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Innovations in Social and Environmental Disclosure Outside the United States

NEW YORK, NY AND WASHINGTON, D.C.
Innovations by governments and stock exchanges in several countries are providing publicly traded companies with strong incentives to report on corporate social responsibility, according to a new report released by leaders in the field of socially responsible investing. The report also underscores that currently the United States is at risk of losing a competitive lead in the transparency of markets.    

Innovations in Social and Environmental Disclosure Outside the United States (PDF), released by Domini Social Investments and the Social Investment Forum, presents case studies of five countries where governments and stock exchanges have taken the lead in social and environmental disclosure: Brazil, France, Malaysia, South Africa, and Sweden.

Domini Social Investments Chief Investment Officer Steven Lydenberg said, “One of our key findings is that the move toward increased disclosure overseas has been driven by the efforts of governments and national stock exchanges to increase investment and keep markets competitive. The international financial crisis has given added momentum to a worldwide move toward transparency. The increased popularity of socially responsible investing has also contributed to the need for more social and environmental data.”

"Domini, a long-time member of the Social Investment Forum, has made an important contribution to our knowledge of social investing with this report and we are pleased to make it available to our other members,”said Social Investment Forum Chief Executive Officer Lisa Woll.

“We believe this report cautions us that the United States is falling behind many other countries in requiring the disclosure of important social and environmental data,” Ms. Woll continued.  “Our members have long encouraged corporations — and their regulatory agencies, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission — to recognize the importance of environmental, social and governance factors in enhancing corporate sustainability and shareholder value. Such disclosure is one of the priorities that SIF will be sharing with the incoming Obama administration.” 

The five case studies in Innovations in Social and Environmental Disclosure Outside the United States provide models for regulatory action that could be taken in the United States to promote transparency in financial markets. The report also details actions that have been taken in Australia, China, Denmark, Israel, the U.K., the city of Buenos Aires and elsewhere. 

Innovations in Social and Environmental Disclosure Outside the United States is available for reading or downloading at the websites of Domini Social Investments and the Social Investment Forum.

About the Social Investment Forum (SIF)

SIF is the U.S. membership association dedicated to advancing the concept, practice, and growth of socially and environmentally responsible investing.  SIF members promote the integration of economic, environmental, social, and governance factors into investment decisions.  SIF members include financial professionals, analysts, portfolio managers, banks, mutual funds, researchers, foundations, community development organizations, and public educators. More information about the Forum, including the 2007 Report on Socially Responsible Investing Trends in the United States, is available at www.socialinvest.org.

About Domini Social Investments

Domini Social Investments is dedicated to the fundamental belief that the way you invest matters. We manage assets for individual and institutional mutual fund investors seeking to create positive change in society by integrating social and environmental standards into their investment decisions. Two fundamental principles underlie the global investment standards that Domini applies to each of its investment products: the promotion of a society that values human dignity and the enrichment of our natural environment. Domini views these twin goals as crucial to a healthier, wealthier, and more sustainable world.

Each investor should consider the Domini Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses carefully before investing. Obtain a copy of each Fund’s current prospectus for more complete information on these and other topics by calling 1-800-762-6814 or at www.domini.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing or sending money.

DSIL Investment Services LLC (DSILD), Distributor. 12/08