What is Socially Responsible Investing?

Social investors recognize that every financial transaction has social implications as well as monetary ones. While traditional investing is aimed exclusively at maximizing financial value, social investing takes account of both financial and social bottom lines. Socially responsible investing can be a catalyst for positive social change or merely a way to help the investor sleep better at night. See our services »


News & Blog

Press Advisory: Walgreens Boots Alliance Proxy Vote Alert

May 22, 2015

For Immediate Release

May 22, 2015


Shelley Alpern, Clean Yield Asset Management
(802) 526-2525

WHAT: Shareholders will vote on Item No. 7, a proposal seeking to include sustainability performance among the factors considered in awarding executive pay.

WHO: The proposal has been filed by the Singing Field Foundation, As You Sow Foundation, Mercy Investment Services, Calvert Investment Management, Inc., Benedictine Sisters of Mount. St. Scholastica, Gwendolen Noyes, Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, and Harrington Investments.

WHEN: Thursday, May 28, 2105, 9:00 a.m. Central Time

WHERE: Civic opera House, 20 North Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL

WHY: Walgreens’ sustainability programs have lagged behind those of its competitors, while Alliance Boots has initiated more ambitious efforts.  Competitors such as CVS, Target and Walmart are surging forward with more aggressive and visible sustainability programs.

Tying business leaders’ compensation to sustainability performance is an emerging tool for ensuring executive focus and accountability to corporate sustainability goals. Integrating sustainability considerations into business decision-making and planning offers both the ability to better manage and avoid risk, and the opportunity to create value.

“Strong evidence has emerged that corporate out-performance on sustainability issues is correlated to financial out-performance and lower cost of capital. The newly merged company has an opportunity combine the best sustainability practices from each of the two companies while integrating new metrics and goals into decisions regarding senior executive compensation,” explains Jonathan A. Scott, President and Director of the Singing Field Foundation, the lead sponsor of the proposal.

The shareholders’ full case for the proposal can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/1Knkqbn.

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Join Us on May 7 for Slow Money Vermont’s First Entrepreneur Showcase

April 30, 2015

Clean Yield is proud to be a sponsor of Slow Money Vermont’s inaugural Entrepreneur Showcase, taking place Thursday, May 7th at the Hotel Coolidge in White River Junction, VT at 5:30pm.

slow_money-vermont-squareThe showcase will feature Peaslee Vermont Potatoes, Howling Wolf Farm, The Royal Butcher, Slow Hand Malting, Cobb Hill Frozen Yogurt, Agrilab Technologies LLC, and Trevin Farms. Michael Pieciak of the Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation, will deliver remarks on Vermont’s in-state crowdfunding opportunities.

Register now to network with entrepreneurs, investors and service providers who share the vision of a sustainable food system and of 21st century Main Street investing in the innovative agricultural businesses that are building that system in Vermont and the region. Read more »

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Company Profiles

Unilever (UN): Sustainability is the Strategy

March 12, 2015

Unilever logoEarlier this year, Unilever’s (NYSE: UN) CEO Paul Polman announced the company was considering pursuing B Corporation status, which obligates companies to provide a “general public benefit” alongside their commercial activities (see related article in the Spring 2015 edition of The Clean Yield). This is not a new concept to the company. Going back to its roots as Lever Brothers in the late 1800s, the company has tried to balance profit with responsible corporate behavior.

Corporate responsibility researchers regularly rank Unilever at or near the top of global companies on both sustainability policy and performance. The CEO is widely admired for his commitment to deliver tangible results, rather than just seeking a favorable public image. The company’s reputation seems to be helping attract young talent. It is the #1 consumer goods employer of choice among students surveyed in 26 countries. The company has been reporting on its sustainability since 1996.

In 2010 the company launched the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan as a blueprint for sustainable growth. The plan sets out to decouple growth from environmental impact, while increasing positive social impacts. UN tries to embed sustainability into every stage of the lifecycle of its products. As of 2013, 48% of the agricultural raw materials the company used were sourced sustainably. Read more »

Hyster-Yale (HY): Give Your Portfolio a (Fork)Lift

March 9, 2015

Hyster-Yale is a leading manufacturer of lift trucks (fork lifts) that are marketed globally under the Hyster and Yale brand names. The operating company has been in business for more than 80 years but became an independent company in 2012 when it was spun out of NACCO Industries. Hyster-Yale is based in Cleveland, Ohio.

The company’s smaller lift trucks are electric-powered and are being used where noise or fuel emissions make diesel-powered trucks problematic. These lifts primarily move pallets or pick orders from shelves. The company’s larger, internal-combustion-engine lift trucks  move heavy parts in a factory or in port, steel, or rail facilities.

HY’s end markets are diverse, with manufacturing being the largest at 28% of total revenue. In the U.S. and Europe, warehouse and distribution demand has been growing, and demand has increased for  electric lift truck technology.

HY’s overall business strategy is to reduce the overall cost of ownership of its products. Hyster’s geographically balanced manufacturing in 21 facilities around the world reduces the company’s funding needs, currency exposure, and freight costs, and results in a high return on invested capital. Read more »

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