Socially responsible investing 🌴

On account of it being the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day :earth_africa: today I’m interested to see how many of you would consider yourselves a socially responsible investor?

If you are it’d be great to hear what sort of companies are in your watchlist as we go through the current market rollercoaster! :thinking:

To follow your passions or your research? :sunglasses:

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An interesting read that temporarily brings a few new companies into the realm of socially responsible investing i’d say.

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Great article! Thanks for sharing @MitchKerr

It’s interesting to see how companies like Louis Vuitton that were also not considered socially responsible may now be considered, as they have shifted to selling hand sanitiser - keen to see how / if they evolve further once Covid is over.

I think being socially responsible as a company is important, but there are certain companies that are benefiting society that would not be considered a socially responsible investment against the ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria - like FB, despite being the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy and supplying wifi to unbanked areas, like in India, with their Express Wifi Initiative - a significant benefit for a lot of people.

Keen to hear what others on our community think / what you’re watching!

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Does investing in cannabis stocks count? :stuck_out_tongue:

Not really sure on this one… my portfolio is mainly tech company’s with the investment decision based on year on year performance and where I believe we are going.

I think most company’s at some level promote themselves as being socially responsible. It’s good PR i guess.

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Haha, I guess that depends on your lifestyle! :sunglasses:

So true regarding the PR! I guess it’s nice to hear these companies coming through to assist when they can (if they can) but I do agree that’s it’s probably a form of publicity stunt. I mean how often does this really happen!

I’m mainly interested in tech stocks too but I guess that’s because I know a lot more about them. Have to keep in the know of the space i’m working in right! :wink:

Hoping to hear of some wacky out there suggestions that might fall under socially responsible investing so I can dip my toes into something new and unfamiliar to me! I was raised by a property developer so socially responsible topics weren’t exactly dinner table conversation in our house :sweat_smile:

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@vekariya17 :joy: haha well I guess cannabis has a lot of medicinal benefits :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

Fully agree on the PR side.

@MitchKerr :joy: haha let’s make sure you’re not in charge of social responsibility at Evarvest :wink: :upside_down_face:

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Having a PR background, I totally agree with you @vekariya17 - many companies understand CSR as part of their PR strategy, which leads them to spend their money on wrongly understood CSR activities. To give an example, I’ve recently noticed a huge outdoor campaign ran by one of the biggest retailers in Lithuania in which they say ‘thank you’ to all the doctors and nurses who fight against coronavirus. Although generally nice, I don’t think it’s a proper way of spending money in these hard times. To me CSR activities should bring real value to the world we live in and I don’t see this value in these posters :thinking:

@MitchKerr as far as I know the property sector - nowadays CSR is one of most commonly discussed subjects there - with all the green energy, sustainable local development & work-life balance stuff :rofl:

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Times have changed then! :wink: For me when we drove past a park I’d hear… what a waste of space, you could build 50 apartments on that :rofl: It is great to see so many modern developers considering the environment though. We’re always going to need housing but its important to create it in the most sustainable way possible.

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If the UK has a baby boom :stuck_out_tongue: … apartment sizes might need to be 3/4 bed rooms from the normal 1/2 beds.

Not sure how much of modern development is focused around being environmentally sustainable or are the decision made based on cost cutting.

For me when a company can create a win win situation it makes sense…
For example a retailer reducing the amount packaging material used to ship out items, therefore the reducing the initial cost of packaging and their carbon footprint…

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I can’t imagine UK flats getting any smaller! :sweat_smile: We’re spoilt for home sizes in Australia!

I guess the majority will always be focused on cost cutting! But there’s certainly more sustainable development happening than there was 20 years ago. But perhaps that’s just because the PR around it is much higher these days than back then…

I totally agree, and there really aren’t any excuses to not go down that path these days. At Waitrose today Avocados were being sold in a plastic case that was then wrapped in a plastic bag? Why! :thinking: What happened to the old loose setup with a paper bag to take them away…

Hi everyone!

This is my fist interaction in the community, and I’m so happy I get to do it on socially responsible investing! :palm_tree:

I gotta be honest, I don’t have a portfolio. Evarvest is my start :slight_smile:. I am, however, very into socially responsible investing, even asked once @StephBrennan in insta.
I actually work as a Sustainability and CSR analyst at a company offering services for supply chain management. And although I don’t work everyday with investing and ESG, I do have a couple of projects on it. So I would like to share some thoughts on this, hope they can be helpful for you!

@MitchKerr: the truth is, there isn’t as much clarity on ESG/impact investing. There are many ratings, popping out since last year even more, with Blackrock putting out their statement on how we gotta all be more responsible towards nature and society. The problem is that we don’t have yet a standardized methodology, and the metrics used are still a bit all over the place (for environmental aspects, some do gross numbers, others indexes, so it can become confusing at time. And when you get to the social aspect, it becomes complicated). However, you can start having a look at RobecoSAM’s Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, which is one of the most used when it comes to ESG. Also the Reuters responsible investing section has many good insights and articles to get started.

@StephBrennan, @Magda: Like Magda was saying, it’s always quite a struggle to figure out for many companies what CSR should address. Even at country level, e.g. India has a CSR law, making companies do community involvement activities and dedicate a % of their revenue to that. So we see there loads of actions like building schools, putting lights on the streets, supporting some sport activities, and tons of others. I totally agree with Steph, they’re a significant benefit for a lot of people, but I don’t think they should fall in the realm of Sustainability/CSR, as many times they’re more aimed at PR, or just keeping up the paradigm of “as long as I give some money back to everybody, I’m free of guilt to whatever happens when I make that money”. In any case, even the most advanced companies in terms of ESG ratings aren’t as transparent and certainly ride whatever good practice they have as much as they can, e.g. Unilever comes always on top in these ratings, and it has some really well thought eco products, but they represent only a minor % of their product portfolio. And on the other hand, their products represent a significant % of plastic polluting oceans and rivers. So it’s always tough to get a clearer picture through all the PR.

By the way, Kering has a really interesting sustainability measurement called the EP&L, were they actually put a financial value at the environmental and social aspects throughout their supply chain. It’s an interesting concept!

Anyways, sorry for the looooong post. Hope it was of help. Indeed for ESG investing one has still to dig in deep and there’s not so much clear indicators. But I do believe it’s growing and it will become more relevant, or at least that’s what I’m hoping, as that’s definitely my number 1 decision making tool :smiley:

I’ll be glad to help as much as I can on this regard if anybody ever has some doubts on this topic, always glad to share! :slight_smile:

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Hey @Vlad, first of all - glad to have you in our community :slight_smile:

And thanks for sharing your thoughts on the socially responsible investing - interesting read!

I’m not an experienced investor, but I tend to agree with you regarding the growing significance of the ESG investing. BTW / at Evarvest we’ve recently asked our waitlist subscribers what kind of companies would they be most keen to invest in and many of them opted for companies that are making the world a better place :earth_africa: I think it means something :wink:

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Thank you @Magda for the warm welcome!

That’s indeed great to hear, that investors are looking more and more at the impact of the companies, not only the profitability. Hopefully we will soon find some good balance to cover it!
On that note, you can also read this article from KPMG, on the state to sustainable investing.

Thank you!

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Thanks for sharing @Vlad and welcome to the community!

Some interesting stats within the KPMG report, I do admit I didn’t read the whole thing word for word :wink: But it’s definitely worth a read or flick through for those interest in Sustainable investing.

I think the majority of younger generations actually care about the world we live in and where it’s going so our decisions on where we invest our money are more about how we can help change the world for the better rather than to simply make a bunch of money. Obviously there is always a mix of people in each category (and there’s nothing wrong with just wanting money! :sunglasses:) but it’s great to see so many investors starting to consider sustainability over simple returns.

I’m finding it interesting to see photos from across the globe of the sky above major cities at the moment compared to a few years ago. With everyone locked inside it’s amazing to see the change in the world around us. I wonder if such realisations will make the world more move further towards a sustainable future and sustainable investing, I mean it’s the first time in decades some cities in the world have seen blue sky! Will be interesting to see how/if companies adapt their operations once we all start kicking back to reality.