Definitions — we are so over them in the social investing sector. Yet once in a while a new definition comes along, and we really need to pay attention. That’s the case with the definition for social investing proposed by a new report, After the Gold Rush, from the Alternative Commission on Social Investment (ACSI). This report highlights telling developments in the practice of social investing and yields a new, clarifying meaning for the term.
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So long as banks are solely focused on short-term interests and are rooted in maximizing profit, there is no intrinsic motivation for change. But there is a lesser-known model of banking that is based around a different premise: values-based banking. It takes a long-tail view of banking and finance, and includes all stakeholders.
Investor confidence in the solar energy sector continues to grow. Highlighting a strong quarterly rebound in corporate solar sector finance in Q1’15, residential and commercial solar funds raised a record-high of nearly $2 billion during this year’s first quarter, according to Mercom Capital’s latest quarterly report.
Tax filing is a headache, and that’s why some 80 million Americans invest in professional tax preparation. But it doesn’t have to be that way, points out the nonpartisan organization Maplight. The research group did some digging and found that there are big names and big money standing in the way of a bill to simplify the tax filing system. The pockets are deep: to the tune of $35 million. And several top politicians own stock in the companies most fiercely opposed to tax filing reform.
The feminist in me struggles with the topic of “women in investing.” The suggestion of a special category implies a difference, and a difference, when it comes to women, tends to mean a weakness. Women and the sciences, women and sports, the debates about women’s powers make me, as a woman, uncomfortable. But then I review my own story. I manage assets for people who are interested in socially responsible investing, and over 60 percent of the money I manage belongs to women.
California is America’s climate policy leader, home to both the country’s biggest clean energy industry and an internationally-linked carbon market being modeled across the world. But to build on this momentum, it must go even further. A recent proposal to cut emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 will support the push for international commitments leading up to this year’s COP21 climate conference in Paris. It will also empower California to keep leading America’s clean energy transition.
Women are the largest emerging market in the world – twice as big as India and China combined – with over $5 trillion in growth since 2009. As a result, women are poised to have a massive impact on the investment and financial services spheres in the coming decades. And as such, conversations have moved away from stark gender comparisons toward discussions that focus on how the investing world must adapt and embrace women in their own right.
How are sustainable business practices initiated and valuated? Though materiality assessments continue to advance in sophistication, in order to initiate sustainable or inclusive business projects, managers must still demonstrate the business case, usually in the form of Profit = Revenue – Cost.
Some foundations have been criticized for investing in corrections facilities, but it is not always easy to know what is hidden in large opaque investment vehicles. In fact, anyone with broad passive exposure to the U.S. equity market through his or her pension or 401(k) plan is likely to have ownership of America’s largest private prison companies.
Are you ready to bare it all? In a major shift in attitudes toward sustainability and the role of business in society, environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure is now a major focus for investors and businesses alike. Businesses who know how to monitor and report ESG results — and investors who know how to interpret them — will come first in global a race for greater transparency.
The U.N. Environment Program’s 2015 report is chock full of facts and figures testifying to ongoing growth in global renewable energy investment. Following two years of lower totals, investors plowed over $270 billion into renewable energy in 2014, just 3 percent lower than the record high in 2010.
Panasonic Eco Solutions, Clean Power Finance and Coronal Group launched a partnership that aims to make solar more to businesses and non-profits.
Energy Finance 2015, a four-day training program for environmental advocates and attorneys, convened last week at the NYU School of Law. On day two, Paul Coster, lead alternative-energy analyst for JPMorgan Chase, made headlines by saying, “2014 was a historic year for investments for renewables.”
The Holy Land Principles call for ethical standards for American businesses investing in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. Their principles are impressive, and the need is there. But are they far-reaching enough?
Corporations’ activities related to climate change and political lobbying are among those of greatest concern to shareholders, proxy proposals reveal.