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The Impact

Why Sustainable Investing?

The Business Case

Incorporating non-financial information into your investment strategy provides a more complete view of risk and opportunities. 

By 2050, the population will increase to 9 billion people. Global demand for food will increase by 35%, for water by 40%.

Read more here.

Companies that focus on these challenges now will be best positioned for long-term growth. 

The Social Case

Socially-responsible investing allows for the alignment of your values with your investments.

Owning shares in a company gives investors a channel through which to raise environmental, social and corporate governance issues 

Read more about the social case below. 

Management Engagement & Shareholder Activism

Verdant investment portfolios create impact through management engagement, targeted investments and the power of shareholder advocacy.

Shareholder advocacy, or activism, describes efforts by investors to use their status as part-owners of companies to influence corporate behavior. Activism covers a broad range of actions, most notably the act of proxy voting and shareholder resolutions.

Shareholder advocacy could be any of the following:

  • Direct dialogue with executives
  • Shareholder resolutions
  • Proxy voting
  • Research and analysis
  • Public policy initiatives
  • Letter-writing/e-mail campaigns
  • Comment letters on proposed regulation
  • Annual shareholder meetings
  • Multi-stakeholder initiatives

How It Works

When you open a Verdant investment portfolio, you invest in a precise combination of mutual and exchange traded funds selected and overseen by Verdant advisors. Recognized for their ESG standards and millions of dollars in AUM (assets under management), our selected managers carry significant influence when it comes to the companies they consider for investment. Through your investment with Verdant, your money is working to help catalyze positive change on some of the worlds biggest issues.

The managers we work with have a long list of accomplishments in impact investing. Below are a few examples of the problems that our portfoliols, through our fund managers, work to challenge.

Examples

Environment

  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2050 at more than 100 companies worldwide (Walden Asset Management)
  • 5-year moratorium on palm oil plantation permits in Indonesia (GreenCentury)
  • Worked with Lowes to publish a public report on their wood-purchasing policy and sustainability efforts; resolution was withdrawn in 2013 when these requests were met (Domini, 2013)

More Environment

Women’s Empowerment

  1. Review of Apple’s hiring practices followed by strategy to refocus recruitment at historically all-women and black universities 
  2. Board diversity resolutions filed against Discovery and Garmin, resulting in hiring search for female directors (Calvert Asset Management)
  3. Resolutions filed for increased pay equity at 5 large financial services and tech companies; resolutions withdrawn after companies agreed to enhance pay disclosure (PaxWorld)

More Women's Empowerment

Workplace Equality

  • Enhanced disclosure of workforce diversity metrics and progress (Walden Asset Management) 
  • Avoids investing in companies involved in major recent or ongoing controversies related to workplace discrimination (Trillium Asset Management)

Animal Welfare

  • Monitoring of animal testing at pharmaceutical companies to demand best-in-class policies and procedures
  • Joint resolution against Lowe's, asking them to eliminate neonicotinoid pesticides - a leading contributor to global bee declines - from it stores by 2019 (Domini, Trillium Asset Management, 2015)
  • Research into synthetic meat to address sub-par livestock conditions and greenhouse gas emissions (Domini, 2016)

Water

  • Dean Foods and Fresh Del Monte committed in 2016 to report on water risk and water management in their operations and supply chains (Calvert Asset Management)
  • Addressed water-related risks in direct operations and agriculture supply chains at Flower Foods; Withdrew resolutions upon agreement (Walden Asset Management, 2016)
  • Proposal asking Johnson & Johnson to issue a report assessing its policies for safe consumer disposal of prescription drugs to prevent water pollution (Walden Asset Management, 2017)

Human & Indigenous Rights

  • Reduction of child-labor use in the cocoa industry
  • Dialogue with Apache Corp. to promote best practices with regard to fracking and rights of indigenous peoples
  • Resolutions filed regarding offensive and inaccurate portrayals of Native Americans at Netflix and degrading sports teams names at FedEx Corp. (Calvert Asset Management)
  • Resolutions filed at Google and Time Warner about company policy responses to public health concerns and how on-line marketing can affect children's obesity and health (Calvert Asset Management)

Community Development

  • Dialogue with National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions to help low and moderate-income people achieve financial independence through credit unions (Domini, 2016)
  • Resolution with US Bankcorp to address concerns about their "checking account advance" program, which has the potential to trap low-income customers in a cycle of debt due to exorbitant borrowing and advance fees; resolution withdrawn in exchange to continuing discussion and transparency (Domini, 2013)

Faith Based

“Morals” or “Faith-based” investing is often used interchangeably with SRI (sustainable, responsible, impact) Investing. While both strive to confront some of the world’s biggest problems, Verdant’s moral-based investing option uses fund managers exclusively operating in the Judeo-Christian/Catholic sphere. 

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Designed For Impact. Crafted For You.