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Is the Mortgage Interest Deduction a Wasted Incentive?
By Mel Miller

Today’s Congress is so focused on deficit reduction that many of the Great Society programs initiated by President Lyndon Johnson are facing major overhaul in an expense reduction effort. The attitude of Congress has changed dramatically over the last fifty years. Gone is the desire to strengthen the policies of the Great Society programs that Read more »

Posted: July 24, 2015

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Great Pacific Garbage Patch
By Ahnika LeRoy, Contributor

“It seemed unbelievable, but I never found a clear spot. In the week it took to cross the subtropical high [between Hawaii and the continental U.S.], no matter what time of day I looked, plastic debris was floating everywhere: bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, fragments.” Since Captain Charles Moore’s discovery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch Read more »

Posted: July 22, 2015

Pope Francis

The Pope and the Politics of Climate Change
By Rebecca Jackson, Contributor

Climate change has long been a polarizing issue in the United States. With a Presidential election on the horizon, this issue will likely become even more divisive as candidates duke it out for funding and votes. However, the usual lines of demarcation between left-and-right are blurring-thanks, in part, to Pope Francis.   In June, the Pope Read more »

Posted: July 17, 2015

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YUM! Joins the Growing Corporate Commitment to 100% Responsible Palm Oil
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Trillium Asset Management and First Affirmative Financial Network joined forces last fall to file a shareholder resolution at Yum! Brands asking for quantitative information that demonstrates the extent to which Yum! is curtailing the impact of its palm oil supply chain on deforestation and human rights. This resolution was withdrawn after productive dialogue with the Read more »

Posted: July 15, 2015

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CEOs Join Forces to Ask for a Global Emissions Reduction Goal
By George Gay

I recently joined forces with CEOs from 120 institutional investors urging the Group of 7 (G7) finance ministers and central bank governors to support the inclusion of a long-term emissions reduction goal in the international climate agreement to be negotiated in Paris in December, 2015. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain why. High-Stakes, Read more »

Posted: July 10, 2015

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Investors Urge Kinder Morgan to Accept Climate Change Realities
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

For the second year in a row, Kinder Morgan, which describes itself as “the largest energy infrastructure company in North America,” was faced with environmentally-focused shareholder resolutions at their Annual General Meeting (“AGM”): First Affirmative asked for a report analyzing if and how the company’s capital expenditure strategies are consistent with the commitment made in Read more »

Posted: July 2, 2015

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Promising Growth in the Organic Food Sector
By Ahnika LeRoy, Contributor

  According to a national survey, 71% of Americans are worried about pesticides in their food, and 74% would like to eat food on which fewer pesticides are used. Given these preferences, it is no surprise to see strong growth and market share gains in the organic food industry. In 2014, organics captured nearly 5% Read more »

Posted: June 19, 2015

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Disclosing Secret Corporate Political Spending Does Not Hinder Free Speech
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

An essential characteristic of good corporate governance is appropriate disclosure of material risks and opportunities by companies to their shareowners. Such disclosure allows investors to make better informed decisions about the companies in which they invest. This is why much of First Affirmative’s advocacy work focuses on disclosure practices. One particular area of focus is Read more »

Posted: June 5, 2015

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Environmental Economics and Impact Investing
By Ahnika LeRoy, Contributor

While conventional wisdom holds that environmental protection and financial success are at loggerheads, they can coexist and even flourish together. The growth in impact investing, a form of investment designed to generate financial gain and positive social and environmental impact, is a testament to investors’ willingness to take non-financial factors into account in their investment Read more »

Posted: May 27, 2015

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International Biodiversity Day
By Ahnika LeRoy, Contributor

The United Nations has proclaimed May 22 to be the International Day for Biological Diversity  in order to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues. Biodiversity is traditionally defined as the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem, but this definition only scratches the surface.  There are two types Read more »

Posted: May 22, 2015

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