Middlebury College Panel Discussion: Challenges and Opportunities of Socially Responsible Investing
On Monday, April 7, 2014 Trillium’s Stephanie Leighton, CFA participated in a SRI-focused panel at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Stephen Diehl, of the Middlebury College Pressroom, writes:
“The panel, moderated by Student Government Association President Rachel Liddell ’15, included six investment experts and focused on how institutions can incorporate an Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG) framework in their investment-selection process and how professionals evaluate fossil-fuel investments in educational and foundation endowments…
Trillium Asset Management partner and portfolio manager Stephanie Leighton said her firm is seeing less of the avoidance approach that characterized divestment from South Africa in the 1980s. ‘The real trend in the last few years, especially from young people, is to seek out positive investments,’ she said. ‘So we spend a lot of time trying to find the leading edge companies, and when we find the leaders, we ask the followers to adopt the policies of the leaders.’
Leighton also noted a dramatic increase in shareholder interest in ESG issues over the past few decades. ‘Twenty to 30 years ago, five percent of shareholders were showing interest in social and environmental issues. Now we get 50 percent and more, sometimes, of investors of all stripes thinking about these social and environmental issues…’”
You can read the entire article, and watch a video of the panel, here.