Friday, August 31, 2018

Aligning capital markets with sustainability-What’s in your wallet/IRA?

So many people care about sustainability issues and donate to charities but still invest in businesses that undermine our long term well-being. I told our investment team, “I’m working to make the world better; I don’t want to have our assets going toward making the world worse!”

What’s in your wallet/401-K? Unless you’ve chosen Sustainable/socially responsible mutual funds or directed your stock broker to align your investments with your values, you likely own stocks that would make you squirm. Lots of studies have shown you can do as well or better by investing in sustainable leaders, so why not join the growing number of sustainable investors and make a switch?

I’ve also found that corporations pursuing sustainability often haven’t thought about aligning their investments. And worse, most financial institutions have been amoral; if it makes money, we’re in.

But that is starting to change. Major re-insurance companies like Swiss Re have long recognized risks associated with climate change. Rising sea levels are affecting property values in Florida. And slowly major financial institutions are discovering their role in making the world better, in addressing the Sustainable Development Goals. People like Steve Waygood (perfect name!) are leading the charge.

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