Leading the Way Forward

Thought Leadership from the SRI Community

Summer Blog Series

Coming Soon . . .

Why Greater Social Cohesion is the “Moonshot” for the Future of Finance and How to Get There

 2019 culminated in many stories of momentous challenge and change, one of which was the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Sustainable business writer Joel Makower recently wrote a thought-provoking article pondering the term “moonshot” as it relates to sustainability and solving climate change. Makower points out that moonshot has become the going concept for most contemporary audacious problem-solving efforts.
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Optimized SRI Index Funds: Seeking Impact and Returns

Index funds are increasingly embraced by investors seeking market-based returns at relatively lower costs than actively managed funds. Even within the specialized field of socially responsible and ESG-driven mutual funds, investors are turning to indexes for their consistent performance and as a platform for the integration of a full range of impact investing strategies. We anticipate this trend will continue, and even increase, as investors understand that they can responsibly integrate their values into their investment portfolios. SRI index funds use several different approaches – an optimized SRI index fund blends the benefits of market index funds with making a positive impact. Optimized index funds seek to track the returns of a public benchmark index within a narrow range, while not using all of the constituents of the index. For socially targeted funds, this is typically done by applying a set of exclusionary screens such as companies affiliated with gambling, tobacco, or weapons production. Fund managers may also exclude companies on the basis of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors.
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Are Your Clients ESG Investors? Looking past stereotypes to understand who are today’s ESG investors.

Sustainable investing—the use of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors to assess investing alternatives—is gaining momentum across the industry. Although most advisors are aware of this development, many still struggle to apply it in practice. Often, the chief obstacle to discussing sustainable investing with clients is uncertainty about which ones might be interested. This may prompt advisors to rely on common stereotypes that assume sustainable investing is a concern of only millennials and women—but our research shows that the true face of sustainable investing is much more diverse.
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Is Climate-Change Risk All About Fossil Fuels? Think Again.

Is climate-change risk all about fossil fuels? Think again. When it comes to reducing greenhouse gases, investors tend to focus on fossil fuels and power generation. But other companies also need to adapt to survive the transition to lower carbon emissions. We looked at the implications for e-waste, fashion, automakers, fast-food companies and buildings. As the world transitions to a carbon-neutral economy, investors may wish to identify companies coming up with solutions, as well as those lagging, in this effort.
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Plan for Tomorrow by Supporting Vulnerable Communities Today

Recycle? Check! Reduce energy use? Check! Skip the straw? Check! Divest from fossil fuel companies? Check! Support vulnerable communities currently bearing the brunt of the environmental damage? *Crickets* Temperatures are increasing, ice sheets are melting, and sea levels are rapidly rising. Scientists have been sounding the alarm for decades. With youth-led climate strikes gaining attention in 2019, a broader group of Americans are acknowledging how our actions have affected the home future generations will inherit. We are in crisis mode and need to protect our tomorrow. But in our efforts to protect tomorrow, we need to make sure to support the people and communities affected today.
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