Statement on Occupy Wall Street
Trillium Asset Management, LLC is the oldest independent US investment firm dedicated to sustainable investing.
Sustainability is a concept used to describe social systems — whether a family, a corporation or a society as a whole. A social system is sustainable when it is economically vital, environmentally responsible, and socially equitable. Each of these qualities partly depends on the other two, and all of them flourishing together and in balance are necessary for a social system to be truly sustainable.
We agree with essential themes emerging from Occupy Wall Street (OWS).
The rallying cry of OWS is: “We are the 99%.” With this self-identification, participants in OWS reference the amply documented fact that over the past 30 years wealth and income have been increasingly concentrated in the hands of just 1% of the US population. As history teaches, such extreme inequity can be socially destabilizing and economically disruptive. It is unsustainable.
Wall Street is the target of this protest because it is one of the most visible symbols of concentrated wealth, and because many Wall Street institutions participated in bringing the global economy to the brink of disaster. The protestors are also justifiably disappointed in our government, which has failed to resist or meaningfully regulate the corrupting influence of corporate political spending, and at our tax structure, which advantages society’s wealthiest individuals. Most Americans share these frustrations, as do we at Trillium.
As a pioneer in the field of socially responsible investment, we believe it is our duty to advocate for a market-based economy that provides opportunity for, and serves the needs of the 100% — not just the 1%. We join the call for corporations to do their part by paying their fair share of taxes, comply with the letter and the spirit of regulations designed to protect the public interest, refrain from making political contributions, and treat customers, employees and communities with dignity and respect. We call on public policymakers to respond to the clear message of their constituents that our democratic system is imperiled by accelerating social and economic inequality, and take firm measures to redress this trend. We stand at a crossroads, and the direction we must take is clear.
About Trillium Asset Management, LLC
Trillium Asset Management, LLC has for nearly 30 years acted as an agent of capitalism with a conscience, using our voice as shareholders to advocate for economic vitality, environmental responsibility and social equity among publicly held corporations around the globe.
You can download this statement here.