Socially and environmentally responsible investing
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Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing is a broad-based approach to investing that now encompasses an estimated 15% in the North America and European investment marketplace. The underlying principles recognize that corporate responsibility and societal concerns are valid parts of investment decisions. The investments strategy considers both the investor's financial needs and an investment’s impact on society. Investors encourage corporations to improve their practices on environmental, social, and governance issues. You may also hear such type of approaches to investing referred to as mission investing, responsible investing, double or triple bottom line investing, ethical investing, sustainable investing, or green investing.

As a result of its investing strategies, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing also works to enhance the bottom lines of the companies in question and, in so doing, delivers more long-term wealth to shareholders. In addition, Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing investors seek to build wealth in underserved communities worldwide. With Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing, investors can put their money to work to build a more sustainable world while earning competitive returns both today and over time.

Sustainable and responsible investors include individuals and also institutions, such as corporations, universities, hospitals, foundations, insurance companies, public and private pension funds, non-profit organizations, and religious institutions. Institutional investors represent the largest and fastest growing segment of the Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing world.

Screening, which includes both positive and negative screens, is the practice of evaluating investments based on social, environmental and good corporate governance criteria. Screening may involve including strong corporate social responsibility performers, avoiding poor performers, or otherwise incorporating such factors into the process of investment analysis and management. Generally, sustainable and responsible investors seek to own profitable companies that make positive contributions to society. "Buy" lists may include enterprises with, for example, good employer-employee relations, strong environmental practices, products that are safe and useful, and operations that respect human rights around the world.

Conversely, many sustainable and responsible investors avoid investing in companies whose products and business practices are harmful to individuals, communities, or the environment. It is a common mistake to assume that Socially and Environmentally Responsible Investing "screening" is simply exclusionary, or only involves negative screens. In reality, the screens are being used more and more frequently to invest in companies that are leaders in adopting clean technologies and ethical social and governance practices.