Impact Success Stories

Fostering economic empowerment

Community investing can mean the difference between abject poverty and enough food, jobs, and housing for millions of people. By investing in underserved communities, you can have a high social impact while responsibly stewarding your assets.

One of the leading community investment notes that our clients invest in achieved the following social impacts in 2012:

  • Promoted Healthier Communities: $8M invested in 19 organizations working in health care, which logged an estimated 90,507 patient visits.
  • Supported Affordable Housing: $50 million invested in affordable housing and development, leading to 738 housing units for approximately 2,022 people.
  • Invested in Women: $11 million invested in 307 women-owned small businesses.
  • Created Jobs in America: $30 million invested in 236 small businesses, maintaining 973 jobs.
  • Expanded Access to Financial Services: $66.5 million invested in microfinance institutions in 80 different countries, providing access to financial services for 48.407 people.
  • Educated the Next Generation: $10 invested in education, creating 1,779 classroom seats.
  • Promoted Environmental Responsibility: Provided $2.5 million loan to Via Verde, a LEED Gold certified multi-family housing development in the South Bronx.
  • Promoted Sustainable Trade and Agriculture: $3.4 million invested in ten Fair Trade organizations, focused on building sustainable livelihoods for the rural poor.

Strengthening corporate management

Dialogue with company management encourages good forward-thinking leadership to solve social and environmental problems while growing companies and addressing risks. Shareowner resolution victories result in companies improving their reporting and policies on management issues including labor practices and greenhouse gas emissions.Examples:

  • Sustainable Fishing: Consistent shareowner dialogue over the past couple years with Costco on its sustainable fisheries issues resulted in the company issue an updated seafood sustainability policy. The company announced that it is no longer purchasing inventory of Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch “red list” species, and is moving closer to requiring all of its farmed salmon suppliers to adhere to the Salmon Aquaculture Dialogue standards – a set of standards developed by a multi-stakeholder group including NGOs, academics and representatives from indigenous communities.
  • Network Neutrality: Resolutions regarding network neutrality filed by SRI investors at AT&T, Verizon and Sprint surpassed voting thresholds so that they can be re-filed in 2013. The proposals urge the companies to provide net neutrality protections for their wireless networks. Net neutrality principles have led to great economic and social benefits.
  • Political Contributions: SRI investors withdrew resolutions at Halliburton, Chubb and State Street Bank, after each firm agreed to make major improvements in disclosure of their political expenditures. A similar resolution that was filed at CenturyLink received one the highest votes in 2012 – 41 percent support. A related resolution at UnitedHealth Group calling for greater transparency with respect to its lobbying drew 30 percent of the vote.
  • Board Diversity: Investors filed a resolution advocating for improved board-diversity at Urban Outfitters. The resolution received 39 percent of the vote, up from 22 percent in 2011. This high vote count sends a strong and clear signal to management, which has up to now resisted making diversity an explicit part of its nominating process.