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What Socially Responsible Investing Means to Us

For both social and invest­ment rea­sons, we focus on well-​managed com­pa­nies with sus­tain­able busi­ness prac­tices capa­ble of deliv­er­ing worth­while returns for a num­ber of years. The secu­ri­ties that we man­age are screened for a wide range of social cri­te­ria and are voted in a con­sci­en­tious way. Our share­holder activism includes ini­ti­at­ing com­pany dia­logues and co-​filing share­holder res­o­lu­tions on behalf of our clients.

In our opin­ion, the pri­mary rea­son to apply screens and to engage in share­holder activism is to achieve improve­ments in com­pa­nies’ behav­ior. We encour­age our clients to pro­vide us with pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive social screens.

Our default screens are detailed on the fol­low­ing pages and include:

  • Endeav­or­ing to avoid hold­ings in indus­tries that are intrin­si­cally unac­cept­able, like tobacco, weapons of war, hand­guns, and nuclear power plants.
  • Try­ing to select sus­tain­able com­pa­nies based on how well they respect their stake­hold­ers as well as the nat­ural environment.

We carry out in-​house pri­mary research on envi­ron­men­tal, social, and gov­er­nance issues as well as employ­ing third party social research ser­vices. We involve our­selves in the activ­i­ties of US SIF, col­lab­o­rate with other socially respon­si­ble invest­ment firms, and have a wide net­work of NGO con­tacts that we often consult.

No com­pany is per­fect. While social screens are impor­tant, cor­po­rate dia­log remains vital. Con­ver­sa­tions with man­age­ment alert cor­po­ra­tions to the pres­ence of socially respon­si­ble investors and give us a forum to con­vey our clients’ con­cerns and val­ues. If the dia­logue reaches an impasse, we can file share­holder res­o­lu­tions on your behalf.

We are proud to com­pare our invest­ment results to stock indices and invest­ment man­agers that do not apply social screens. Social screens, as we and oth­ers define them, do not have an inevitable neg­a­tive effect on invest­ment results.