SocialFunds.com reports that the 15-year track record of strong, positive stock returns by the Domini 400 Social Index (DSI), demonstrates that SRI performs competitively, and sometimes outperforms the broader market, including the S&P 500.
“The Domini index has helped validate socially responsible investing through its long-term record, which is very similar to that of the S&P 500,” said David Kathman, an analyst with mutual fund rating agency Morningstar who covers SRI.
Since May 1, 1990 inception of the Domini 400 Social Index (DSI)through April 30, 2005, it has generated 438.79 percent total returns, almost 60 percentage points more than the S&P 500’s returns of 381.89 percent. Read the CSR Newswire story.
The National Apollo Alliance of Washington State has proposed using state pension funds to creatively finance energy efficient upgrades to major buildings as well as to fund renewable energy projects.
A recent $3.5 million smart energy and efficiency upgrade of a Seattle skyscraper by Washington Real Estate Holdings, which manages the state’s pension funds, lowered average annual energy consumption by 40 percent, saved nearly 7 million kilowatt hours of energy per year, and had a 16.5% ROI with only a 6 year payback. This is what SMART, PROFITABLE, and SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS is all about!
These projects create jobs, lower our need for imported oil, and make life better for all. It seems like a no brainer to me…read entire story in Sustainable Industries Journal Northwest.
Washington state became the first state in the nation to enact a “Green Building” law requiring all new state buildings (K-12 schools, universities and other public buildings) bigger than 5,000 square feet meet or exceed the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification which takes into account a building’s materials, lighting, heating and cooling systems, water efficiency, landscaping, emissions’ reductions and other innovative building elements.
Other U.S. cities, including Chicago and Austin, Texas, have pioneered similar legislation. Read the story in Sustainable Industries Journal
Take a look at this amazing and practical look at how CSR is being intertwined into businesses in India. US companies can learn from India how to use CSR to build a positive brand image among their employees, the community, and shareholders.
The benefits of CSR include building a positive image and encouraging social involvement of employees, which in turn develops a sense of loyalty to the company. CSR activities help bond employees as a team, and with the organisation, which in turn helps create a dedicated workforce that is proud of its employer. Read the entire article from Express Online, India’s IT Business Weekly
Read this fantastic opinion piece about keeping the green dream alive in this unsettling, changing world from Kelpie Wilson of Truthout.org. She gives us a few suggestions to help us change the world on this Earth Day 2005 and implores us to “think of them as investments in a better future” not as chores “to add to an already endless list.” Happy Earth Day!
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of commissioners, the largest municipally owned utility in the nation, has just voted to approve funding for the Pine Tree Wind project, making it the largest wind system built in the Western U.S. since passage of the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard. The project’s new energy generation facility will provide up to 120 megawatts (MW) of wind power for the City of Los Angeles.
LA Mayor Jim Hahn states, “The Pine Tree Wind Project will be a powerful step toward achieving my goal of a 20 percent renewable power mix by 2017.” More in Sustainable Business dot com
A Vadodara, India based agency for promotion of non-conventional energy, Gujarat Energy Development Agency(GEDA)has proposed to provide electricity to all major establishments in the city through the power generated from solar energy. The proposal includes the commissioning of photovoltaic power plant with capacity of one megawatt to cater to the power need of the city as well as distribution of solar cooker and solar water heaters to the establishments such as schools, hospitals, hostels and guesthouses.
“The proposed ambitious plan would create the state capital as a first ‘solar city’ in India where the major necessities of power will be fulfilled through non-conventional sources of energy” said S B Patil, deputy director of GEDA who is a part of the team that has designed blue print. Read article from Business Standard online
Thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy potential in Africa, Asia, South and Central America have been documented through the multi-million dollar project, the Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment (SWERA). SWERA is an assessment that includes data on wind and solar energy potential, plus detailed country energy analyses in 13 partner countries.
According to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Klaus Toepfer, SWERA is good example of international cooperation that can produce positive environmental and social outcomes, saying “as energy planners seek cleaner energy solutions using renewable energy technologies, the availability of reliable, accurate and accessible solar and wind energy information is critical and can significantly accelerate the deployment of these technologies.” Check out the article from the Environmental News Services
GreenBiz and the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program have collaborated to produce the first report showing the irrefutable link between a company’s energy management strategy and higher shareholder value. In addition, the report looks at how financial analysts and institutional investors have come to understand this energy-value connection, and how energy management is becoming a stronger measure by which to assess a company’s overall investment value. Download the official report here
There is a growing concern by land owners in rural areas regarding Wind Farms being too large and taking up too much space.
David Suzuki, writer for New Science Magazine says it is time for some perspective, “With the growing urgency of climate change, we cannot have it both ways. We cannot shout from the rooftops about the dangers of global warming and then turn around and shout even louder about the “dangers” of windmills.” Read entire article
At their recent shareholder meetings, Whole Foods Market took a huge step forward by agreeing to label their private label brand products as GE-Free. Indigo Teiwes of Progressive Investments says,
Improving transparency, increasing consumer education, and realizing the full benefit of the company’s market advantage resulting from this decision is a strategic business move. Given increasing consumer concerns about genetically engineered foods, Whole Foods is taking advantage of a natural opportunity to enhance its market share.
Read about it at Organic Consumer Association.
The Duke Energy Corporation has decided to take the lead in addressing the global warming problem by lobbying for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions that would reduce fossil fuel consumption.
Duke Energy CEO Paul Anderson says he personally feels, “the time has come to act – to take steps as a nation to reduce the carbon intensity of our economy.” Read more in Forbes.com.
As 2005 corporate shareholder meetings begin, investors and other stakeholders are demanding that companies exhibit more environmentally responsible behavior. Investors concerned about environmental degradation and its long-term impact on corporate profits are seeking to improve “green” performance. Read the story at Yahoo News
Partially funded by the Canadian government, Drake Landing Development is building a 52-home solar powered community in freezing Alberta of all places. The solar system will harvest the sun’s rays in summer and use them to heat homes in winter. “This system significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrates the importance of using clean, renewable energy sources,” Tommy Banks, a Canadian parliamentarian. Read more in Reuters
Sustainability as a key bottom-line issue for investors is poised to break through into the mainstream in 2005. Large corporations such as IBM, Dell, AMD and Electrolux already know what investors will learn in 2005, that “Sustainability is good for the planet and it can be good for shareholder wealth,” said Portfolio 21 co-founder Carsten Henningsen. Read in SustainableBusiness.com about the 3 sustainability trends to watch for in ’05.