Responsible Investment News

Banking with a conscience gains ground

Stuff - John Berry, April 15 2018
OPINION: Conscious consumerism – the trend for people to make ethical choices as they shop – is posing an enormous dilemma for New Zealand's largest banks.

The Royal Forest and Bird Society's decision last week to dump ANZ as its banker in favour of Kiwibank, a bank it claims has stronger environmental credentials, highlighted the challenge.

Forest and Bird (very obviously) cares about how the environment is treated.

It doesn't want habitats cleared to dig for coal or pump oil and it definitely doesn't want to deal with a bank making loans and generating profits by enabling environmental damage.

Why the business model of social media giants like Facebook is incompatible with human rights

The Conversation - April 3, 2018
Facebook has had a bad few weeks. The social media giant had to apologise for failing to protect the personal data of millions of users from being accessed by data mining company Cambridge Analytica. Outrage is brewing over its admission to spying on people via their Android phones. Its stock price plummeted, while millions deleted their accounts in disgust.

Facebook has also faced scrutiny over its failure to prevent the spread of “fake news” on its platforms, including via an apparent orchestrated Russian propaganda effort to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

Facebook’s actions – or inactions – facilitated breaches of privacy and human rights associated with democratic governance. But it might be that its business model – and those of its social media peers generally – is simply incompatible with human rights.

Human rights abuses a risk beyond emerging markets

Investment Magazine By Meredith Booth - 18/04/2018
Human rights abuses in company supply chains are not found only in emerging markets, one of the world’s top responsible investment professionals says.

NZ Super Fund head of responsible investing Anne Maree O’Connor, who was recently ranked eighth among the world’s most influential responsible investment specialists in the 2017 survey of Independent Research in Responsible Investment, says the focus is shifting to developed countries where abuses of migrants’ rights are emerging, from the horticulture sector to hospitality and healthcare.

Data security emerging as ethical theme: RIAA

InvestorDaily - BY JESSICA YUN - 28 March 2018
Investor concerns about cybersecurity and data integrity have been brought into focus by the controversy surrounding Facebook in the past week, according to the Responsible Investment Association Australasia.

To cut through the BS, ‘look out for impact’

By Lucy Dean - 20 April 2018 (the WHEB impact fund is included in Rise's Portfolios)
The question around institutional investors’ ability to truly pivot towards responsible investing remains, but retail investors can make change by looking for impact, a fund manager has said.

GUNS, TECH STOCKS AND THE SHIFTING SANDS OF ETHICAL FINANCE

12 April 2018 By Simon O’Connor, CEO, Responsible Investment Association Australasia
Ethical investment used to be pretty straight-forward – avoid your traditional sin stocks, and invest in the rest of your universe.

Recent developments have shown us just how far we have moved on from those days of safe, simple ethical investing to a much more complex world.

Facebook Turns Toxic for Some ESG Funds

Bloomberg Briefs By Emily Chasan
Just how toxic is the data-privacy scandal for Facebook? So toxic that some investment funds now are lumping in the social network with big polluters and other corporations they consider ethically challenged.

Rich pickings for Australian ethical investment fund

Business.Scoop By Tina Morrison - 14 March 2018
New Zealand has provided rich pickings for Australia’s largest ethical investment fund, producing some of its best investments, according to the Kiwi who has managed its local equities for the past decade.New Zealand offers rich pickings for Australian ethical investment fund

You May Be Funding The Gun Lobby Without Even Knowing It

Ann Brenoff HuffPost6 March 2018
The pendulum of public opinion is swinging toward stricter gun control in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, and an increasing number of Americans believe it’s now politically possible for Congress to take action.

But many people who actively favor stricter gun control may also be unwittingly invested in the gun industry. Here’s how that happens and what you can do about it.

Eliminating gun stocks from your portfolio

NZ Herald - 5 Mar, 2018
As corporations from Walmart to Delta Airlines are choosing to take a stand against gun violence, investors may be wondering if they can do the same.

Investors who never directly purchased shares of gun makers or sellers may unknowingly hold them in their 401(k) accounts, pension funds or other investments. That's because commonly used index funds and mutual funds hold a wide array of stocks.

A copy of Jonathan Neal's Primary Disclosure Statement is available here.