Sustainable and Socially Responsible Investing is more than a viable investment strategy...It's a powerful force of change.Screening
Socially Responsible Investing or SRI investing developed because investors wanted to avoid harmful industries such as alcohol, tobacco and the military industrial complex.
Today, investors want more. Doing no harm is not enough. They want their money to make a difference and bring about change.
The SRI industry has evolved over the years and is adapting to this investor demand. Shifting from Socially Responsible Investing to Sustainable and Responsible Impact Investing, SRI or Impact Investing now goes beyond simple avoidance. Investment selection includes a thorough examination of a company’s environmental, social, and governance track record, commonly referred to as ESG criteria.
No company is perfect. Through shareholder advocacy the investor, especially the institutional investor, can pressure company management and influence corporate behavior. This is typically initiated via letter writing and dialogue. If these efforts fail, the next step is typically to file or co-file a shareholder resolution which is then voted on by investors or shareholders. Common topics include executive compensation, environmental impact and climate change as well as employee benefits and labor practices and the disclosure of political contributions.
Many low or lower-income individuals find it difficult to access services from traditional financial institutions which see them either as too high a risk or too low a return on investment. Community Investing provides capital to individuals who are underserved by traditional financial institutions.
You can participate in community investing by simply banking at a community development bank or credit union. You can also invest with a community investment loan fund or microfinance organization. Common areas of impact that benefit from community investing include small business development through training programs and access to small business loans, sustainable agriculture and renewable energy as well as social services including child care, health care and affordable housing.