green mutual funds http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7959/all en-US Socially Responsible Investing Goes Green http://www.wisebread.com/socially-responsible-investing-goes-green <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/socially-responsible-investing-goes-green" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/Madagascar%20landscape.jpg" alt="Madagascar landscape" title="Madagascar landscape" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="175" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You drive and drink responsibly, spend your money responsibly, and act responsibly, don’t you? But do you <strong><em>invest </em></strong>responsibly? Can you invest responsibly? Is there such a thing as investing in socially responsible companies and, more specifically, investing in companies that are environmentally responsible (aka green) and socially responsible? If so, what does being <strong>green</strong> mean and for that matter, what does being <strong>socially responsible</strong> mean? </p> <p>When I think of <strong>green investing</strong>, I think of buying shares of companies or mutual funds that invest in companies that fulfill 2 or more of the following criteria:</p> <ul> <li>design, market, sell, manufacture, and/or distribute products or services that harness or deliver renewable sources of energy;</li> <li>design, market, sell, manufacture, and/or distribute products or services that deliver energy savings;</li> <li>have passed some sort or environmentally-based selection process or “screen” in the lingo of mutual fund managers;</li> <li>have embraced sustainability as a primary business concern;</li> <li>are socially responsible.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Socially responsible</strong> <strong>investing (SRI)</strong> conjures up images of buying shares in companies with well-treated employees of diverse backgrounds who are paid a fair wage, and are paid and promoted based on merit and contribution. Depending on the SRI criteria, these companies may also <em><strong>not</strong></em> design, market, sell, manufacture and/or distribute products or services that include tobacco, weapons, and gambling. </p> <p>So, how do you find an SRI mutual fund or green fund? And once found, how do you evaluate its social responsibility and greenness? I&#39;ve done some research and found 3 funds with varying interpretations of green. I found Winslow Green Growth through an <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/value/archive/2007/va1002.htm" target="_blank" title="http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/value/archive/2007/va1002.htm">article on Kiplinger.com</a> and came upon Portfolio 21 and New Alternatives via mentions on a user forum of <a href="http://www.wesabe.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.wesabe.com/">Wesabe</a>, a community of people who share information about money. </p> <p>Information presented below has been gathered from fund and company websites in October 2007:</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.winslowgreen.com/fund/default.aspx" target="_blank" title="http://www.winslowgreen.com/fund/default.aspx">Winslow Green Growth</a></strong> (WGGFX) </p> <ul> <li><strong>Environmental Screen</strong>: positive or neutral impact on the environment;</li> <li><strong>Definition of Green</strong>: provide environmental solutions and/or pioneer green business practices often in the areas of renewable energy, healthy living, energy-efficiency, and green solutions;</li> <li><strong>Investment Focus</strong>: small cap, growth, domestic;</li> <li><strong>Social Responsibility Screen</strong>: none that I could find;</li> <li><strong>Holdings include:</strong><br />1. <a href="http://www.surmodics.com/home.aspx" target="_blank" title="http://www.surmodics.com/home.aspx">SurModics Inc</a>., provider of surface modification and drug delivery solutions for medical device and biomedical applications; <br />2. <a href="http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/">Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.</a>, company engaged in the sourcing, roasting, and sale of estate, certified organic, Fair Trade Certified™ signature blends, and flavored coffee through wholesale, direct mail, and e-commerce distribution channels;<br />3. <a href="http://www.ftek.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.ftek.com/ ">Fuel-Tech Inc.</a>, provider of solutions to meet the pollution control, efficiency improvement, and operational optimization needs of energy-related facilities;<br />4. <a href="http://www.orbcomm.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.orbcomm.com/ ">Orbcomm</a>, global satellite data communications company with machine-to-machine (M2M) communications;<br />5. <a href="http://www.wfiglobal.com/default.asp" target="_blank" title="http://www.wfiglobal.com/default.asp">WFI Industries</a>, provider of geothermal heating and cooling systems for residential, institutional, and commercial applications.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.portfolio21.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.portfolio21.com/"><strong>Portfolio 21</strong></a> (PORTX)</p> <ul> <li><strong>Environmental Screen</strong>: complex <a href="http://www.portfolio21.com/in_depth_sust_crit.php" target="_blank" title="http://www.portfolio21.com/in_depth_sust_crit.php">Company Evaluation Criteria</a>; companies that &quot;understand ecological risks and opportunities” and are “taking positive action to integrate sustainability strategies in their business models”;</li> <li><strong>Definition of Green</strong>: companies that create ecologically superior products, use renewable energy, develop efficient production methods, and/or recognize environmental sustainability as a challenge and opportunity.  </li> <li><strong>Investment Focus</strong>: primarily large cap, international;</li> <li><strong>Social Responsibility Screen</strong>: excludes companies with negative performance in employee relations, human rights, community involvement, or product safety; and those with significant business activities relating to nuclear energy, tobacco, gambling, or weapons;</li> <li><strong>Holdings include:</strong><br />1. <a href="http://www.nokia.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.nokia.com/ ">Nokia</a>, telecommunications company; <br />2. <a href="http://www.novonordisk.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.novonordisk.com/">Novo Nordisk</a>, healthcare company with core business of pharmaceutical drug development;<br />3. <a href="http://www.ibm.com/us/" target="_blank" title="http://www.ibm.com/us/ ">IBM</a>, technology company focusing on business services; <br />4. <a href="http://www.hsbc.com/1/2/home" target="_blank" title="http://www.hsbc.com/1/2/home ">HSBC Holdings</a>, financial services company providing personal, business &amp; commercial, corporate &amp; institutional, and private banking services;<br />5. <a href="http://www.novartis.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.novartis.com/ ">Novartis</a>, pharmaceuticals and nutritional products company.</li> </ul> <p><a href="http://www.newalternativesfund.com/index.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.newalternativesfund.com/index.html "><strong>New Alternatives Fund</strong></a> (NALFX)  </p> <ul> <li><strong>Environmental Screen:</strong> emphasis on alternative energy sources but includes companies with products and services associated with recycling, natural foods, clean water, clean air, and natural gas;</li> <li><strong>Definition of Green:</strong> positive impact on the environment;</li> <li><strong>Investment Focus:</strong> subjective but includes evaluation of price and risk;</li> <li><strong>Social Responsibility Screen:</strong> does not invest in oil, nuclear power, weapons, or tobacco or  companies with business practices that allow discriminatory hiring, unfair labor, detrimental environmental, or animal testing activities.</li> <li><strong>Holdings include: <br /></strong>1. <a href="http://www.recgroup.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.recgroup.com/">Renewable Energy Corp. AS</a>, producer of silicon for solar cells;<br />2.<strong> </strong><a href="http://www.acciona.es/" target="_blank" title="http://www.acciona.es/">Acciona SA</a>, construction and infrastructure company with activities that include renewable energy including wind, small hydro, biomass, biodiesel and solar sources; <br />3. <a href="http://www.abengoa.es/" target="_blank" title="http://www.abengoa.es/">Abengoa SA</a>, engaged in biomass (ethanol cellosic project), solar projects, and aluminum recycling;<br />4. <a href="http://www.vestas.com/vestas/global/en/" target="_blank" title="http://www.vestas.com/vestas/global/en/ ">Vestas Wind Systems Abengoa SA</a>, wind turbine manufacturer;<br />5. <a href="http://www.schneider-electric.com/sites/corporate/en/home.page" target="_blank" title="http://www.schneider-electric.com/sites/corporate/en/home.page">Schneider Electric SA</a>, distributor of efficient electrical devices.</li> </ul> <p>I enjoyed visiting Portfolio 21&#39;s website for a few reasons: 1) its perspective on what &quot;green&quot; is with a recognition that though companies strive for sustainability, nearly all create some (negative) impact on the environment; 2) profiles on all companies selected for investment with explanations of why these were chosen; and 3) some information on companies that have not passed its sustainability evaluations.  </p> <p>Oh, you might want to know about the financial performance of these funds; here are 5-year returns (as of October 8, 2007):</p> <ul> <li>Winslow Green Growth: 29.28%</li> <li>Portfolio 21: 21.63%</li> <li>New Alternatives: 24.59%</li> </ul> <p>If you want to align your investing values with personal values, you can check out socially responsible funds and/or green funds such as these. For more on SRI, visit <a href="http://www.socialfunds.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.socialfunds.com/">Social Funds</a>. </p> <p><em>Disclosure: I do not own shares in Winslow Green Growth, Portfolio 21, or New Alternatives funds.  </em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/socially-responsible-investing-goes-green" class="sharethis-link" title="Socially Responsible Investing Goes Green" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Green Living Investment green investing green mutual funds mutual funds socially responsible investing SRI Mon, 08 Oct 2007 17:20:31 +0000 Julie Rains 1265 at http://www.wisebread.com