Perspectives from Pax World on sustainable investing and emerging social, environmental and governance issues.
- Investor: Colorado Can Lead in Renewable Energy | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted April 2013
In 2004, Colorado became the first state in the nation to create a Renewable Energy Standard at the ballot box. That year, citizens called for the state to get 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources. Lawmakers took this mandate and raised the bar further, first to 20 percent—then again to 30 percent. Investors and companies have rewarded the state for its efforts.
- We Still Need a Carbon Tax, Pipeline or Not | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted March 2013
President Obama has put climate change back on the public policy agenda. Well, Executive Branch policy at least. Congress will of course do nothing, in large measure because one bloc (which happens to be one of our two great political parties) denies the science and receives heavy financial backing from the very special interest that stands to benefit most from doing nothing—the fossil-fuel industry (coal, oil, gas and power companies).
- Lead Battery Recycling, Worker Safety, and the Environment | by Greg Hasevlat, Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted March 2013
Technological advancements in how we create, store and access information have changed our lives in ways we could have never imagined. While the electronic devices we use shrink in size, the information we create doubles every two years. As investors participating in this market, we are both excited for its potential to generate value for our shareholders and eager to engage companies on the key environmental and social issues inherent in this system.
- Global Board Diversity Still Has A Long Way To Go | by Heather Smith, Lead Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted March 2013
Governments, institutional investors and advocacy groups continue to play a key role in moving companies towards more diverse boards.
- Busting The Myths About Gun Divestment | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on March 2013
The killing of innocent schoolchildren and their teachers in Newtown, Connecticut was the latest in a long list of dreadful events that spotlight the
imperfections of our society. But it has brought the issue of investments in gun manufacturers into the national conversation, really for the first time.
- Pax World UN Global Compact Communication in Progress 2013
by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing Posted March 2013
"Pax World (Pax) was one of the first investment managers to integrate Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into our investment analysis and decision making through a process known as sustainable investing. As part of our core mission, we analyze each potential investment not only for its financial characteristics, but its impact on the environment, its workers and supply chain, communities and customers. We also examine the governance of the enterprise issuing securities, as governance affects every other aspect of the management of any enterprise.
Pax believes that this approach is deeply compatible with the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact, and every one of those Principles is reflected in our ESG analysis, shareowner and public policy advocacy, as well as in our own approach to managing our own company. This Communication on Progress provides brief descriptions of some of the steps we have taken in 2012 to implement those Principles throughout our own organization and in our approach to investment."
- Fossil Fuels and Sustainable Investing | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted January 2013
Remarks to student environmental action coalition campaign to divest University of New Hampshire's endowment from fossil fuel companies.
"The growing student movement focusing on divestment from fossil fuels, along with the work of Bill McKibben and 350.org more broadly, deserve encouragement and support — for making the debate about climate change more public, more pointed, more urgent and hitting closer to home."
- From Growth Capitalism to Sustainable Capitalism: The Next 20 Years of Sustainable Investing | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted September 2012
"Twenty years from now, we will have either successfully transitioned from our current economic growth paradigm to a new model of Sustainable Capitalism or we will be suffering the calamitous consequences of our failure to do so. Likewise, sustainable investing will either remain a niche strategy or it will have supplanted mainstream investing [...]
- Gender Equality as an Investment Concept | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on April 15, 2011
“The best clue to a nation’s growth and development potential is the status and role of women.” — David S. Landes, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations — The above quote, from a learned historian, speaks to a nation’s growth and development potential—and today there is a strong consensus among international development experts that investing in women […]
- Pax World Announces Advocacy Initiative Results for 2011 Proxy Season | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on August 25, 2011
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.///August 8, 2011/// Pax World Management LLC, (Pax World) investment adviser to Pax World Funds, ESG Shares® ETFs and ESG Managers® Portfolios, and a leader in the field of Sustainable Investing, announced today the results of its shareowner and public policy advocacy work during the 2011 proxy season.[...]
- Sustainable Investing and the Next Economy | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on July 13, 2010
Speech To The Boston Economic Club, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
"My remarks tonight are set against the twin backdrops of the Financial Crisis and what I will call the Sustainability Crisis—twin crises that should challenge our thinking about investing, certainly, but also about economics more broadly, as they betray deep-seated, systemic problems that neither government […]
- Financial Reform Needs To Protect Investors | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO and Lisa Woll, CEO, Social Investment Forum | Posted on April 29, 2010
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-CT) has introduced comprehensive financial reform legislation that will soon go to the Senate floor for debate. The Dodd bill creates a consumer protection watchdog, a financial oversight council to monitor systemic risk and a new office to oversee credit rating agencies. It allows federal regulators to impose strict […]
- Shareholder Advocacy Success Stories | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on March 9, 2010
Guidance on Climate Risks and Opportunities A major highlight of Pax’s public policy advocacy over the past year is the January 2010 vote of the SEC to issue interpretive guidance on climate risk and opportunity disclosure.1 There are many ways to pursue sustainability in the […]
- The End of the Broker Vote, or the Beginnings of Democracy in America | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on August 14, 2009
Early in July 2009, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) finally ended what Beth Young, a governance expert at The Corporate Library, called its “inexplicable waffling” on the last vestige of broker voting: director elections. The rule came in response to a petition from the […]
- Data, Efficient Markets and Sustainability: Connecting the Federal Dots | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on May 14, 2009
One of the foundations of modern finance is the Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMF), which holds that financial markets are informationally efficient, incorporating all known or relevant information about traded securities. Yet the history of financial markets is studded with revelations of major market participants (and their regulators) ignoring available information, or having no access at […]
- Bankruptcy Relief for Homeowners at Risk of Foreclosure | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on April 26, 2009
The United States Senate will likely take up a housing bill next week. The so-called “cramdown” provision – allowing bankruptcy courts to restructure mortgages, including reducing the principal – should be embraced as a relatively simple, tax-free and absolutely essential component. Since 1971, when my company launched the nation’s first socially responsible mutual fund, investors […]
- Tone Deaf: Executive Compensation and The Economy | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on March 31, 2009
Outrage over CEO compensation is one of those predictable events, like the annual return of the swallows to San Juan Capistrano. But this year it’s as if a flock of flamingos descended on the old mission, thanks to AIG. While AIG’s recent antics are probably going to hold the egregiousness record for some time, there […]
- Sustainable Investing and the Financial Crisis | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on December 16, 2008
Speculative bubbles, before they inevitably burst, are fundamentally the triumph of short-term thinking over long-term thinking, and of short-term investors over long-term investors.The Financial Crisis of 2008 may be unique and unprecedented but it shares elements in common with previous market upheavals, such as the crisis of 1997–1998 or the bursting of the Internet bubble […]
- Sustainable Investing as an Emergent Investment Discipline | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on September 23, 2008
The conference we are gathered at is called “Sustainable Investing 2008.” Had this same conference been held a few years ago, it likely would have used the term, “Socially Responsible Investing,” or SRI, to denote the subject matter. Or perhaps “Ethical Investing,” or “Mission-based investing,” or some other variation.The Social Investment Forum—the trade industry association […]
- Avoiding a Human Trafficking Jam | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing and Molly Mahoney Betournay, Lead Sustainability Research Analyst | Posted on August 29, 2008
A reputation, Benjamin Franklin once said, is like glass and china: it’s easy to crack and never well mended. In the business world, a company’s reputation is intimately tied to its brand, which is one of the key sources of long-term value. Brand, or corporate reputation, is a fundamentally asymmetric thing. A good brand takes years […]
- Sustainable Investing and Values | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on March 17, 2008
“In the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of The Green Money Journal, I wrote an article (“From SRI to Sustainable Investing”) arguing that sustainable investing is the next stage in the evolution of socially responsible investing (SRI). This shift from SRI to sustainable investing is not only taking shape in the real world, but the interest in […]
- Ecology and the Challenge of Sustainable Investing | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on February 29, 2008
My remarks today will focus on whether sustainable investing can play a significant role in halting the dramatic decline of the world’s natural environment, including the world’s forests, the preservation of which is the focus of your work at the Pinchot Institute. My simple thesis is that sustainable investing can indeed play such a role, […]
- Alpha or Beta? The Financial Value of Sustainability | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on October 24, 2007
Every profession probably has its gotcha question, the $64,000 “what did he know and when did he know it” conversation-stopper. In the world of socially responsible investing, the question comes down to performance: “Can SRI possibly perform as well as mainstream investing?” There is a permutation of this question aimed at companies (“Do responsible corporate […]
- Democracy in America: Corporate Proxies, the SEC, and the Corporation | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on August 1, 2007
In 2002, the government of Iraq deemed Saddam Hussein the winner in its national election, having won 100 percent of the vote. It wasn’t entirely clear how the ballots were counted, and apparently in some northern provinces there were no ballots at all, according to the CNN story. CNN also dryly noted, “Saddam was the […]
- The Razor’s Edge | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on June 6, 2007
It’s annual meeting season, when corporate management and boards meet with shareholders. That means it’s also the season to focus on executive compensation, with pay-watchers looking for the most outrageous stories like birdwatchers awaiting the arrival of the swallows at San Juan Capistrano. Sadly, it doesn’t take powerful optics to see that executive compensation has […]
- From SRI to Sustainable Investing | by Joseph F. Keefe, President & CEO | Posted on June 4, 2007
Over the next 15 years, I think we will see a transition from the old world of socially responsible investing to the new world of sustainable investing. By sustainable investing, I mean the full integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into financial analysis and decision-making. This transition is critical if our industry is to […]
- Admission Impossible: Or, What Brilliant People Do When They Don’t Know Something | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on May 10, 2007
Warren Buffett, aka the Oracle of Omaha, is a very smart man, and his investors are happily loyal. So when he says things, we all listen, and many of us assume he’s right. But I have yet to find anyone so smart that they’re incapable of being wrong, and in my opinion Warren Buffett is […]
- The Board Whisperer | by Julie Fox Gorte, Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Sustainable Investing | Posted on May 9, 2007
Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier is recommending that other investors withhold votes for Michael Boskin, a member of the board of ExxonMobil. While it is hardly unprecedented for a shareowner to withhold votes for a director, this is perhaps the first time a major institutional asset owner has so clearly targeted a board member for […]