Finding socially responsible investments is easier than ever before, but questions still remain about actual impact. A responsible fund may call itself a low-carbon exchange-traded fund, but how much carbon is it actually mitigating?
“The challenge for impact investors is it can be hard to understand what’s actually going on in these responsible fund strategies,” says Amy O’Brien, head of responsible investing at Nuveen in New York City.
Socially responsible investors may be surprised at how many low-carbon ETFs hold the FANG names – Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google, now Alphabet – and other tech companies that have just bought carbon offsets to reduce their footprint, says New York-based Kellen Parker, vice president of Analytics at Flat World Partners.
Here are a few ways investors can assess whether they are making socially responsible investments.
- Learn to measure socially responsible investments.
- Mind the data gaps.
- Understand the methodology behind the rating.
- Work with a professional.
Learn to Measure Socially Responsible Investments
This was the story the team at nonprofit As You Sow uncovered when the organization started working with investors who wanted to divest fossil fuels.