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Consumer Health & Safety

At Domini, we seek to invest in companies that understand the long-term benefits of investing in product safety, quality manufacturing processes and training.

The benefits to companies from providing their customers with quality goods and services are substantial and the costs from product safety lapses are high. For example, a drug company that handles a highly publicized safety problem well can enjoy decades of high esteem. One that handles such a problem poorly can be embroiled in equally long controversy.

Many consumer products present risks to consumers. Our researchers look closely at consumer health and safety controversies and recalls, as well as programs to reduce the use of toxic chemicals. Some products are so inherently dangerous or addictive, that we choose not to invest in their producers.

Consumer health and safety presents a multi-faceted set of issues that cuts across numerous industries and sectors. 

Toxins in Consumer Products

Domini has addressed the issue of toxins in consumer products for years, through our Global Investment Standards and direct engagement with companies. We pay particular attention to toxins in food. Among food producers and retailers we look for companies that favor or promote organic and sustainable agriculture. Within the chemical industry, we look for companies that develop “green chemicals.” Domini will not invest in major producers of synthetic pesticides and agricultural chemicals. Learn more about Domini’s approach to this issue.

Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals

When reviewing pharmaceutical companies for the Domini Funds, our analysts focus on three broad areas:

  • access to medicine;
  • the degree to which a company focuses on patent-protected medicines; and
  • pricing controversies.

We favor firms with a commitment to providing vaccines and preventative care, as opposed to those focused on ‘lifestyle’ drugs, such as Viagra.

We have excluded from our funds virtually all managed care organizations, such as Aetna and Cigna, due to conflicts of interest that we believe are inherent in their business model. We have also excluded virtually all for-profit hospitals, for the same reasons. Learn more about our approach to the pharmaceutical industry.