Investors are increasingly expanding their attention beyond past performance to evaluate what the mutual funds and exchange-traded funds in their accounts are invested in.Read More
Investors who decide to put their money where their values are have a small but fast-growing array of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds to choose from.Read More
If you’re looking in your 401(k) plan for investments that back clean energy or gender and racial diversity, you may have a tough time finding them.Read More
President Donald Trump loves climate-wrecking coal and hates the climate-saving Paris Agreement.Read More
In the past few years, investors divested at least $6 trillion of assets from fossil fuel fundsRead More
Many of the congressional aides and federal agency staffers working to combat climate change are also investing for retirement in companies that are making the problem worse.Read More
It has been raining in Nashville. I don’t mean a little rain, I mean 13.47 inches of rain through Feb. 23, a mere 3 inches shy of the record monthly rainfall we received in 2010, which unfortunately flooded my home and many others in the area. Needless to say, I’ve been more than a little worried about the weather.Read More
Progressive lawmakers are currently pushing a bold resolution on climate change that they hope will set a course for Democratic presidential candidates and legislative efforts after the 2020 elections.Read More
MSCI also has carbon-footprint data, while As You Sow has a fossil-free screen for mutual funds but no carbon-data metric, says Christina Alfandary, managing director of ESG for Gamco Asset Management. “Some investors want to see this [expanded] carbon portfolio information,” she says. Now they can.Read More
Now there is a tool, the website Fossil Free Funds, that helps pinpoint funds and E.T.F.s focused on companies withsmaller carbon footprints. “There were 10 funds when we started that we identified as fossil-fuel free,” said Andrew S. Behar, chief executive officer of As You Sow, the Oakland, Calif., environmental group that created Fossil Free Funds. “Now it’s up to 31.”Read More
Don’t assume mutual funds meet this standard just because they’re designated as “socially responsible.” Instead, run the funds through an online tool created by As You Sow, a group that presses for corporate responsibility. The tool makes it easy to spot fossil-fuel exposure and identify greener options.Read More
That brings us back to the carbon that may be hiding in your mutual fund or 401(k). One of the pioneers in the divest/reinvest movement is the nonprofit foundation As You Sow, which works with shareholders to improve corporate accountability. It has developed a tool that finds the carbon in thousands of the most common mutual funds and retirement plans. It does the detective work instantly and cost-free with up-to-date data.
Using 401(k) retirement plans as an example, As You Sow’s explains “those funds can invest in a wide array of securities, and it’s not always easy for investors to investigate what’s inside the funds they own. You can spend hours poring over mutual fund prospectuses, and still not fully grasp everything your 401(k) is invested in. Your retirement money may be invested in economically and morally risky fossil fuel companies.”Read More
“If what you read about stranded assets is true, it’s a potentially serious problem for regular, middle-class people who aren’t necessarily paying attention,” says Cari Rudd, a Washington DC-based communications consultant, who does social media work for Divest-Invest and sits on the board of As You Sow, an Oakland, California-based nonprofit that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy.
For example, As You Sow’s Fossil Free Funds, which uses data from Morningstar, is a free online tool that allows investors to type in the name or ticker of a fund and see what percentage is invested in fossil fuels. Earlier this month, the organization expanded Fossil Free Funds to include a feature that shows each fund’s carbon footprint and which companies are the main contributors. For 401k participants who don’t have direct control of selecting the funds offered in their retirement plan, As You Sow also provides advice on how to speak to their employers about expanding their company’s plan to include low-carbon options.Read More