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 »

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News & Blog

New Framework Released for Evaluating Impact of Shareholder Activism

November 18, 2014

A new report, “The Impact of Equity Engagement: Evaluating the Impact of Shareholder Engagement in Public Equity Investing,” seeks to change the perception that it can be hard to observe, track and quantify the impact of shareholder activism on environmental and social issues. Clean Yield Asset Management was pleased to serve on the Steering Committee for the Impact of Equity Engagement (IE2) initiative, which released the report. In a blog published today, its lead author, Dr. Josh Humphreys of the Croatan Institute, observes,”The nature of impact within public equity investing remains poorly understood and insufficiently documented.”

The report is introducing a new self-reporting framework that will be beta-tested by Clean Yield and a number of our peers engaged in shareholder advocacy.

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Investors Challenge Corporations to Strengthen Policies for Foreign-Based LGBT Workers

November 11, 2014

Press Release

November 12, 2014 – A group of U.S. investors has written to some of the nation’s largest publicly traded corporations urging them to extend their LGBT nondiscrimination policies and equal benefits policies abroad. The investors expressed concern about the highly varied and often harsh legal and cultural environments faced by LGBT communities in many parts of the globe, and the related risks posed to companies that operate in these environments. The letter also seeks clarity on corporate preparedness to deal with threats or persecution faced by such employees. The investor group collectively owns or manages $210 billion in assets.

“Today, most leading U.S. corporations now have equitable policies on their books for their American LGBT employees. But there’s a dearth of information on how many extend them outside of the U.S. In starting this dialogue, we hope to identify best practices and start to encourage all companies to adopt them,” said Shelley Alpern, Director of Social Research & Shareholder Advocacy at Clean Yield Asset Management.

The investor group wrote to around 70 companies in the S&P 100 that have strong policies to protect LGBT employees in the U.S., according to the 2014 Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool developed by the Human Rights Campaign. Read more »

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Company Profiles

Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB): A Maine Dish

August 19, 2014

At Clean Yield, we have an affinity for local businesses that provide jobs and contribute to their communities. In banking, that is especially the case. We avoid investing in the biggest banks, which we think were culpable in causing the financial crisis of 2008 and probably not trustworthy enough to reinvest in just yet. Therefore, we’re pleased to have recently added another New England bank—Bar Harbor Bankshares—to our client portfolios.

Bar Harbor Bankshares of Bar Harbor, Maine, was founded in 1887 and is a community bank with assets of $1.4 billion and fifteen locations in rural markets in central Maine, the “downeast” region, and along the midcoast.

BHB serves individual and business customers, retail stores, restaurants, seasonal lodging, biological research labs, and many retirees. Its main business customers are in the businesses of tourism, hospitality, lobstering, fishing, boat building, marine services, and wild blueberry cultivation. Bar Harbor’s business is more seasonal than that of the typical bank, with activity higher in the summer and fall. Given the Bank’s proximity to Acadia National Park, tourism is important (13% of total loans are to the lodging industry). Read more »

Exactech (EXAC): Good to the Bones

August 11, 2014

Exactech, based in Gainesville, Florida, develops, manufactures, and sells orthopedic implant devices, related surgical instruments, and biological material and services to make patients more mobile. Its products are used in the restoration of bones and joints that have deteriorated as a result of injury or disease, such as arthritis.

The company sells various joint replacement systems—including knee, shoulder, and hip implant systems—and biologic allograft services and bone cement materials used in orthopedic surgery for the repair or replacement of joints. Its customers are hospitals and physicians in the U.S. and over 30 markets in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Pacific. International sales represent about 34% of the total.

The company was founded in 1985 by orthopedic surgeon Bill Petty, his wife Betty, and biomedical engineer Gary Miller. They wanted to improve the quality of care provided to patients suffering from joint diseases such as arthritis. The company’s goal is to improve patient outcomes through a customer-centric culture. Design assistance and feedback from surgeon customers has helped the company to offer innovative products that have indeed improved patient outcomes. Read more »

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