Now it’s Proven: You Don’t Have to Give Up Performance to Invest with Your Values.
The concept of Socially Responsible Investing is as old as the Quakers, who in the 1770’s refused to invest in companies that produced weapons, liquor, sold or used slaves, or employed child labor. In modern times, the investment boycott against Dow Chemical (Agent Orange) during the Vietnam War, South African apartheid divestment, and most recently the fossil fuel divestment movement are prime examples of how investors can use their investment choices as a force for social change — both by shunning offending companies and by directing money towards positive sectors, such as clean energy, organic food, and community investing.
Overcoming the Myth of SRI Underperformance.
Over the years a myth arose that socially responsible investing didn’t perform as well as conventional investing. Many studies have now proven otherwise* — showing that socially-screened investments which avoid objectionable industries such as tobacco, weapons, oil, nuclear power, GMOs and alcohol can actually do as well or better.
How is that possible? Two common sense reasons:
- Irresponsible businesses/toxic materials can have greater expenses/risks due to regulatory violations, litigation, accidents, fines, boycotts, and strikes.
- Social responsibility is a reflection of overall management intelligence, which tends to be exhibited in other areas of a company: innovation, workplace, environment, employee relations, risk management, etc.
Just like the huge growth of organic food, SRI is now the fastest-growing sector of the global investment industry.
Socially Responsible Investing is All We Do.
Unlike advisory firms who dabble in SRI as a sideline — and others who are only now getting into it because it’s growing — we have concentrated on socially responsible investing our whole careers and are connected to the center of the industry, providing us with specialized research, industry news, advance information on new product offerings, proven SRI portfolio strategies, and much more. And like you, we walk the talk — we live clean-energy, whole-food, alternative lifestyles. For example, both of our offices are powered by the sun.
* “SRI Basics” — USSIF.org