Socially Responsible Investment: A Global Revolution

Socially Responsible Investment: A Global Revolution

Socially Responsible Investment: A Global Revolution

Socially Responsible Investment: A Global Revolution

Synopsis

Over recent years there has been rapid consumer-led growth in investing in socially responsible companies to the extent that it has had an influence on corporate policies. New regulations recognise the public interest by requiring all pension funds to declare their ethical policy. Investors can no longer just consider the financial aspects of a company before investing but also have to consider the complex world of ethical investments. Should the ethical policy take precedence over the financial aspects? Should policies be inclusive or exclusive? What percentage of a company's income has to come from unacceptable sources before the source is excluded? Should any exclusion policy also extend to those involved in selling or transporting goods deemed unacceptable? This is the first book to look at socially responsible investment from the perspective of the institutional investor, who will be led through the complex dilemmas of socially responsible investment with practical examples and advice.

Excerpt

(Tim Smith is Senior Vice President at Walden Asset Management, a Boston based money management firm involved in socially responsible investing for over 25 years. Walden is involved in screening, community development investing, public policy and shareholder advocacy. Before joining Walden, in October 2001, Tim worked at the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility for 30 years. In 2002 he was elected as President of the Social Investment Forum, the U.S. trade association for social investors.)

I am pleased to provide this foreword to a book that is both timely and extremely relevant. I am also pleased that Russell felt comfortable in asking someone from the United States to add some thoughts leading into this important book. In a sense, this symbolizes the fact that ethical investing or socially responsible investing is increasingly a global reality, as relevant in London or Paris as in New York or Sydney. It's not just a global reality that we watch from afar as independent observers, but it is an evolving process where investors are working together to insure that their investments mirror their value and that corporations are being held accountable for their social and environmental impact.

Russell Sparkes is not only a commentator on this reality, he has been involved in its creation for many years as a leader in the faith community in the U.K. He also represents the bridge, personally and institutionally, between the money management world and that of a values based organization. In that sense we have walked a similar path. I moved to Walden after 3 decades at ICCR, a remarkable Interfaith organization that co-ordinated the work of 275 Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish institutions. I served as the Executive Director but I was but one of scores of remarkable religious leaders . . .

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