Voting on corporate behavior: Values investing

As an investor re-jiggering your investment portfolio or your 401K, do you also consider a company’s values?

Increasingly we can make investment choices based on more than business fundamentals and performance, but also apply an additional filter based on our personal values. You can invest in companies based on their environmental practices, political preferences and even build a portfolio based on your religious values.

Portland, Maine-based IW Financial is a pioneer in gathering the performance and governance data that helps guide these decisions – what the trade calls ESG research (environmental, social and governance). They just pointed out  the latest move by Disney to be more sustainable, announcing new policies in their paper and plastic packaging. Remember, Disney makes more than movies. It is a major global book publisher too. The new commitment to reducing paper use overall, and specifically, to stop sourcing paper from tropical rainforests.  The advocacy group Rainforest Action Network (RAN) is taking credit for pressing for many of these changes.

As they say, the buck stops at the top, and that includes ethical behavior.  IW Financial explains how essential good corporate governance is to authentically doing the right thing, not just saying the right thing. From the investor point of view or the corporate leader point of view, they recognize that using investment dollars as a values vote is increasingly effecting company behavior.


About christengraham

President of Giving Strong, Inc. Christen advises businesses, foundations and families for how to make a greater social impact.