The Sustainable Investor: In Pursuit of an Enlightened Investment Portfolio
Will politics de-rail the SRI train
November 20, 2016
For those who are closest to the sustainable business movement, the US elections and referendum results in the UK would seem to portend more difficult terrain going forward. And while progress on climate action will be far more challenging with the US on the sidelines, there are reasons to believe that the political environment is just one of many factors influencing the sustainability trend. Society leads politics -- Just not in a straight line While certain government actions in prior years may have jumpstarted aspects of sustainability, it's arguable that they merely reflected already present societal views. For instance, when polled, most US citizens would like to...Read Full Article...
When Sustainability Aligns with Business Objectives
August 30, 2016
At the Sustainability Interactive Conference in June of this year, one of the event's keynote speakers remarked about how a company's sustainability efforts must align with their broader business objectives in order for them to be truly effective. After all, these initiatives cost money, and their Return on Investment ensures their long term viability as a good use of shareholder funds. Random "good deeds" won't likely be viewed by investors as being consistent with a long term strategy. This week, we saw a fine example of such consistency in Coca Cola's annual sustainability report. The argument that Coca Cola is a water abuser is no longer a valid...Read Full Article...
Sustainable Investing and Wide Moats
July 26, 2016
Legendary investor Warren Buffett coined the term "economic moat" to describe companies that have highly defendable competitive advantages -- a brand reputation, economies of scale, patents and trademarks, and so on. These characteristics typically lead to higher returns on capital and more sustainable profit margins. Morningstar applied this principle to their investment research, creating two tiers of moats, "wide" ad "narrow", to reflect their expectation of the relative strength of these competitive advantages. (Even a narrow moat is a valuable characteristic -- just less so.) VanEck Funds recently licensed the research to create an Exchange Traded Fund (ETFs) of undervalued wide-moat firms who are based...Read Full Article...
Another Showcase of Why Sustainability Matters
June 15, 2016
On Monday evening, Boardwalk Capital Management teamed up with the Green Chamber of the South for the Fourth Annual Sustainability Interactive conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Dozens of corporate, collegiate and governmental sustainability officers where present, sharing their most recent initiatives with well over 100 other attendees. We were delighted to welcome sustainability experts from across the region. All who were present were treated to stimulating presentations by two of the most accomplished professionals in sustainability: Bill Strang, President of Operations for TOTO Americas and Jim Hartzfeld, presently consulting with the UN Global Compact and the former VP of Sustainable Strategy for Interface,...Read Full Article...
Own The Toll Booth: Opportunities in Renewable Energy
July 01, 2015
I admit it. I have a difficult time telling people that they shouldn't invest in renewable energy projects. If they have a long time horizon (these are infrastructure investments, after all), there's much to applaud. -- Why wouldn't they want such stable and substantial (8-10%) cash flows to underpin their portfolio? -- Why wouldn't they want the 30% Federal investment tax credits to offset their other gains, or to deliver future tax-free income? -- Why wouldn't they want to be part of the solution to global climate, geopolitical and energy issues? Technology risk? Nonsense. These facilities use technology to be more efficient. They don't try to be the...Read Full Article...
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