Friday, February 09, 2007

Banks do it. Multilaterals do it. Pension funds do it.

There is an interesting post on banks and the role they can play in promoting environmental, social and good governance goals around the globe. The blog - blue dot green - points out that the equator principles serve as a benchmark for banks around the world, 45 of which have signed on. (Of course, as we know from our current presidential administration, signing onto something and then actually doing it are two very different things.)

The Equator Principles come out of the World Bank and its International Finance Corporation, which makes the business case for global sustainability efforts here.

So what for philanthropy? This is all about making investments that adhere to certain principles and/or advance a mission, while also meeting fiduciary responsibilities (read: making a profit). Some may think that aligned investing is a passing fad or empty rhetoric, but it currently accounts for 1 in every 10 dollars under professional asset management. The rate of growth for SRI funds is faster than the rate for managed assets in general, and the funds have outperformed standard fund indices over the last 15 years.

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