From the Commons

The Role of Sustainable Chemistry in Human & Environmental Health

Constantina Bichta, PhD, Associate Director of ESG Research Earth Day 2022 calls on us to “Invest in Our Planet”, an appeal to protect and preserve human health and the natural environment through bold and equitable action and innovation. Mindful of this call to action, we are highlighting Boston Common’s work in sustainable chemicals management and green chemistry investing, key elements in fostering a greener, healthier, more just and equitable future. Unsafe chemicals in consumer products are responsible for several ill effects: Potential serious health effects due to toxicity, carcinogenic, and mutagenic qualities; severe environmental degradation of terrestrial and aquatic systems due [...]

April 28, 2022|Categories: From the Commons|

Active Investor Impact Update – Q1 2022

Recent events have once again shown that depending on countries with repressive regimes lacking internal accountability poses a high risk to investors and citizens alike. There is now a geopolitically driven urgency to pivot immediately -- to cut energy demand in pursuit of energy independence. Sustainable investors can finance a post-Ukraine economy by providing patient capital paired with an impatient voice for change. Featured this quarter: The Other Energy Solution What Critics Get Wrong—and Right—About ESG Investing Our Net Zero Asset Managers Commitment 2022 Proxy Season Update Read read more in this edition of the Active Investor Impact Update

Active Investor Impact Update – Q4 2021

As we enter 2022, addressing climate and pandemic impacts are top of mind at Boston Common. We are hopeful that in the new year, investors will bring the necessary urgency to address these uncertainties, driving corporations to adopt a permanent shift towards prioritizing ESG risks and putting the well-being of people and planet at the center of corporate strategy. Amid widespread concern about greenwashing, there is a growing push to develop standards for ESG reporting, and establish greater scrutiny of sustainability claims. Regulators in the US and Europe are acting to address the risks of operating without well-defined global standards. [...]

January 19, 2022|Categories: From the Commons|Tags: |

Biodiversity: Combatting the Impact of Deforestation

The discussion on climate change has evolved over the years to become broader and more comprehensive. Climate change adaptation, resilience, and mitigation techniques play a crucial role in risk management and fossil fuels are often center stage for scrutiny and debate. As conversations around climate broaden, we have seen biodiversity take on a larger role as a risk that investors cannot ignore. Biodiversity encompasses a wide range of underlying issues including sustainable forestry, sustainable agriculture, and indigenous people’s rights. In this first in a series of blogs exploring this multi-faceted issue, we will focus on Boston Common’s approach to [...]

Active Investor Impact Update – 3Q 2021

As women’s rights and voting rights come under attack in the US, we remain vigilant against policies that threaten the diverse, inclusive society we seek. Growth, resilience, and innovation are fostered by broad-based economic, social, and political participation. Focusing on racial and gender diversity at the corporate level, we are holding the companies in which we invest accountable for fostering a culture of equity and inclusion, reflecting this in their business strategy and Value chain and for supporting policies aligned with these goals in greater society. Encouraged by the positive results we’ve seen from our Racial Diversity on Boards engagement [...]

October 1, 2021|Categories: From the Commons|Tags: |

Active Investor Impact Update – Q2 2021

During the second quarter of 2021, we celebrated the LGBTQ+ community, commemorating Pride Month in June, which marks the end of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in Manhattan - a critical tipping point in the movement towards LGBTQ+ liberation. With the Juneteenth holiday and the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder still fresh on our minds, these solemn and celebratory dates have us focused on the human impact that our investor voice can have in building the future we seek. Join us in recognizing these impacts as we work to maintain our momentum through 2021. Featured this quarter: From Awareness to Action: Turning [...]

The Risks That Matter, The Tools We Need

Geeta Aiyer, President and Founder Reflections on a Financial Journey The major risks of our time -- climate change, pandemics, rising, extreme inequality -- are not unexpected, "black swan" events, but rather are well-known, cumulative developments happening all around us. They are interconnected, often mutually exacerbating trends that demand our attention. What are the old habits of financial thinking that prevent us from adequately assessing, preparing for, and acting to avert these risks? And how can we, as thoughtful investors and engaged citizens, reframe our work and make our tools fit for purpose? What enables our unseeing complicity (doesn't impact [...]

October 7, 2020|Categories: From the Commons|

Earth Day in the Time of COVID-19: Investor Engagement Focus & Impact

Lauren Compere, Managing Director   Reflecting on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, our focus has been both local and global: the health and safety of our community, the health of our planet, and our impact and role as active, engaged investors. As we look to assess and address the impacts of COVID-19, we must continue our vital work in addressing ongoing systemic risks, particularly the climate crisis. In this sense, our engagement priorities have not changed, but the lens through which we evaluate and act will.   COVID-19 and society's efforts to contain the contagion together pose a global [...]

April 17, 2020|Categories: From the Commons|

Workplace Equality: A Roadmap for Comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

 In Brief: Gender and racial equality in the workplace has proved elusive despite many corporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs. At most large companies, the retention and promotion of employees of color has remained relatively low or stagnant; Better inclusion and diversity policies and practices can be a source of competitive advantage and a key enabler of growth for firms. Corporate boards have made progress for women that was unimaginable a decade ago; women held 27% of S&P 500 board seats in 2019 vs. 15% in 2011.1 We identify three mutually-reinforcing areas of sustained effort that made progress possible: Investor [...]

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