.
Ernst & Young Buys Assets of Proxy Governance (05/26)
The purchase of the proxy advisory firm's assets will add to Ernst & Young's newly established Corporate Governance Group.
Community Investing Fixed-Income Fund Reaches $1 Billion in Assets under Management (11/22)
Community Capital Management's Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Qualified Investment Fund has invested over $3 billion in community development activities.
Whistling Past the Graveyard—Socially Responsible Investing and the Financial Crisis (12/31)
SRI thought leaders analyze the potential impacts of the widespread economic downturn caused by the subprime meltdown and deflating dollar.
The Subprime Meltdown and SRI: Engage, Avoid, Predict (09/12)
Shareowner activists engaged banks on predatory lending long before the subprime crisis climaxed, and SRI research predicted the meltdown in time to avoid some impacts.
Fidelity Divests Large Chunk of Sudan-Related Holdings (05/22)
Despite similar pressure from Sudan divestment activists, Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway retain holdings in PetroChina, which is linked to genocide in Darfur.
Rainforest Action Network Seeks to Stem Flow of Financing to TXU Coal Project (12/20)
Part two of this two-part articles addresses how RAN sent a letter to 54 banks urging them to withhold funding from a TXU plan to build 11 pulverized coal-burning power plants in Texas.
Institutional Investors in France Foresee Continuing Growth of Socially Responsible Investing (12/14)
A Novethic survey tells some of the story behind the numbers documented in the September 2006 Eurosif report on the growth of SRI in Europe.
How to Do Sustainble Banking (12/06)
BankTrack, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations promoting social and environmental responsibility in the finance sector, issues a guide to best practices in sustainable banking.
Microfinance Crosses Continental Divide with $100 Million Commitment from TIAA-CREF (10/09)
TIAA-CREF inaugurated its Global Microfinance Investment Program by purchasing from ProCredit Holdings $43 million in private equity shares, a new strategy in microfinance.
BP, John Deere, Goldman Sachs, and Allianz Among Renewable Energy Award Winners (09/27)
The third annual award ceremony, sponsored by Euromoney and Ernst and Young, took place during the Renewable Energy Finance Forum.
UN Advances Business Case for Materiality of SRI, Leaving Skeptics Little Wiggle Room (07/18)
A new UNEP FI report assesses how investment banks are integrating environmental, social, and governance factors and linking them to financial performance in their research.
Revised Equator Principles Fall Short of International Best Practice for Project Finance (07/12)
While some observers praise the strengthening of labor rights, others decry the failure to implement adequate transparency, accountability, and governance mechanisms.
Applying an Ant Colony Mentality to Extra-Financial Factors and Enhanced Analytics (05/30)
A report from the Universities Superannuation Scheme, a member of the Enhanced Analytics Initiative, calls for diverse, community-wide advocacy of factoring extra-financials into research.
Thirty Years and Counting: Cofounder Wayne Silby Recounts the Birth of Calvert (03/18)
To celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of Calvert, SocialFunds.com speaks with co-founder Wayne Silby about its genesis, development, and future.
US Banks Sink to the Bottom of the Barrel on Latest Sustainability Ratings from Oekom (03/14)
Most US banks fail to disclose enough information on their social and environmental performance to qualify for analysis, and only four of 21 analyzed earned above D-level grades.
State Laws Effectively Curb Predatory Lending Without Stifling Subprime Market, Study Finds (02/28)
The Center for Responsible Lending study rebuts opponents of state anti-predatory lending laws, and suggests significant implications for the two competing anti-predatory bills now in Congress.
Bank Policies Fail to Meet International Social and Environmental Standards, Report Says (02/25)
The 39 banks assessed fall far short on global sustainability standards, and fail to disclose enough information on implementation to even be assessed by NGO coalition BankTrack.
Financial Wonks Meet Treehuggers: New Tool Places Valuation on Corporate Sustainability (02/14)
The sdEffect analytical framework takes the next step in establishing metrics to translate sustainable development into valuation.
In the Year of the Oil Boom, Some SRI Funds Look Elsewhere for Strong Performance in 2005 (01/24)
The top-performing socially responsible investing funds compared to their category peers (SRI and non-SRI alike) drew strong performance from pharma, tech, and financials.
Unpublished Data Clarifies SRI Proxy Voting on CSR Resolutions (01/18)
In part two in this multi-part series, SocialFunds.com examines unpublished data associated with a recent report from The Corporate Library, and finds that statistics are not always what they seem at first glance.
The Corporate Library Report on Mutual Fund Proxy Voting Finds Stagnation and Even Retreat (01/17)
Part one of this multi-part series discusses the report findings on decreasing mainstream fund support for CSR resolutions; subsequent articles examine unpublished data from the research.
Top Five Socially Responsible Investing News Stories of 2005 (01/05)
Socially responsible investing, corporate social responsibility, and microfinance embraced by the mainstream; shareowner advocates withdraw several climate change resolutions as companies agree to report; and exchange traded funds apply SRI strategies.
Are European Finance Sector Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Adequate? (12/23)
A report from a recent EU conference on CSR suggest so, while a Corporate Responsibility Coalition report says voluntary CSR initiatives and current regulation fall short.
A Light Bulb Turns On: Goldman Sachs First Investment Bank to Adopt Environmental Policy (11/30)
The policy matches the robustness of other such policies recently adopted by global financial institutions, but the status of Goldman Sachs as an investment bank brings added significance.
Institutional Investors Drive Research on Mainstreaming of SRI by Investment Managers (10/21)
A new line of research at Mercer Investment Consulting rates proxy voting, shareholder engagement, and analysis of environmental, social, and governance issues by mainstream investment managers.
Human Rights Site Spotlights Bank Investment in Chinese Manufacturer Linked to Forced Labor (08/25)
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre posts an article alleging Chinese firm Henan Rebecca uses forced labor, as well as responses from banks implicated through investment for their clients.
JPMorgan Chase Environmental Policy Triggers Tipping Point for US Bank Sustainability (04/29)
The JPMC policy surpasses environmental best practice established by Citigroup and Bank of America in some areas, but also lags these sustainability leaders in others.
Comparing Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase Policies: Which Stems Illegal Logging in Indonesia? (03/08)
Before providing funding, financial institution policies requiring documentation certifying legitimate timber sourcing may help promote sustainable logging in Southeast Asia.
Enhanced Analytics Initiative Picks Sell-Side Brokerage Houses with Best Intangibles Research (01/18)
EAI awards seven firms and three runners-up for outstanding sell-side analysis of corporate social and environmental issues.
Report Finds Bank Sector Assessment of Impact on Disadvantaged Communities Lacking (12/29)
AccountAbility and Business for Social Responsibility to apply their new assessment methodology to the pharmaceutical, agricultural, and extractive sectors next.
As Mutual Funds Prepare to Reveal Proxy Votes, Guideline Disclosure Acts as Acid Test (08/25)
Investor-friendly website accessibility to mutual funds' proxy voting guidelines may signal proxy voting record accessibility and investor-friendly proxy voting.
US Banks Criticized for Involvement in China State Bank Bonds (08/19)
Nongovernmental organizations and socially responsible investing firms criticize US banks for selling Chinese bonds that fund socially and environmentally problematic projects.
Sell-Side Analysts Confirm the Materiality of Sustainability Issues in UN Report (07/23)
A United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative report documents belief in the materiality of corporate social responsibility issues by 11 brokerage houses.
Are the Equator Principles Sincere or Spin? (06/04)
A report calls into question whether signatory banks are complying with the Equator Principles.
New Bank of America Policy Sets Best Practice on Climate Change in US Bank Sector (05/26)
Environmentalist organization Rainforest Action Network helps usher Bank of America into the vanguard of US banks improving their environmental responsibility.
Shareowner Resolution Withdrawn as JP Morgan Chase Addresses Environmental Risks (05/14)
A group of socially responsible investment advocates withdrew a shareowner resolution from JP Morgan Chase when the company established an office of environmental affairs.
Community Investment Advocates Question Bank of America/FleetBoston Merger (01/23)
Bank of America is responding to critics of its proposed merger with FleetBoston.
Vanguard Fund Generates Strong Returns by Replicating the Calvert Social Index (10/24)
The Vanguard Calvert Social Index Fund outperformed more than four-fifths of its peers in the overall US mutual fund universe with similar investment styles over the past year.
Corporate Governance Ratings Take Different Approaches to Produce Similar Results (08/19)
GovernanceMetrics International rates corporate governance in relation to other companies, while Institutional Shareholder Services rates in relation to market indexes.
Climate Change Litigation Could Affect Companies’ Market Value (07/23)
In the near future companies could face the risk of being on the receiving end of climate change lawsuits, a development that stands to impact shareowner value.
Huh?!?: CEO Pay Goes Up in 2002 While the Stock Market Goes Down (06/25)
The Corporate Library's report shows how CEO pay increased in 2002 despite the fact that the stock market declined significantly, a trend that does not sit well with investors.
First Dutch Passively-Managed DJSI-based Index Fund Launched (06/17)
Theodoor Gilissen Bankiers has launched a passively-managed fund that tracks a Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the first such product in the Netherlands.
Will Equator Principles Deliver Social and Environmental Responsibility from Banks? (06/05)
Social investors and NGOs question whether the Equator Principles will serve their stated purpose of increasing global banks' social and environmental responsibility.
The Effects of 9/11 and the Iraq War on Islamic SRI Funds (04/18)
Socially responsible investment funds that reflect Islamic values shed light on the issue of anti-Islam sentiment, which has run rampant after 9/11 and through the Iraq War.
CalPERS Says Xerox's Corporate Governance Not Worthy of Copying (03/27)
Pension fund giant names six companies that need to improve their corporate governance.
Guide Rates Best and Worst Lenders in Terms of Reaching the Underserved (03/25)
When it comes to reaching minorities, women, and low- and middle-income borrowers, Bank of America rates as one of the best and ABN AMRO rates as one of the worst.
Oekom Applauds Insurers Employing SRI but Chides Rest of Sector's Non-Transparency (03/18)
Lack of transparency prevented the German corporate research firm from conducting corporate responsibility ratings on the majority of global insurance companies.
Low-Income Toronto Residents Save on Check Cashing (01/10)
Royal Bank of Canada tailored its Cash & Save concept to meet the unique financial services needs of residents in a diverse, densely populated urban community.
UNEP Advises Financial Sector on Threats and Opportunities Related to Climate Change (10/17)
A recent United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative report outlines the financial sector's risks and opportunities regarding climate change.
Religious Mutual Funds Multiply in Numbers and Assets (09/18)
Faith-based mutual funds represent a fledgling but fast-growing movement in the socially responsible investment field.
Some Cracks in Freddie Mac's Otherwise Solid Social and Fiscal Reputation (08/15)
Freddie Mac's profile appears picture-perfect from a social and fiscal perspective, but recent disclosures have tainted this image somewhat.
Business Ethics' 100 Best Corporate Citizens Outperform S&P 500 (04/29)
An academic study concluded that Business Ethics' list of 100 Best Corporate Citizens generated better returns than the remaining companies on the S&P 500.
Activists Lobby Shareowners to Stop Housing Development in Southern California (04/17)
A coalition group held a rally at Washington Mutual's annual meeting to raise concern about that company's planned housing development in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Corporate Sustainability Reporting Is Here to Stay (04/05)
The Global Reporting Initiative, an organization working to make corporate performance more transparent, was formally inaugurated as an independent institution yesterday.
SEC Clarifies Position on Auditor Independence Resolutions (01/18)
Although the SEC rejected a shareowner resolution early in 2001 that called for shareowners to choose a company’s auditor, the SEC recognizes the relevance of the auditor independence issue to shareowners.
UK Bank Offers Green Mortgages (01/14)
Financial institution efforts to be more environment-friendly are proving popular with customers.
Consulting Firm Promotes Online Reporting of Triple Bottom Line (12/31)
SustainAbility, a British research and consultancy firm, recently released a report on how companies, their stakeholders and customers use the Internet to communicate about sustainable development.
SBI Promotes Responsible Business Practices Alongside Profits (12/27)
The Sustainable Business Institute is working to spread its vision of sustainability to business leaders and the public.
GEMI Elevates Environmental Consciousness from the Bottom to the Top Line (12/03)
The Global Environmental Management Initiative releases a new report promoting environment-friendly methods of enhancing corporate performance.
Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative Creates Global Emissions Standards (11/07)
An international consortium of government agencies, NGOs, and businesses creates its own set of standards for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in advance of the Kyoto Protocol.
EPA Program Recognizes Better Corporate Environmental Performance (11/02)
Performance Track motivates and rewards businesses that exceed EPA's environmental standards.
Companies Get Help Building Green (10/29)
The U.S. Green Building Council makes it easier for companies to be more energy efficient and friendlier to the environment by helping them construct "green" buildings.
Scandinavian Companies Work toward Sustainable Business Model (10/03)
A group of large Nordic companies are participating in an unusual partnership to create their view of a future sustainable company.
Book Review: The Civil Corporation (09/28)
The New Economy brings increased competition, faster dissemination of information and the rise of corporate citizenship.
EPA Partners with Businesses to Promote Green Power (09/27)
Voluntary program has enlisted companies, cities, universities and others with the aim of boosting the market for renewable energy.
Companies Cut Pollution Through E-commuting (08/28)
A federal government pilot program will give participating companies pollution credits based on the emission reductions achieved by telecommuting employees.
Benchmarking Corporate Environmental and Social Reporting (07/12)
Recent survey examines the environmental and social reporting practices of the 100 largest global firms.
Labor Standards Resolutions Garner Support in 2001 Proxy Season (07/11)
Ten international labor and human rights proposals that came to vote this year received 10 percent or more support from shareowners.
Americans Increasingly Interested in Corporate Citizenship (07/10)
Survey indicates that Americans are looking for good corporate citizens, but are having difficulty finding them.
Companies Using NAFTA to Undermine Legitimate Regulations (06/12)
New report explains how the U.S., Canadian and Mexican governments' ability to regulate in the public interest is being eroded by NAFTA's Chapter 11.
Better Corporate Governance Pays Off for Large Companies in Emerging Markets (06/04)
Recent study across global emerging markets finds large companies with good corporate governance yield better bottom lines.
Getting Boards to Address the Triple Bottom Line (05/15)
New report proposes a set of principles and actions to assist corporate boards in addressing the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental performance.
Book Review: Sustainable Banking (05/14)
Scholarly collection of perspectives and case studies explores the international financial sector’s role in sustainable development.
Business Group Supports Sustainability Via the Market Economy (04/24)
New report identifies seven factors companies must address in order to realize sustainable practices.
Major UK Fund Manager to Require Environmental Reporting (04/19)
Institutional investors are increasingly seeing the need for environmental disclosure.
Environmental Groups Endorse Shareholder Resolutions (04/12)
Environmental advocates ask for support for pro-environmental resolutions at a wide range of companies.
Thirty-one Companies to Test Sustainability Reporting Guidelines (04/06)
Structured feedback will help shape the next generation of Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.
Shopping for Responsibility (04/02)
Internet site is helping consumers base shopping decisions on values.
Procter & Gamble Heads List of 100 Best Corporate Citizens (03/28)
Business Ethics magazine recently published their annual rankings of the companies that best serve a diverse group of stakeholders.
AIG Shareholders Call for Corporate Democracy (05/17)
Three shareholder resolutions facing American International Group today called for greater independence in the insurance giant's board of directors.
Domini Social Index At Ten Years Old (05/01)
On the tenth anniversary of its socially screened stock index, Kinder, Lydenberg, Domini & Co. has much to celebrate. So do social investors.
Friends Ivory & Sime Engages Companies on Human Rights (04/12)
The London-based social investment firm launches a unique human rights initiative through dialogue with company management.
Who Pays for Corporate Welfare? (02/28)
As the 2000 U.S. presidential election heats up, citizens consider the undemocratic practice of corporate welfare.
Time Warner Takes Hard Line on Soft Money (01/19)
Recent move by communications giant brings campaign finance reform into purview of socially responsible investors.