You are hereBasics of Responsible Investing: Responsible Investing

Basics of Responsible Investing: Responsible Investing


The most fundamental activity in Responsible Investing is called ‘Screening’
With Screening, you pick investments that are good for the planet. This means weeding out investments in companies that are bad for the planet. (Remember, it’s not an easy black and white decision, so you should speak to an advisor.)

But Responsible Investing gives you two other ways to impact the planet with your investment activity: Shareholder Action and Community Investment.

Below are a brief description of each of the three areas of Responsible Investing:

SCREENING is one of the most well-known forms of Responsible Investing. Basically, with the help of screening, you can screen in good companies and screen out bad ones. A well known example of this is the divestment by universities under student pressure in the 1980s in companies that supported apartheid South Africa. This screening activity caused, or hastened, the end to policies supporting inequality between blacks and whites there.

Today screening is very sophisticated and can be achieved with a high degree of precision. Do you care about labor practices such as a company using child labor? Are you offended by tobacco companies? Would you rather not profit from a company that makes landmines? You can do it!

You can also screen in companies such as those that are working on problems, changing their ways, and incorporating ideas that make for a more environmentally sound and sustainable world.

SHAREHOLDER ADVOCACY refers to the fact that if you own stock in a US corporation, you can vote at their annual meeting. Certainly, your vote counts, but more importantly, since you are an owner, you have a voice at the shareholder meetings which means you or a proxy can submit proposals at shareholder meetings.

COMMUNITY INVESTMENT offers investors the opportunity to help marginalized communities develop capital through sound lending practices. In short, you can lend money to communities and organizations which have less access to capital. The return is comparable to money market accounts or better!