Finding Palm Oil: The Journey Continues
By JJ Jahania

Instant noodles. Laundry detergent. Ice cream. Shampoo. At first glance, it may appear that these items are unrelated; however, they actually have more in common than you might think. All of these products can be found in your local grocery store, and they all contain palm oil. Palm oil is the most widely-used type of Read more »

Posted: July 12, 2016

Chemical Footprint Project Releases First Report
By JJ Jahania

Last week, the Chemical Footprint Project (CFP) published its introductory annual report on corporate progress toward reducing chemical footprints. This report is the first of its kind to shed light on the chemical management practices of some of the world's largest and most recognizable brands. The CFP initiative was launched in 2014 with the support Read more »

Posted: June 2, 2016

Shareowners to Companies: Take Action on Climate!
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Originally published as a Future 500 blog. Shareowners have the opportunity every year to weigh in on issues they believe companies should address by filing shareholder resolutions at the company's annual meeting. By taking a close look at the resolutions filed each year, investor priorities emerge. According to the latest Proxy Preview, a comprehensive overview Read more »

Posted: May 26, 2016

How Far Would You Travel to Save Your Homeland?
By Holly Testa, Director, Shareowner Engagement

Small shareowners may feel powerless to have any impact on the decision-making of the enormous public corporations in which they invest. However, there are times when a few shares and a lot of teamwork can make a difference. Here is a case where a coalition of players, including shareowners, worked together to give a voice Read more »

Posted: May 19, 2016

Why We Are Impatient for More Patient Capital
By Mel Miller

At First Affirmative we've built a business that helps our clients invest in companies that operate sustainably and responsibly. The investments strategies we offer own companies that contribute to a clean and healthy environment, treat people fairly, embrace equal opportunity, produce safe and useful products, and support efforts to promote a more peaceful world, all Read more »

Posted: May 10, 2016

SRI Conference Fossil Fuel Divestment Survey Results
By James Griffitts, Contributor

SURVEY: SRI FINANCIAL PROFESSIONALS MANAGING 100% FOSSIL FUEL FREE PORTFOLIOS MORE THAN DOUBLED IN THREE YEARS See Full Survey Results Here 4th Annual SRI Conference Poll on Fossil Fuel Divestment Finds Fossil-Fuel Free Investing Continues to Attract More Retail and Institutional Investor Interest. NEW YORK CITY AND COLORADO SPRINGS – May 5, 2016 – For Read more »

Posted: May 5, 2016

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

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

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

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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