We had a great question this week from one of our clients regarding racial justice and investing. She asked how we integrate this very important and timely issue into our investment portfolios. I answered her directly, but I thought this would be a good space to expand on that answer.
Generally speaking, the Earth Equity investment strategy focuses on sustainability. We believe that a very important component of sustainability is racial and economic justice. It is often the case that many of the world’s most polluted areas are also areas with extreme poverty or communities of color or both. A shift away from polluting industries to a more environmentally friendly economy is an absolute must to begin to address these issues. That’s why we focus on renewable energy, recycling and circular economy companies, clean water and green transportation and not on fossil fuels, chemicals or mining.
Beyond this, we work with our outside investment managers to implement impactful investment solutions to racial justice. Many of these managers use the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as guidelines for their impact. Here are some great examples:
- Community Capital Management’s CRA Fund invests in communities and directly targets racial justice with their CARES program. They also work on economic justice, women’s empowerment and international development. Here is their annual impact report to learn more.
- The Green Alpha Next Economy Social Index focuses on sustainability and diversity. I personally know all of the principals of the firm quite well and know that they are dedicated to making an impact.
- Brown Advisory, along with Green Alpha, manages a lot of assets for us. The Brown Advisory Sustainable Growth Fund uses the UN SDGs as a guide to their impact and they make sure to focus on the categories of diversity, inclusion, equality as well as economic mobility & community development. Likewise, Brown’s Sustainable Bond Fund focuses on these categories as well, only on the bond side.
- The real estate fund we use, the Vert Global Sustainable Real Estate Fund focuses on sustainability, diversity and engagement.
- Finally, many clients own Calvert Impact Capital Notes which, I believe, have the greatest investment impact. They support a considerable amount of affordable housing initiatives as well as well as racial and gender equity, immigration, aging and local investing. They specifically asked their investment partners to comment on racial justice and the steps they are taking right after the George Floyd murder.
These are just some examples of how our investment partners are making an impact. As a firm, we have suspended Facebook advertising because of their policies (or lack thereof) regarding content. We also are strong supporters of Pisgah Legal Services, OurVoice NC, and Camp Girl Boss. We are proud to work with all of these organizations to make the world a better place.
Contact us if you would like to learn more about our process or would like to schedule a consultation.