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Filed under: Ethical Investing – General Background

The Story of Stuff – A modern classic on YouTube

This is a thought-provoking video that has been circulating around the web for a few years now. It is a simple perspective of our production and consumption patterns, and what that means to the natural systems upon which we depend. The Story of Stuff is sure to stir some heated discussions.

Ethical Investment In Action – 2014 Issues

Institutional money managers whose mandate includes socially responsible investment considerations are targeting the following issues in 2014.

  • How to reconcile the risk of investing in fossil fuel companies if fully exploiting those companies’ reserves results in worst case global warming.
  • How to best mitigate or eliminate the environmental risks posed by the Northern Gateway and Keystone pipelines.
  • How to deal with companies that are complicit in the violation of human rights in the countries in which they operate. Continue…

Community Investment Possibilities

I’ve been doing a little ‘back of the napkin’ calculation I’d like to share with you. My sources at the annual Bilderberg meeting, where such matters are regularly discussed, have told me I’m pretty close to the mark. The implications are sobering. Hopefully the work being done to address the issue will leave you feeling encouraged, maybe even inspired.

So here’s the math. Continue…

Shades of Green

These are fascinating times for those of us working in the field of Socially Responsible Investment (SRI). The themes surrounding SRI have been evolving for almost 50 years now – from Ralph Nader’s fight on behalf of auto safety standards in the 60’s, to faith-based campaigns to divest from South African businesses in the 70’s, to the creation of investment management teams in the 80’s and 90’s that screened and engaged companies on behalf of the common values of shareholders.

Yet until very recently SRI was confined to the fringes of investment management, particularly here in Canada. Now there are shades and nuances that go beyond the original intent of influencing corporate behaviour, Continue…

More on MicroCredit

A break from stock talk this month, after all it’s the Christmas season, and thoughts turn to helping the less advantaged.

By now I’m sure just about everyone has heard of KIVA (, the wildly successful organization that facilitates small loans to needy family businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the developing world.

Individual KIVA lenders do not receive any interest on their loans. Rather, we enter into these arrangements solely for the satisfaction of having given someone a boost in a business that strikes a chord with us. The internet has made this quick, easy and interactive.

Today there are scores of organizations involved in microlending. One of the very first on the scene, Continue…

Green Myths

Already in retreat due to the global financial meltdown, evangelical capitalists are now in a lather over a little documentary running on YouTube entitled “The Story of Stuff”, which takes a stab at educating young people (and old ones who haven’t been paying attention) as regards to where stuff comes from, how much stuff is needed to make that stuff, and where the stuff goes when we’re finished with it. Think Paul and Anne Ehrlich and their influential work on ecology, updated for the digital generation.

Attempting to understand and catalogue the full story of stuff has given rise to Continue…


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