From: Natural Capital Institute (NCI)
Published October 22, 2004 05:49 PM

New Website Provides Investors With Broader Insight Into Sri Mutual Funds

New Site From Paul Hawken, http://www.responsibleinvesting.org, allows Investors to View Complete Equity Holdings of SRI Funds Worldwide


October 22, 2004 (Sausalito, California) A new website provides the first comprehensive view of the complete equity holdings of self-proclaimed socially responsible investment (“SRI”) mutual funds in North America and worldwide.


The new site — http://www.responsibleinvesting.org — is intended by its sponsor, the nonprofit Natural Capital Institute (NCI), to be an easy-to-use research tool for investors who want to know more about which companies SRI funds are actually holding. The website is a “one-stop-shop” that allows users to peruse the equity holdings, SRI screens and performance data of mutual funds around the world that use non-financial screening criteria in their portfolio selection process.


Underlying the website is a proprietary database built by NCI to supply the data for its recently released report analyzing the SRI industry. The report, “Socially Responsible Investing: How the SRI Industry Has Failed to Respond to People Who Want to Invest With Conscience and What Can Be Done to Change It,” provides recommendations to help the industry improve its transparency and social responsibility, and can be downloaded at http://www.responsibleinvesting.org.


By making the database publicly available, NCI hopes to positively contribute toward the push for transparency in the SRI industry. NCI Founder Paul Hawken said: “The challenges we faced in building this SRI database support our assertion that the SRI industry is unregulated and has no common standards.” Hawken noted that while the North American funds are legally required to provide holdings information biannually, the rest of the world has no such requirements. Moreover, added Hawken, “Investors are still unable to determine how and why particular companies are included in portfolios. The fund companies don't have to tell their investors what their standards are, or how they apply them. And there is no commonality in terms and definitions.”


The new website focuses on both SRI funds and the companies held by those funds. In its present beta version, the site contains current information for North American SRI funds, while updates are in progress for funds from other continents. Features of http://www.responsibleinvesting.org include top line statistics on:


  • Funds by size and performance
  • Amounts of aggregate SRI investment by company and industry


    All users can view SRI screens, performance data and top 10 holdings for the funds in the database. Funds are viewable by geographic region, asset management firm, SRI screen and performance data.


    In addition, paid subscribers to the website have access to complete lists of portfolio holdings of all funds in the database, complete lists of funds in the database holding any given company, and advanced search capabilities.


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    About Paul Hawken


    Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and best-selling author of The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability and co-author of Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution. At the age of 20, he became fascinated with the relationship between human and living systems. His concerns extended from health to farming, from commerce to social justice. He started several ecological businesses, writes and teaches about the impact of commerce upon the environment, and consults with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. To read more, visit http://www.paulhawken.com.


    About the Natural Capital Institute


    The Natural Capital Institute (NCI) researches principles and practices leading to social justice and environmental restoration. NCI initiates projects relating to the relationship between human and living systems, with particular emphasis on ecological economics, green business, innovative design, and social justice. NCI believes the current downward spiral of environmental and social conditions can be arrested and that a just and restorative economy is possible. To read more, visit www.naturalcapital.org .


    For information, contact: sri@naturalcapital.org or (415) 331-6241


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