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Q: Makers of Socially responsible investments ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Makers of Socially responsible investments
Category: Business and Money > Finance
Asked by: frankly-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 24 May 2004 10:44 PDT
Expires: 23 Jun 2004 10:44 PDT
Question ID: 351219

I'd like some help in locating a recent listing of public and private
companies or their foundations, and 'pension funds' that make socially
responsible investments. The list should include domestic and
companies. I am particularly interested in any socially responsible
investors in the area of economic development.

I do not want data on individual investors and mutual funds which make
socially responsible investments. Nor do I want data on the lists of
companies that qualify for 'socially responsible' investments or
belong to one or the other 'socially responsible' association.

The data I am looking for is a list of companies, corporate
foundations and pension funds that actually make socially
responsible investments of their own.

Please contact if there are any questions.

Request for Question Clarification by politicalguru-ga on 24 May 2004 11:28 PDT
Dear Frankly, 

You've written "the list should include domestic and international
companies" - where did you mean by "domestic"?
Subject: Re: Makers of Socially responsible investments
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 24 May 2004 13:18 PDT

Thanks for a timely and topical question.  I've been interested in --
and very involved with -- the topic of corporate social responsiblity
for a long while, so I have a very particular interest in your

Here's a list of the companies and organizations that I would think
meet your criteria.  I've omitted the socially responsible mutual
funds, like Calvert or Trillium, but I have included some
organizations that offer some funds in addition to leveraged investing
(like some pension funds) as well as some organizations that serve as
a forum for venture capitalists with a social-investing orientation.

Before rating this answer, please let me know if anything is unclear,
or if you need any additional information.



Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc., (CBIS), was founded in
1981 by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, widely known as the
Christian Brothers, because they and others sensed the need for an
organization that could combine faith with finance. Realized as a
unique embodiment of the Christian Brothers' educational mission in
the world, CBIS has grown steadily because it has struck a responsive
chord with Catholic organizations which seek to optimize the return on
their assets through conservative investment philosophies while also
incorporating ethical standards into the investment management

Commons Capital LP is a new venture capital fund seeking strong
financial returns as well as significant social and environmental
impact. We invest in "double bottom-line" early-stage companies whose
products, services or corporate cultures promote a sustainable economy
by delivering market solutions to major social and environmental

Investors? Circle is a leading social venture capital intermediary
whose mission is to support early-stage, private companies that drive
the transition to a sustainable economy.  Founded in 1992, IC has
become one of the nation?s oldest and largest  investor networks, and
the only one devoted specifically to sustainability.  Its members and
active affiliates are high net worth individuals, professional venture
capitalists, family offices and foundations.  In its first decade,
network members invested over $90 million into 147 early stage private
companies and venture funds working to deliver commercial solutions to
social and environmental problems.

The Council of Institutional Investors is an organization of large
public, labor funds and corporate pension funds which seeks to address
investment issues that affect the size or security of plan assets. Its
objectives are to encourage member funds, as major shareholders, to
take an active role in protecting plan assets and to help members
increase return on their investments as part of their fiduciary

Dutch Association of Investors for Sustainable Development 
[English version of website wouldn't load for me...sorry]

Welcome to the Website of East-West Management Institute, Inc. (EWMI)
Budapest. EWMI is committed to assisting economic reform in developing
and transition economies...EWMI Budapest, in conjunction with other
EWMI offices, works in partnership with government and non-government
entities, to design and implement responsive programs for financial
sector reform. We currently wish to extend our existing partnerships
in the Baltic States, Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe, with
organizations that are similarly committed to financial sector reform
in the region.

Eurosif is the pan-European stakeholder network for promoting and
developing sustainable and responsible investment. The Eurosif board
is represented by the Five Founding Social Investment Forums.

Global Environment Fund is an international fund management
partnership that seeks superior financial returns through private
equity investments in companies that have a positive impact on
environmental quality, human health and the sustainable management of
natural resources.

Innovest Strategic Value Advisors is an internationally recognized
investment research and advisory firm specializing in analyzing
companies' performance on environmental, social, and strategic
governance issues, with a particular focus on their impact on
competitiveness, profitability, and share price performance.

[a $17 billion investment bank with a strong social responsibility leaning]

The Storebrand Group is a leading player in the Norwegian markets for
pensions, life- and health insurance, banking and asset management.
The Group?s activities are carried out through four main business
areas: Life Insurance, Storebrand Investments, Storebrand Bank and
Finansbanken...The Storebrand Group has long traditions in corporate
social responsibility. Socially Responsible Investing is an important
part of that program.

Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities
Fund (TIAA-CREF New York, NY), is one of the largest and most
respected financial service providers in the world. For more than
eighty years we've been dedicated to ensuring the financial well-being
of an extraordinary group of people -- the faculty and staff of
America's education and research communities.
[They are general considered as socially-responsible investors, though
this isn't emphasized on their site]

Underdog Ventures has developed a new model of customized community
venture capital funds, combined with a model of customized
philanthropy. Underdog Ventures partners with a group of investors
committed to financial, community and environmental results.

Venture Philanthropy Partners (VPP), a philanthropic investment
organization, is working to improve the lives of children from
low-income communities by pursuing two interrelated goals. First, we
help strengthen nonprofit organizations, offering not just major
funding but also significant management expertise and other
non-financial resources that are too rarely available to nonprofits.
Second, we are joining with others in our field to inspire
philanthropists, corporate and nonprofit leaders, and public
policymakers to help increase the effectiveness and the flow of
capital, talent, and other resources to nonprofit organizations
meeting the core needs of children.


I developed this list from a very useful site that I recommend you
visit and make use of yourself.  The site is CSRWire at:

They have a long list of affiliated organizations, and a search
function that allows some sorting:

I searched on the category of [Investment Orgs], then sorted through
these results -- largely based on my own knowledge of the various
groups -- to produce the list above.

Again, let me know if you would like any additional information.


Request for Answer Clarification by frankly-ga on 24 May 2004 15:23 PDT
Dear Pafalafa-ga,

You only give 2 companies and 1 pension fund that actually make socially
responsible investments of their own. That is hardly a list. 

All the rest of your answer are funds, associations, intermediaries,
networks, etc., which is what I said I did not want.

Note that Meadowbrook lane bank is not, as you say, a $17 billion
bank.  It's website  says something like its "meadowbrook lane people
have $17 billion in traditional banking experience"

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 24 May 2004 15:51 PDT

I'll be happy to do some more work on this.  But how about telling me
which three groups met your needs (I can probably guess, but I'd
rather get it straight from the source).  That way I can best focus my
follow-up work.


Request for Answer Clarification by frankly-ga on 25 May 2004 07:39 PDT
Dear Pafalafa-ga,

Thanks for offering to investigate further and I know that I am asking
for detailed information.

Actually, it seems there are really only two on your response who
actually make Socially Responsible Investments of their own:
storebrand and tiaa-cref.  (Meadowbrook lane bank is an advisor.) All
the others are either advisors, associations, services, funds, etc.
(i.e. they use 'other people's money')

Again, "The data I am looking for is a list of companies, corporate
foundations and pension funds that actually make socially responsible
investments of their own."

Hope that helps. 
Thank you very much. 

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 25 May 2004 15:13 PDT
Hello again,

This is actually taking a little more digging than I anticipated, so
hang tight.  I should have an updated answer for you in a day or two.


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 26 May 2004 08:19 PDT
Hello again,

I have some additional information, below.  But apology. 
In my initial answer, I assumed (incorrectly) that the CSRWire
database would provide a comprehensive listing of organizations that
met your criteria.  I was mistaken, and hopefully, have rectified that
mistake somewhat with the information below.

However, if you find you still need additional listings -- or if some
of the listings are not quite what you needed -- just let me know, and
I'll continue the hunt!




The UK passed a law a few years ago encouraging (but not mandating)
pension funds to take into consideration socially responsible concerns
in their investment decisions.  As a consequence, there are quite a
number of pensions in the UK that talk the talk on social
responsibility.  But do they walk the walk...?  Aye, there's the rub!

Friends of the Earth UK decided to ask this very question, and
published something of a report card on socially responsible pension

Top 100 UK pension funds - how ethical are they?
Friends of the Earth

Top 100 UK Pension Funds benchmarked on social, ethical and environmental criteria

Friends of the Earth lists what they consider to be the top UK
pensions in terms of social responsiblity in what they call "Group 1",
defined as pensions that include:

--Good statement on SRI
--Direct engagement
--Monitoring mechanisms in place

The top pensions meeting these criteria are, according to Friends of the Earth:

East Riding of Yorkshire

University Superannuation Scheme Ltd.

Merseyside Pension Fund

Nottinghamshire County Council

British Broadcasting Corporation

West Midland Metropolitan Authorities

Lancashire County Council

British Telecommunications plc

Environment Agency

South Tyneside Metropolitan District


Some other pension funds that came to my attention during my searches are:

[This appears to be the company that runs the British
Telecommunications fund cited by Friends of the Earth]

Hermes is an institutional fund manager independent of any broader
financial services group. We invest funds on behalf of over 200
clients including pension funds, insurance companies, government
entities and financial institutions, as well as charities and
endowments. However, Hermes? largest client is the BT Pension Scheme
(BTPS) who, as owner of Hermes, gives its investment management
perspective a unique insight and close alignment to the needs of other
long-term investors and especially pension funds.



[This is a UK Universities Superannuation Pension fund, also on the
above list, although there is no readily available overview statement
on their website of who they are and what they do]

USS and Socially Responsible and Sustainable Investment: An Overview

USS announced its commitment to a socially responsible and sustainable investment
(SRSI) approach in 1999 and further elaborated this with a detailed
SRSI strategy in
2000. At the time of the initial announcement Professor Sir Graeme Davies, USS Ltd
chairman, said: "Today no properly run public company -- or fund
manager -- should be
unaware of the importance of public opinion and ethical issues."


[another UK pension fund]

We have also written to all our equity managers about Socially
Responsible Investment to monitor what they are actually doing (in
line with JUST Pension principles) to ensure that much more than lip
service is being paid to this issue. We have been pleased with the
examples our managers have given on demonstrating the commitment to
this important issue. Much good work is clearly being done in a quite
effective way.


[West Midland, again, listed by Friends of the Earth]

The Pension "Fund" (West Midlands Metropolitan Authorities Pension
Fund WMMAPF) Administers the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS)
through the Finance & Physical Resources service group of
Wolverhampton City Council (The City Council). The West Midlands
Metropolitan Authorities Pension Fund, is primarily concerned with the
pension rights of local authority (Council & other Public
Bodies/Organisations) employees across the West Midlands area of the
United Kingdom (UK).

The West Midlands Pension Fund has a strong commitment to socially
responsible investing and we are very pleased to support this
initiative which will assist growing businesses in the most deprived
areas of the country, some of which are in our region. By offering not
just money, but support, advice and encouragement to budding
entrepreneurs we are convinced the Bridges Fund can meet out twin
objectives of gaining commercially viable returns for the members of
the Pension Scheme whilst meeting our commitment to socially
responsible investing.


[and a US fund as well]

The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits serves The United
Methodist Church by administering pension, retirement savings, health
and other benefit programs as authorized by General Conference (The
United Methodist Church's highest legislative body). Our services
touch the lives of more than 66,000 clergy, lay participants and their
families--approximately 26,000 retirees or their beneficiaries and
45,000 active workers.

As the nation's largest faith-based pension fund, we demonstrate our
stewardship with a solid financial track record coupled with a
steadfast history of positive social and environmental returns.

[The Church rund several separate funds, including:]

--Ministerial Pension Plan

--Staff Retirement Benefits Program

--Cumulative Pension and Benefit Fund

--Personal Investment Plan

--Horizon 401(k) Plan


There are also a few venture capital operations that seem to meet your criteria:

Social Venture Capital

In both the Calvert Social Investment Fund and the World Values
International Equity Fund, we allocate a relatively small portion of
the assets for early, direct investments in companies run by visionary
entrepreneurs who have identified profitable ways of addressing
society?s needs.

The Calvert Special Equities program1 invests in high-risk, socially
and environmentally responsible enterprises. These companies provide
market-based solutions to some of the more difficult social,
environmental and health problems. We hope that these long-term
venture capital investments will generate a greater return not only
for our investors but for future generations as well.


CEI Community Ventures (CCVI) manages a socially-responsible,
community development venture capital fund based in Portland, Maine.
We finance and provide resource to growth-oriented companies in
targeted communities in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.


EcoEnterprises Fund

EcoEnterprises Fund is a venture fund like no other. We invest capital
and technical assistance in environmentally compatible businesses in
Latin America and the Caribbean. Our investments return more than
profits - they generate income for local people, funding for
conservation, and hope for some of the planet's most diverse and
dramatic landscapes.


SJF Ventures (formerly Sustainable Jobs Fund)

The mission of SJF is to create quality employment for low wealth
citizens and communities by financing and assisting companies that
generate social, environmental, and financial gains.

SJF Ventures (formerly Sustainable Jobs Fund) helps build companies
that create value for customers, shareholders, employees and society

 Providing equity financing in rounds from $500,000 to $5,000,000 in
the Eastern U.S.


Again, I hope these are the types of organizations you're looking for.
 But don't hesitate to let me know if you would like additional (or
different!) information.

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