The idea of sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) has been around for quite some time, some recording dates as early as the 1750s when the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) prohibited members from participating in the slave trade.
How has SRI evolved?
The modern day version of sustainable, responsible and impact investing has evolved from the political environment in the 1960s. There are many records of the role that SRI played in ending the Apartheid government in South Africa. As political pressures mounted, cities, states, colleges, faith-based groups and pension funds throughout the US began divesting from companies operating in South Africa.
Today much of SRI is focused on environmentally sustainable development and human rights. For many, this means trying to screen out controversial business practices such as alcohol, tobacco, fast food, weapons, pornography, and/or fossil fuels. However, the latest iteration known as “Impact investing” urges investing into the communities and shareholder advocacy. Merely filtering out controversy does not go far enough:
“According to the US SIF Foundation’s 2016 Report on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends, as of year-end 2015, more than one out of every five dollars under professional management in the United States—$8.72 trillion or more—was invested according to SRI strategies.”
Investing for a Sustainable Future
Although it may be impossible to fix all of the controversies in the world today, one way that individuals may be able to help contribute to the solution is by being more mindful and conscious about our daily lives.
Integrating such practices into our daily lives and financial plans may possibly help create a more sustainable future and encourage better business practices. Understanding the products and services we consume to the investments that we seek profits from can potentially make a difference. As with all investing, one must always consider the risks involved with such strategies.
Socially Responsible Financial Planning with Chatterton & Associates
If you are seeking socially responsible financial planning advice and investment management services, partner with Chatterton & Associates. Our team of Certified Financial Advisors are composed of financial planners, tax advisors and estate attorneys, allowing you to receive the most comprehensive review and expertise for achieving financial success. We also uphold the Fiduciary Standard – the same high standard of practice that lawyers and doctors carry out – ensuring that we always act in the client’s best interest and disclose any conflicts of interest.