Magazine article Science & Spirit

Take Five: Socially Responsible Investing Encompasses a Broad Range of Funds

Magazine article Science & Spirit

Take Five: Socially Responsible Investing Encompasses a Broad Range of Funds

Article excerpt

DOMINI SOCIAL EQUITY FUND:

In 1991, after she was unable to find a brokerage that would invest ethically for her, stockbroker Amy Domini founded what is now America's largest socially responsible index fund. The fund, which now holds more than 1.8 billion dollars in assets, has become the public face of socially responsible investing, thanks, in part, to Domini's books and to the fund's mainstream philosophy--it concentrates on companies with sound environmental policies and generous employee benefits, for instance. A year prior to launching the fund, Domini and two colleagues introduced the Domini 400 Social Index to track the performance of socially responsible companies.

GREEN CENTURY FUNDS:

This fourteen-year-old Boston-based fund family seeks out S&P 500 and Lipper Fund Index companies that "progress the [environmental] movement forward," according to Ethan Berkwits, vice president for marketing. Green Century, which holds roughly 95 million dollars in assets, also keeps a proprietary fund through which to buy stocks on its own account so that, through shareholder advocacy, it can confront companies with unsound environmental policies. Recently, Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs read Green Century the riot act for pressuring Apple to provide easy recycling for iPods. A month later, however, Apple announced it would offer a ten percent discount to buyers who traded in their old devices.

SHEFA FUND:

This nonprofit Jewish foundation relies on community investment to revitalize economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. …

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