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[Event Recap] [BASIC Event] Massachusetts: A Case Study on Climate Action and Energy Finance

Dan Saccardi

On Monday, April 25th, Mass Energy Consumer Alliance’s (Mass Energy) Executive Director, Larry Chretien, led a discussion on Massachusetts’ progress towards achieving its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction commitments. The event was hosted by Building A Sustainable Investment Community (BASIC) Boston and Mass Energy at the Unitarian Universalist Association. Larry outlined Massachusetts’ need to follow through on its ambitious commitments, the significant business opportunity in achieving The Commonwealth’s goals, examples of municipal leadership, and what to do going forward. Continue reading for Dan Saccardi's recap...

[Event Recap] [BASIC Event] Perspectives on rating funds on sustainability performance with Morningstar and Sustainalytics

Bjoern P. Stengel

On March 7th the Boston Area Sustainable Investment Consortium hosted an event on ESG integration into fund analysis. Our two guest speakers, Jon Hale of Morningstar and Diederik Timmer of Sustainalytics, introduced the topic by presenting their companies’ joint approach on ESG portfolio integration, specifically the Morningstar Sustainability Rating.

[Event Recap] [BASIC Event] The Road Does Not End with Paris: A Review of COP 21 and Where We Go Next

Juliana Cusack

On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, the Boston Area Sustainable Investment Consortium held a discussion on COP 21 and its implications for the investment community. The event was held at the Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston’s Innovation District. The panelists included Geeta Aiyer, President and Founder of Boston Common Asset Management, and Sue Reid, VP of Climate and Energy Programs at Ceres, who both attended the recent climate talks in Paris. 

Read on to get Juliana Cusack's full recap...

[Event Recap] [BASIC Event] Sustainable Development Goals & Socially Responsible Investing: Focus on Inequality with Carly Greenberg, Rob Wilson, and Sonia Kowal

Dylan Brix

On Thursday, October 22, 2015, the Boston Area Sustainable Investment Consortium held a seminar on Income Inequality & Poverty. The seminar was hosted at the offices of MFS Investment Management in Back Bay. The panelists included Carly Greenberg of Walden Asset Management, Rob Wilson of MFS Investment Management and Sonia Kowal of Zevin Asset Management. 

[Event Recap] [BASIC Event] An Update on the LGBT Workforce, Presented by Shelley Alpern and Laurent Belsie

Dylan Brix

On Thursday September 24th the Boston Area Sustainable Investing Consortium sponsored a seminar titled “An Update on the LGBT Workforce.” Hosted by The Christian Science Monitor at their stunningly beautiful building located on Massachusetts Avenue, the discussion was led by Laurent Belsie of The Monitor and Shelley Alpern of Clean Yield Asset Management. Click through to read Dylan Brix's summary.

The Case for a Rigorous ESG Certification

Emily Lambert, Marion Rockwood

While the broader financial analyst community has its Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification process, the ESG community has nothing comparable and would benefit from the implementation of a process similar to the CFA Program. The ESG certification process would credit individuals possessing a body of knowledge about responsible investment and be earned by having individuals pass one or more examinations with meaningful subject matter and that were sufficiently challenging to have a limited passrate. The certification process suggested must be well respected for being serious and rigorous, in order todemonstrate commitment to the field and value to employers.

Searching for a Job in the Sustainable and Responsible Investing

Jed Sturman

Searching for a job in sustainable & responsible investing (SRI) is much like searching for a job in any industry: it is important to do your homework.

In 2013, the Wall Street Journal suggested that 80% of job openings are filled without being advertised.  To career service professionals and those of us who have conducted a few job searches, this number sounds reasonable.  For those who are trying to figure out how to get a foot in the industry, this fact can be daunting.  While a portion of this 80% can be accounted for by internal hires, how can the average job seeker connect with the right job?

The answers, of course,  are research and networking.

Making SRI more Accessible to the Public: We Will Need to Go through Financial Advisors

Theodore Casparian

Many people in the Sustainable & Responsible Investment Field have worked very hard to persuade corporate boards and large investors to see sustainable investing as a viable, economic choice. But in doing so, on the whole, we have left out the public.  Take the limited breadth of sustainable 401(k) offerings as an example.   A study by Mercer noted that “assets…remain very low where…SRI options exist” and there is “not…enough demand from participants.”  I would suggest that this is because no one is sufficiently educating the public and no one is sufficiently educating those who serve the public – financial advisors and planners.  Indeed, my unscientific observation is that a higher percentage of small investors (under $100,000 in assets) believe that SRI is a purely political/sub-par return choice than do large investors (over $100MM in assets.)

Making the Case for 100% Conflict-Free Electronics

Saman Baghestani, Founder, WeMakeChange

This statement is addressed to the chief executive officers, boards of directors, shareholders, stakeholders, supply chain managers, and procurement officials of electronics manufacturers worldwide, including extended supply chain firms and intermediaries, particularly firms who generate a significant portion of their revenues from the sale or manufacture of cellular and smartphones.