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How Long Does a Company Need to Stay in SRI Jail?
By Laura Isanuk

The modern world of Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) investing was initially based on avoiding undesirable companies. Twenty-five years ago, responsible investment strategies were primarily based on "negative screening" which initially focused on avoiding "sin stocks" such as tobacco and alcohol. Over time, other avoidance criteria were included in the portfolio construction process to side-step companies Read more »

Posted: April 25, 2016

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What Should Shareowners Say on Pay?
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

As income inequality continues to rise, outsized executive pay packages linked to short-term performance are being called into question. This was discussed at length during the recent Investing for Impact event First Affirmative hosted in San Francisco. In 2011, the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) mandated that shareowners have a "say on pay"-the right to Read more »

Posted: April 20, 2016

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First Affirmative Marketing Internship Available
By James Griffitts, Contributor

Marketing Internship: First Affirmative Financial Network The Company: First Affirmative Financial Network is an independent investment advisory firm specializing in Sustainable, Responsible, Impact (SRI) investing. The firm offers asset management and consulting services to individual and institutional investors seeking to align investment decision-making with personal values and/or institutional missions. To learn more about the company, Read more »

Posted: April 1, 2016

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SEC Dismantles Roadblock to Shareowner Engagement
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Investment advisors who file shareholder proposals on behalf of clients can no longer be compelled by companies to provide unwarranted documentation that proves their authority to do so.  This is thanks to the work of Bruce Herbert, Chief Executive of Newground Social Investment, a Seattle-based investment advisor and long-standing partner of First Affirmative Financial Network Read more »

Posted: March 17, 2016

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Corporate Political Spending Remains in the Dark
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

As noted in a previous blog post, the 2010 Supreme Court decision, Citizens United, opened the floodgates for unlimited political spending. This includes secret funds or “dark money” funneled through third parties. The majority of Justices optimistically assumed that appropriate disclosure would accompany the increased political spending. But while the flood of money has certainly Read more »

Posted: February 17, 2016

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2015: An Impactful Year for Sustainable Investing
By Mike Sakraida

Exciting progress was made by the SRI (Sustainable, Responsible, Impact) investment industry in 2015. Here, we offer two lists of three important stories and trends that are likely to impact most individual and institutional investors, including retirement plans, foundations, and endowments. After many years of path breaking effort, we may finally be approaching a "tipping Read more »

Posted: December 23, 2015

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Unintended Consequences: Student Debt
By Mel Miller

Within the sustainable, responsible, impact investing community, intention is important. Intention sets us apart from other investment styles, even if those other investment activities happen to generate unintended positive social and environmental impacts. However, intention alone is rarely sufficient. When we use tools such as investing to solve sizeable problems, there is always a risk Read more »

Posted: December 16, 2015

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Shareowner Action on Climate: What Is the Impact?
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

The escalating investor concern about climate change risk is reflected in the level of shareowner activity over the last 15 years. Shareholder resolutions related to climate change numbered less than 10 in 2001, but this number has skyrocketed to 167 in 2015. This does not include the many dialogues and other communications not related to Read more »

Posted: December 7, 2015

Creative Commons: “Paris 2015 COP21” by Ron Mader is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A Brief Guide to COP21
By Ahnika LeRoy, Contributor

COP21, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, begins on November 30th in Paris. COP21's goal is "for the first time in over 20 years of UN negotiations" to "achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2C." Read more »

Posted: November 25, 2015

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Survey: 2 Out Of 5 Financial Advisors Say They Already Offer "Impact Investing" to Clients, Another 15 Percent Plan To Do So
By Steve Schueth

Financial Advisors Agree: Millennials, Women, and College-educated Investors are Top Three Groups Driving the Availability of Impact-Investing Choices COLORADO SPRINGS (October 28, 2015)—“Impact investing” is a hot topic in the financial world today. Already, 39% of surveyed financial professionals say they are offering such choices to clients and another 15% plan to do so in Read more »

Posted: October 29, 2015

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