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

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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Statement in Support of Fossil Fuel Divestment at Harvard University

April 14, 2015

Clean Yield Asset Management released this statement during Harvard Heat Week, a series of events in April 2015 bringing together members of the Harvard community to “speak out for climate justice, learn from one another, and take principled action.”

The reality of climate change is no longer subject to debate. The new normal includes rising sea levels, record droughts, rising global temperatures, diminishing snow packs, more frequent extreme weather events, loss of biodiversity and more alarming trends. The world’s leading scientists have made it clear that human beings must find a way to leave up to 80% of the world’s fossil fuel reserves underground or face great peril, even to the point of extinction.

Transitioning to a low-carbon future will require a great number of things, among them, visionary public policies, lifestyle changes, technological innovation, and a massive reinvestment of capital toward renewable and low-carbon fuel sources and the infrastructure to support them. Institutional investors, including endowments and universities, must not only rise to this challenge but lead the way, for without their expertise and capital, the nonnegotiable transition to an economy energized by cleaner fuels and technologies may not happen fast enough to forestall an intolerable rise in global temperatures.

Clean Yield Asset Management stands in support of Divest Harvard, 350.org, Harvard Faculty for Divestment and other members of the Harvard community in their call on the university to freeze new investments in fossil fuel companies and gradually divest its current holdings from them. 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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