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

Clean Yield to Co-host New Economy Week Symposium: Investing for the Sake of Climate and Community

October 6, 2015

Clean Yield is teaming up again with the Donella Meadows Institute (DMI) for a New Economy Week event highlighting local investment opportunities. Last year we co-produced two New Economy Week events with DMI. This year we have brought in new partners Slow Money Vermont and BALE (Building a Local Economy) to collaborate on a symposium at Vermont Law School.

“What does investing look like in the era of climate change, malfunctioning democracies, and a faltering global economic order? How can I invest in local food systems, or truly local projects in my community, or how do I really get all my money out of fossil fuel investments?” These are questions that Chris Wood, Executive Director of BALE poses in describing the opportunities that will be discussed and discovered at a half-day conference on Wednesday, October 14 at Vermont Law School (VLS) in South Royalton, Vermont.

Entitled “Investing in the New Economy: Investments for the Sake of Climate and Community,” this public program invites everyone who is seeking ways to put their money where their beliefs are. Community members, next-generation leaders, investors, and businesses will get to consider practical investment strategies as presented by the White River Investment Club, the Vermont Community Loan Fund, the Vermont Food Investor Network and other leaders in the field. Read more »

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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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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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