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

The Check is in the Mail

July 24, 2014

Obtaining organic farming certification is a lengthy and costly endeavor. Some of that burden will be eased shortly by a provision in the 2014 Farm Bill (which I wrote about at greater length here). Last week Senator Patrick Leahy announced $13 million in funding to support small farmers across the U.S. who are transitioning to organic or are seeking to maintain their organic certification.

Organic production has been one of the fastest growing sectors in Vermont agriculture in recent years according to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT). And data from the Vermont Organic Farmers, LLC, the organic certification program of NOFA Vermont, shows that total number of acres of certified organic production increased by 242% over the last decade, and the total number of certified organic producers doubled over the same period.

Through this cost-sharing program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture covers 75% (up to a  maximum of $750) of the cost of their organic certification for organic farmers and processors. Vermont farmers benefit by being able to participate in the booming demand for local organic products from New England.

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Move to Amend Constitution Gains Ground

July 24, 2014

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont continues to fight the good fight against Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission, the landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the floodgates for unlimited political contributions to so-called independent expenditure committees. On June 3, Leahy held a Congressional hearing entitled, “Examining a Constitutional Amendment to Restore Democracy to the American People,” and he recently shepherded a bill out of the Senate Judiciary Committee (which he chairs) to amend the U.S. Constitution and allow for limits on campaign contributions.

To be successful, a constitutional amendment must be passed by both chambers of Congress; subsequent to that, two-thirds of states must vote to hold a convention, and three-quarters must then vote to approve. According to pro-amendment groups, the movement is at least one-third of the way toward meeting those numbers, with 27 senators and 98 representatives supporting the overturn of Citizens United by constitutional amendment. Sixteen states have formally called for an amendment by ballot measure, resolutions passed by the legislature, or official letters signed by a majority of state legislators. Read more »

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Company Profiles

The Puppy Bowl & More: Discovery Communications (DISCA)

May 28, 2014

The Puppy Bowl, broadcast opposite the Super Bowl on Animal Planet, is television’s annual event “in which cuteness blankets the gridiron.” Puppies face off with chew toys and score an occasional, accidental touchdown.

Animal Planet is one of Discovery Communications’ signature networks. Discovery Communications is the largest “nonfiction” media company in the world. A leader in documentary programming, the company broadcasts in 224 countries in 45 languages. Its primary U.S. networks are the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery, and a joint venture with Oprah Winfrey, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Genres include science, exploration, survival, natural history, sustainability of the environment, technology, anthropology, health and wellness, engineering, adventure, lifestyles, and current events. The company’s strategy is to leverage programming content across distribution channels and geographic regions. Read more »

Women and Babies First: Utah Medical Products (UTMD)

May 27, 2014

Utah Medical Products has been in the business of health care for women and babies since 1978. Its products are designed to improve patient safety, clinical outcomes, and cost effectiveness. Its medical devices are used in critical care areas of neonatal intensive care, labor and delivery, and women’s health centers in hospitals, and they’re sold to outpatient clinics and physicians’ offices.  

UTMD’s four main products areas are 1) gynecology/electrosurgery/urology tools for procedures associated primarily with cervical/uterine disease; 2) obstetrics, labor, and delivery tools for monitoring fetal and maternal well-being and for reducing risk in performing difficult delivery procedures; 3) neonatal critical care devices for providing care to the most critically ill babies; and 4) blood pressure monitoring devices. The company’s international operations in Ireland, the UK, and Australia now exceed those in the U.S. Read more »

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