One day, I hope to retire my "reign" — when "green" is an obsolete term and simply the better (and only logical) way of doing things.
In the meantime, I want that other kind of green — my financial investments — to align with my values. (Think this blog isn't for ye of little money? Wrong. The less you have to spare, the smarter you need to be!)
Unsure how to choose the greenest companies and stocks? Wonder no longer (and no more excuses, either).
Socially responsible investing (SRI) is what you get when environmental, social, and governance factors come together in the selection and management of investments. It takes into account environmental sustainability or stewardship, labour practices, human rights, and corporate governance. Chances are good—but not guaranteed—that by choosing SRI you won't be supporting businesses involved in alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons, or mining. It also goes beyond "green" companies. Investments are screened for things like human rights violations, community involvement, and environmental performance.
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An excellent Canadian resource is the Responsible Investment Association (RIA), whose members include financial institutions, investment firms, financial advisors, companies, and individuals interested in socially responsible investment. Check out their fact sheets designed to answer questions like "Do social investors sacrifice returns?" or "What is community investing?"
Although banks often don't carry ethical funds, most credit unions do, and it's worth asking at your financial institution of choice. We can play the supply-and-demand game, too. The more we ask for socially responsible investments, the better!
What "green" investments have you made?
Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green