Socially Responsible Investing
"How many hearts with warm red blood in them are beating under cover of the woods, and how many teeth and eyes are shining! A multitude of animal people, intimately related to us, but of whose lives we know almost nothing, are as busy about their own affairs as we are about ours..."
John Muir, The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West, 1898
Responsible investing is investing in and supporting companies whose philosophies reflect those of your own, with a secondary purpose of encouraging other companies to become more responsible.
It's also called value-based investing, natural investing, and environmentally responsible investing. Whatever you call it, it offers you the opportunity to connect your investment strategies with your moral and ethical belief systems. Instead of supporting industries and corporations whose methods, products, and policies are in opposition to your view of the world as it should be, you can use your money to promote positive social change.
Even better, many screened funds do as well or better than non-screened funds. You don't have to sacrifice your own future for the future of the planet - you can have both.
It's a growing trend, and there are a number of organizations, commercial and otherwise, who screen companies on social, environmental, and a variety of other criteria and offer investment opportunities in screened funds.
NOTE: The funds/companies listed below include some who screen on environmental and animal rights issues. The inclusion of any link on this page should not be interpreted to mean that I endorse, support, invest in, or suggest for you to invest in any fund, company, or program! Contact the companies yourself and research the screening criteria, performance, and fees.
"We promote the awareness of socially and environmentally responsible business, investing and consumer resources. Our goal is to educate and empower individuals and businesses to make informed financial decisions through aligning their corporate and financial principles."
Domini provides two socially responsible investment products, a Social Equity Fund and a Money Market Account. Domini's goal is "A more just and sustainable economic system, grounded in principles of tolerance, respect for the environment, and equality."
"Founded by a partnership of non-profit environmental advocacy organizations, the Green Century Funds...are a family of environmentally conscious mutual funds." "The Green Century Balanced Fund strives to invest in companies whose business is to protect the environment and companies that have taken steps to minimize their environmental impact."(Note: tracks the Domini 400 - see above.)
The oldest socially-screened fund. Supports peace projects and provides capital for sustainable development. Invests in companies that produce "life-supportive" goods and services. Screens on environmental policies and fair employment.
Invests in "high social impact" community investments.