I'll be debating this some more come September 18 at the Council on Foundations Community Foundations conference, with specific recommendations and opportunities for community foundations. Thanks to Brian Byrnes of the Vermont Community Foundation for the invitiation. You can find the joint Blueprint/Monitor white paper on the subject of aligned investing for community foundations here.
Others, such as Goldman Sachs, have lots to say on aligned investing. Goldman has a new report out that finds that companies that lead on environmental, social and governance (ESG) policies lead their peers in stock performance - by 25%.
Read the abstract here and download full report here: http://www.unglobalcompact.org/docs/summit2007/gs_esg_embargoed_until030707pdf.pdf
Goldman Sachs is also offering a new list of companies that meet its ESG policies, called GS SUSTAIN. I note this because some critics of screens for ESG decry the quality of the researchers and the standards used. I suppose they'll quibble with Goldman's team also - after all the company only hit record profits in 2006 setting a Wall Street record of $37.7 billion in revenue and $9.5 billion in profit. Can't imagine they know what they're doing.
Corporate acronym of the day quiz: What is a CRO?
Answer: Corporate Responsibility Officer
Thanks to Lisa Richter, GPS Capital Partners, for bringing the Goldman Sachs report to my attention.