GreenMoney Dec17_SRI Outlook 2018

Welcome to the December Issue

The GreenMoney team is honored to be a co-winner of the 2017 SRI Service Award presented at the recent SRI Conference. The Award recognizes individuals that demonstrate a range of contributions to the field, including industry leadership and success in expanding the influence of investing for a sustainable future.

Every December we like to do an ‘Outlook on the Year Ahead‘ issue. After such an unparalleled 2017, the year ahead should be…I’ll let my writers fill that in. Sure to be on many SRI investor’s minds are the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). John Adams of the Arbor Group at UBS recently told me that they have been expanding their traditional ESG screens to include reviewing companies in comparison to the 17 SDGs. He is finding that an increasing number of large corporations are reporting their actions in reference to the SDGs, which can provide valuable insight into their performance and impact.

Cliff Feigenbaum, founder My 2018 Outlook

by Amy Domini, Domini Impact Investments and The Sustainability Group

Looking ahead through 2018, higher corporate earnings are inevitable with the new lower tax rates which ought to lead to the sort of volatility-free rise in the stock market that 2017 saw. Further, employment is full in this country; emerging economies continue to grow at rates that exceed those of developed economies; exciting new industries such as software-as-a-service, alternative energy storage and the internet of things arise with comforting regularity fueling dynamic growth. Stocks are pricey, but if we add five percent growth rates in (the result of a five percent cut in taxes) they are fair. Why worry?

Because there’s the other picture. There are two enormous longer-term and permanent threats to my cheerful scenario. China is the macro geopolitical one and the other is due to climate change. Further, there are three short-term unavoidable threats, also worth acknowledging – North Korea, higher interest rates, and the November 2018 elections.  READ FULL ARTICLE

What’s Next on a Random Walk Down Facebook Lane

by Francis G. Coleman, Executive Vice President, CBIS

There are 3 lessons to be learned from the experiences that Facebook has had. First, Agnosticism Comes at a Price. We live in a values laden society. To presume that those values can be discounted or factored out of the algorithmic equation ignores the current reality of our society and world. It is still people who are using the platform and people are imperfect.

Second, Human Sensitivities Trump Algorithms. It’s not clear to me whether it is ever possible or desirable to totally expunge human sensitivities from decision-making, especially for a company that operates across a spectrum of cultures and continents. Third, Being the “Smartest Person in the Room” is Sometimes a Disadvantage. Well, it’s not just being the smartest person in the room that is the problem, it is when you know it and act like it and discount any other warning signals that emerge to suggest an alternative plan of action.  READ FULL ARTICLE

Urgent Needs for 2018

by John Streur, President and CEO, Calvert Research and Management

Aligning the capital markets more directly with the urgent needs we face as a society to halt environmental destruction and reverse decades of worsening inequality must be our priority for 2018. Alignment needs to occur at every level, across the global markets. Despite the tremendous efforts behind the Paris Climate Accord, formalization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and a long history of other efforts to change the course of climate change and inequality, we are not making nearly the progress needed.

The 1,700 signatories to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, which represent $70 trillion of assets and a wave of press about environmental, social and governance-oriented investing, have not gotten us on track. It is essential that we develop the tools to strengthen our investment system, getting much more capital moving away from laggard companies into companies that can drive positive change, and to make systemic changes to raise the bar for all companies.  READ FULL ARTICLE