US companies are becoming more receptive to the environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns of shareholders, according to a new survey of socially responsible investing (SRI) experts.
Nine out of the 11 experts quizzed in a new study from Monitor Global Outlook, a research service of the Christian Science Monitor, say that companies have been more sensitive to ESG issues this year than in the previous five years.
They say that this change is most evident in companies’ responses to investor complaints lodged during recent proxy seasons – the period during which companies hold their annual shareholder meetings.
According to Institutional Shareholder Services, in the US, as of May 5, 166 shareholder resolutions had been withdrawn this proxy season. This suggests SRI investors have been encouraged by company action. This number is up from 151 withdrawals in 2013, 137 in 2012 and 127 in 2011.
“The way that companies are coming to the table and actually talking – it looks like more than ever”, said Andrew Behar, chief executive officer of As You Sow, a builder of SRI coalitions for shareholder activism, and a member of the expert panel.
However, the study notes that resolutions that are going forward tend to focus on one issue: climate change.
The issues of climate change and spending on political and lobbying activities – which often relate to climate change – account for well over half of the shareholder proposals filed this year, the report claims.
“What you’ve seen from the investment community and from the [non-governmental organisation] community is a ramping up of additional ways to address the issue”, said Rev Seamus Finn of the Oblate International Pastoral Investment Trust, another member of the panel.
“It shows a frustration with the political process and a sense of urgency.”
Another of this year’s hot topics is the question of stranded assets, which the interviewee panel named as 2014’s “sleeper issue”.
In order to restrict global warming to the internationally agreed target of 2C from pre-industrial times, experts warn that the majority of known fossil fuel reserves must never be used.
This means these reserves may become worthless stranded assets, posing a significant risk to investors.
In a high-profile example of a company rejecting shareholder concerns, oil giant ExxonMobil recently reaffirmed its intention to burn all of its hydrocarbon reserves. The firm rejected the notion that its fossil-fuel assets would become stranded.
Laura Berry, executive director of the Interfaith Centre on Corporate Responsibility and another of the report’s contributors, said ExxonMobil’s report “is so transparent as to be almost cynical”.
She added, “It says, ‘OK, we’ll tell you everything we’re going to do, and by the way, none of it has anything to do with making things better’.”
Although Monitor Global Outlook’s report suggests companies in the US are warming to the idea of engagement with climate concerns, some major polluters seem to be following Exxon’s example.
In a letter to shareholders published last week, oil giant Royal Dutch Shell also said that it does not believe any of its reserves will be stranded.
Photo: Emilian Robert Vicol via Flickr
Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis
Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.
Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long will my retirement savings last?”
Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.
Tip #1: Focus & Determination
Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.
Tip #2: Minimize Spending
One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!
Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal
You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.
Investing in Clean Energy
One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.
With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.
The Future of Green Biz
As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.
Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.
In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!
How to make a sustainable living out of Forex Trading?
There are two different types of forex trading in general: the profitable one and the not so profitable one. Everyone wants good profits at the end of the day, but unfortunately a good number of traders are burdened with the huge losses at the end of their forex careers. Many newbies run the other way around when they hear about forex trading due to heavy losses in their initial period. Of course, you would have heard about all those success stories, in your friends’ circle or on the internet. However, if you are looking forward to replicate those success stories, you need get yourself ready before that.
In this article, we will discuss the six essential skills that are needed to earn some profits from trading foreign currencies and make a sustainable living out of it.
1. Limit your risk ceiling
When you start with forex, you should try to define limits. Try to create a balanced scorecard that defines your personality with regards to various parameters such as your strengths, weaknesses, behaviors, and ability to take risks. It is essential that you list your financial goals before you start with forex trading.
2. Learn about leverage ratio and account type
When you start, brokers will suggest different forex trading accounts that might take you for a whirl if you aren’t prepared. Each forex trading account has its own pros and cons. It is essential that you engage with your broker to create a mini trading account so that you will be able to warm up on your forex trading skills in a low risk environment.
3. Start small
While starting out, some investors rush to have multiple currency pairs without doing proper research on them beforehand. It is very important have you understand the nature and volatility of a currency before you start trading a pair. Every single foreign currency is like a market onto itself. It is therefore important that you take the time to study about the country before forming pairs to understand the volatility of the currency. By using forex trading platforms such as ETX Capital, you can take informed decisions easily.
4. Learn to control emotions
A forex trader should never take any decisions on the spur of the moment based on emotions and should be as rational as he can. Controlling your impulses is the key to becoming a great forex trader.
5. Automate your processes
I am not suggesting you to rely completely on forex robots and trade copiers, but make use of the latest automation tech to execute transactions faster than ever before. Make use of automation features such as stop loss, price options etc. to make the most out of the exciting opportunities.
6. Keep it simple.
Not everyone can be a genius economist, mathematician and a trader, bundled into one. Forex trading is not a complex subject, you only need to arm yourself with positive thinking, and set yourself clear and realistic goals.
I hope this article was useful for you to learn about the key reasons why online forex trading is a good investment and how you can earn money through it. If you have any doubts with regards to this, let us know through the comments and we will be glad to help you out. If you have any suggestions regarding how we can improve the article, let us know them through the comments as well for us to improve.
Though it’s a reliable source of income, you will have to educate yourself properly before you start investing. It is important that you take the time to understand why things are the way they are before you jump all in and start making your first big bucks. All the best for your future ventures and keep coming for more interesting and useful articles.
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