Today, Sea Change Radio talks with Nick Robins of HSBC and Cary Krosinsky of Trucost about their book, Sustainable Investing. We also visit the Responsible Investing Forum, produced in association with the Social Investment Forum, where we speak with Tim Smith of Walden Asset Management about shareowner activism and hear the excerpts from the keynote of John Ruggie, the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights.
CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with Eric Cohen, chairperson for Investors against Genocide and Tim Smith, senior vice president at Walden Asset Management and immediate past chair of the Social Investment Forum, about the campaign promoting targeted divestment by mutual funds from companies supporting the Khartoum regime in the Sudan.
Smith, who helped pioneer the practice of shareholder activism encouraging companies to adopt more sustainable and responsible practices as a founder of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, discusses the novelty and efficacy of engaging mutual funds, which has rarely been practiced until now.
Cohen explains the strategy in-depth, noting that the SEC upheld its validity after mutual fund giant Fidelity challenged it legally. He also cites a 2007 survey in which 71% of respondents said that mutual fund companies should take into account extreme cases of human rights abuses when investing overseas, rather than make their investment decisions on economic criteria alone.