Socially Responsible Investing is an investment strategy that allows people to start a discussion about what kind of a world we want — and what the companies we invest in must deliver so that we can create that kind of world.
You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken. By demanding research oncorporate behavior, social investors unleashed the power of information. Consider this: The debate over apartheid South Africa was a back-burner issue in the U.S. until investors demanded that companies doing business there report on their activities. These reports, by proving that companies were doing little to promote equality, spurred on the divestment movement, changing history and helping to bring about freedom for the people of South Africa.
Today, Domini and other social investors gather data about corporate performance across a broad range of environmental issues and questions of human dignity. With this information we are reshaping the way the world thinks about corporations and their role in our lives.
We apply social and environmental standards, as a fundamental part of our investment approach, for three basic reasons:
Ethical values: We take responsibility for the actions of the companies we own, and avoid owning companies whose products or practices undermine human dignity or cause drastic harm to our environment.
Financial value: Our social and environmental standards help us to reduce our exposure to certain risks such as environmental fines and labor problems, while favoring companies whose positive corporate cultures will, we believe, lead to better long-term financial performance.
Social impact: The research we do in order to apply these standards has helped to redefine what it means to be a successful corporation, and encouraged the disclosure needed to hold corporations accountable for their actions.
Two fundamental principles underlie our global investment standards: the promotion of a society that values human dignity and the protection of our natural environment.
In short, socially responsible investing is not only a way to align your investments with your values — it is also a way to make corporations behave more responsibly. Domini investors are using their investments to build a world of environmental sustainability and respect for all: the world we want our children to grow up in.