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Students Push to Integrate Sustainability in Investing
By Tyler Collins

Following in the recent progress at the University of Pittsburgh, students at the University of New Hampshire are beginning to see the benefit of sustainable investing. This week, two members of the student-run Atkins Investment Group at UNH will attempt to convince their fellow members on the benefits of using environmental, social, and governance factors in investing.

Austin Perea and Brian Morin, the two students leading the initiative, hope to persuade the group that sustainable investing makes sense from a financial standpoint because sustainable companies reduce their risk of regulatory fines, civil litigation, and reputational damage. Their goal is for the group to employ ESG analysis methods across the entire fund, not just individual investment sectors.

According to a 2011 study by professors at the Harvard and London business schools, corporations that consider sustainability in their operations generate better long-term stock performance than similar non-sustainable companies.

“I think there are multiple ways to mitigate climate change, environmental degradation, the social ills of the world—and one of those is through sustainable investing,” said Perea, whose inspiration for sustainable investing came from a summer internship with Pax World.

“It’s part of a national movement at universities and at business schools in particular toward a more socially conscious form of capitalism,” says Yusi Turell, executive director of the Carsey Institute’s Center on Social Innovation and Finance.

UNH Today press release.

Posted: November 12, 2012