In the News – Winter 2021

1: SUSTAINABLE INVESTING ASSETS REACH $17. 1 TRILLION (US SIF Foundation)
Total US-domiciled assets under management using sustainable investing strategies grew
from $12.0 trillion at the start of 2018 to $17.1 trillion at the start of 2020––an increase of 42 percent––according to a biennial “Trends Report” by the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF). The top three issues for money managers and their institutional investor clients: climate
change/carbon emissions, sustainable natural resources/agriculture, and board governance.

2: THE BIDEN ERA COULD BE A BOON TO SUSTAINABLE INVESTING (Barron’s)
Biden has promised ambitious plans for combating climate change and other environmental prerogatives. Experts outline their top seven priorities to strengthen the industry’s ability to move capital into sustainable and socially responsible investments.

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STATEMENT ON JUSTICE, EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION

Natural Investments is making a long-term commitment to the principles of Justice, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (JEDI).

Justice: We actively seek to dismantle supremacy in all its forms, remove barriers to justice, and use our institutional privilege to address longstanding inequities. We work collaboratively to uphold human dignity and foster systemic change both within our firm and in society.

Equity: While we believe that people of all genders, races, and other identities can succeed, build wealth, and become leaders in our industry, not everyone comes to us with the same background. We seek to proactively level the playing field through sharing power, resources, and opportunities, and embracing our diverse stories and perspectives.

Diversity: We value our differences because collectively, they make us better. Our goal is to achieve meaningful diversity on our team across race, gender, class, and other factors. At the firm level, Natural Investments is currently only adding people of color as new advisors, and we encourage all our advisors to prioritize this in their hiring as well.

Inclusion: We accept people for who they are, without creating pressure to conform or assimilate into the norms of a dominant culture. We encourage everyone to express themselves authentically and respectfully. We commit to examining the impact of our words and actions, and to deepening our awareness of patterns of harm in order to facilitate accountability, understanding, behavioral change, and healing. We engage in training and learning opportunities that build our capacity to embody a welcoming, appreciative, celebratory, and culturally rich environment for all.

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Here’s How You Can Size Up Climate Change

by Deborah Nason, CNBC

Another option is YieldCos, according to Michael Kramer, managing partner and director of research with Natural Investments in Kona, Hawaii.

″[These] are essentially renewable energy utilities, often tied to the grid,” Kramer said. “They are lower risk than, say, companies that manufacture equipment.

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Here’s what you need to know about impact investing, where returns are not the only reward

by Debora Nason, CNBC

Growing rapidly within the socially responsible investing landscape is the world of so-called impact investing, which deploys your money more directly toward solving societal problems.

Largely executed through direct investing platforms, this approach addresses specific problems, such as alleviating poverty in certain communities or reducing pollution.

These investments are designed to generate specific, positive and measurable environmental, social, and/or good governance outcomes, oftentimes with market-rate financial returns, said Michael Kramer, managing partner of Natural Investments in Kona, Hawaii. Furthermore, outcomes can have a local or a societal focus.

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Market Report – Fall 2020

In spite of heightened volatility in stocks as the quarter drew to a close, the markets generally moved higher over the period. For the quarter, US large company stocks rose 8.9%, smaller company US stocks were up 4.9%, foreign stocks were higher by 4.8%, and US bonds, broadly measured, were up 0.6%. While stock indexes were higher for the quarter, the markets were mixed, with small company and foreign stocks having lost value, while large company stocks have moved higher.

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SRI in Focus: Lunatics in the Asylum

Despite the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis, socially responsible investments (SRI) have received higher inflows of capital in 2020 than in any other period of American history. That’s right: investors have poured more than $21 billion into 300+ publicly available domestic SRI funds, well before the year’s end. All told, investors have already purchased more sustainable investments in the first half of this year than in all of 2019––a year that had already seen inflows that were a whopping 4 times higher than any previous year.

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In the News: Fall 2020

1: WASHINGTON (PRO FOOTBALL TEAM) MOVES TOWARD CHANGING CONTROVERSIAL TEAM NAME

After public political protest and financial pressure by major corporate backers such as FedEx, Nike, and Pepsi, in July the owner of the Washington, D.C., professional football team agreed to change the team’s derogatory name. The move was celebrated by SRI investors, who have long advocated in support of Indigenous peoples’ fight for years to remove Native references in mascots and logos. Washington Post

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Even Worse “Worst-Case Scenario” Planning

If you’re working with a financial planner, chances are you’re the kind of person who has also prepared for the possibility of an earthquake, hurricane, or wildfires. But have you prepared for potential civil unrest around the election? “What? No, that could never happen here!” you might be thinking. Well, it’s not something I’d ever worried about before either, but hear me out.

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