I'm new to investing and am doing some research. What are some green companies or stocks I should look into?
– Kristin of Vancouver
Let’s start with the term. What you’re searching for is called socially responsible investing (SRI). SRI is what you get when environmental, social and governance factors come together in the selection and management of investments.
SRI investments take into account environmental sustainability or stewardship, labour practices, human rights and corporate governance.
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Chances are good — but not guaranteed — that you won’t be supporting businesses involved in alcohol, tobacco, gambling, weapons or mining.
It also goes beyond “green” companies.
Investments are screened for things like human-rights violations, community involvement and environmental performance. And why shouldn’t you be able to align your financial goals with your personal values? An excellent Canadian resource is the Social Investment Organization. It’s a national membership-based organization that includes financial institutions, investment firms, financial advisors and various organizations and individuals interested in socially responsible investment.
The organization has a series of fact sheets designed to answer questions like “Do social investors sacrifice returns?” or “What is community investing?”
Although most mainstream banks don’t carry ethical funds, most credit unions do, so it’s worth asking. We can play the supply-and-demand game, too. The more of us that ask for socially responsible investments, the better.
Lindsay Coulter gives you the straight goods on living green. Send your questions to email@example.com. For more great tips, visit The David Suzuki Foundation at davidsuzuki.org.