Socially Responsible Investing An Overview of Policies, Screens, and Tools
Villanova University • Villanova is founded by the Roman Catholic order of St. Augustine • Values implemented into the University include: • Truth, Community and Caring • A thorough understanding of ethics is also an integral part of Villanova
Catholic Bishops • The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops invest in fiscally sound, responsible and accountable manner. • The USCCB require a reasonable return, while being socially responsible • USCCB believe that the funds a company attains from stock offerings need to be used responsibly.
USCCB • The USCCB use catholic moral principles as a bases for their investment policy. • They believe that by applying these morals to their investment strategy they will avoid scandals. • An example is not investing in conventional military weapons and gambling stocks.
USCCB’s Policy on Major SRI Issues • Abortion • Contraceptives • Embryonic Stem Cell/Human Cloning • Human Rights • Race/Gender Discrimination • Access to Pharmaceuticals
USCCB’s Policy on Major SRI Issues • Curbing Pornography • Production and Sale of Weapons • Antipersonnel landmines • Labor Standards/Sweatshops • Protecting the Environment • Corporate Responsibility • Affordable Housing/Banking
Extrapolating the Bishops’ Statement • Not directly addressed by the bishops: -Alcohol -Tobacco -Gaming
Domini Funds SRI • Screens • Does not screen for pro-life issues (i.e. abortion, contraception) • Avoids companies that primarily sell items that can have “negative impact” (i.e. alcohol, tobacco, gambling, firearm, military arm products, agricultural chemicals, CFC products) or run nuclear power plants—purpose is not to make moral judgements • Certain social screens are not black/white (qualitative analysis of positives & negatives)
Domini Funds SRI • Ideal Companies • Actively give to charitable organizations (especially housing & education) • Have diverse management • Have benefit policies that are friendly to families (hiring programs for disabled & gay/lesbian individuals applauded as well) • Offer employee-ownership programs and fair labor practices • Avoid polluting activities or engage in environmentally-friendly activities (i.e. recycling, pollution prevention, donations to conservation groups), or work to create alternative energy sources • Do not exploit underdeveloped countries • Produce safe products
Domini 400 • Socially-Responsible Equity Index • 400 US Equities that meet Domini’s social screening criteria • Big companies not in index: Wal-Mart, ExxonMobil, Citibank
IW Financial • Workstation that meets clients’ guidelines so that investors can find good investments without sacrificing performance • Analyze portfolios -emerging risk factors -corporate practices • Evaluate companies from multiple perspectives aside from financial performance -corporate governance -environmental -human rights