Posts Tagged ‘sri in the rockies’

The Green for All – Green Wave is Coming!

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

The Green Wave is coming. That’s what Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, CEO of Green for All, told us at last week’s SRI in the Rockies conference. The question isn’t will it come, the question is, will America participate and will it help people rise out of poverty? Green for All is poised to help America ride this wave in a very big way. They’ve got eight billion dollars of federal stimulus money and a lot of passion and good ideas and are working very hard to implement plans that will put this money to use in the most effective ways possible to meet their twin goals of green jobs creation in a clean energy economy and moving people out of poverty.

Green for All was founded by one of my heroes, Van Jones, a pioneering force in human rights and the clean energy economy, and former special advisor for green jobs at the White House’s Council for Environmental Quality, as well as author of The Green Collar Economy. He has been a voice of drawing awareness to the global climate crisis and its disproportionate impact on the poor.

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New SEC Ruling on Shareholder Resolutions

By Michael Kramer

During the recent SRI in the Rockies conference in late October 2009, the leading social investment professionals in the industry heard from the chief legal counsel to SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar about an exciting ruling that allows the filing of shareholder resolutions that address the financial risks of corporate activities in environmental and social areas. This is a huge victory for the SRI industry, which organized an extensive campaign to reverse the Bush Administration’s SEC decision to disallow such resolutions on ESG issues. The social investment industry wrote a December 2008 letter to the incoming Obama Administration that “effective disclosure of these issues through the proxy process can lead to better anticipatory action by corporations such as the control of greenhouse gases and the development of safer alternative materials.”

While most shareholder resolutions, particularly those that address issues surrounding climate change, merely ask companies to conduct analyses of the risks associated with global warming, the Bush Administration saw this as interfering with management. But in a stark reversal, the SEC stated, “We have recently witnessed a marked increase in the number of no-action requests in which companies seek to exclude proposals as relating to an evaluation of risk,” but “our application of the analytical framework may have resulted in the unwarranted exclusion of proposals that relate to the evaluation of risk but that focus on significant policy issues.”  As such, the SEC stated, “The fact that a proposal would require an evaluation of risk will not be dispositive of whether the proposal may be excluded.” What still needs to be determined, however, is whether the particular issue contained in a given shareholder resolution meets the threshold for consideration under the new ruling. In the absence of specific criteria, SEC staff will be left to make subjective determinations of what is appropriate or not within the social policies suggested in shareholder resolutions.

Michael Kramer is a Managing Partner of Natural Investments LLC and the Director of Social Research

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SRI in the Rockies Conference, October 2009

Natural Investments LLC among group of Leaders Attending 20th Annual SRI in the Rockies Conference

The whole team attended the 20th Anniversary SRI in the Rockies Conference this past week. Our leading investment conference highlights industry trends in sustainable and responsible investing, and is a great time to catch up with old friends in the natural investing movement.

SRI in the Rockies is the largest and longest-running conference for the sustainable and responsible investment industry in the world. The 2009 conference, From Crisis to Opportunity: Investing for a Sustainable Economy, attracted more than 550 industry leaders to the JW Marriott Starr Pass in Tucson, Arizona. SRI in the Rockies is produced by First Affirmative Financial Network in collaboration with the non-profit Social Investment Forum.

“Sustainable and responsible investing is moving rapidly to the forefront of investment strategy and Natural Investments participation in this year’s conference is helping to build a powerful movement to invest for good,” said Steve Schueth, President of First Affirmative. “This year’s conference focused on highlighting how we all can play a crucial role in finding real market solutions to the world’s environmental and social problems, and make money in the process.”

We had a grand time and will be posting thoughts and reflections in the coming weeks.

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