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

The Clean Yield: Fall 2015 Edition Now Online

September 1, 2015

The Fall 2015 edition of The Clean Yield is now online and available on PDF. Read more »

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Bond. Green Bond.

August 31, 2015

While not as entertaining as Casino Royale, the right green bonds can add balance to your portfolio while underwriting environmentally beneficial projects.

Green Bond - $ imageU.S. municipalities with climate mitigation and adaptation needs. Small businesses lacking flexible low-cost loans to support their expansion. Young farmers who can’t afford to purchase the land they’ve nurtured. What do these challenges have in common? They are all being addressed through the issuance of bonds or similar sustainability-focused fixed-income products.

Many Clean Yield clients have balanced accounts. To meet the fixed-income requirement, we draw from a variety of vehicles, including government agency bonds, municipal bonds, community development financial institutions (CDFI) promissory notes, preferred stock, and alternative investment notes. Previously, community notes were the only fixed-income vehicle to address sustainability, but that has begun to change with the advent of green bonds.

What Are Green Bonds?

If you haven’t heard of green bonds, don’t feel bad; the first bond was branded green less than a decade ago, and it’s not like they’ve had their own show on Comedy Central. Read more »

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Company Profiles

Gilead Sciences (GILD): Life-Saving Drugs That Are Cost Effective, Despite the Sticker Shock

August 26, 2015

Clean Yield finds the health care sector to be a challenging place in which to invest. While many companies offer useful and life-saving products, many (especially the largest companies) regularly make headlines for objectionable conduct ranging from bribery to product defects to misleading and fraudulent marketing practices. We have invested in Amgen, a biotechnology company, after weighing its pros and cons. Now we have found another company, one which produces life-saving products that are very expensive but which are ultimately cost effective and far superior to prior treatments.

Gilead Sciences is the leading global producer of drugs for the treatment of HIV, and it has quickly become the leader in curing — not merely treating — hepatitis C (Hep-C).

Historically, GILD’s HIV franchise has been the dominant part of its business. Its once-daily single-tablet regimens (STRs) transformed the treatment of HIV because of their efficacy, tolerability, and dosing convenience, which helps people adhere to their medication (an important consideration for patients on lifelong therapy). More than 70% of newly diagnosed HIV patients in the U.S. are prescribed a Gilead STR. Read more »

Middlesex Water (MSEX) Offers A Safe Harbor

August 14, 2015

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
                                                                                                                                W.C. Fields

One of the world’s greatest problems is a lack of clean water for drinking and commercial purposes. In our efforts to find companies that are part of the solution to sustainability concerns, we’ve searched for companies in this area. Alas, we’re not exactly drowning in suitable opportunities — it turns out that you can lead an analyst to a water stock, but you can’t make him invest.

MSEX logoWe’re cautious about desalinization opportunities due to their high energy footprint and discharges of highly concentrated brine into bodies of water. And unfortunately, companies that manufacture filters, pumps, desalinizaion, and other water-related products are typically small divisions of much larger companies. Or if they are independent companies, as with most engineering and consulting firms that have water-related activities, they tend to have mixed operating results and relatively low levels of profitability.

Given this lack of attractive water-related industrial companies, we instead have invested in regulated water utilities, which operate water and wastewater treatment facilities. Aqua America (WTR), which operates in eight states, and Connecticut Water Service (CTWS), which operates in the Northeast, were our primary water stocks. But when Aqua America began providing water to natural gas hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) operations and steamrolled a low-income community to secure land it desired, we decided to divest the stock except in accounts with low-cost holdings that would result in large capital gains taxes. Read more »

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