Calvert News & Commentary

Barbara Krumsiek Featured on Consuelo Mack’s WealthTrack on PBS

Calvert CEO discusses growth in Sustainable and Responsible Investing and current opportunities

11/26/2013

In a recent interview on PBS’ WealthTrack, hosted by Consuelo Mack, Calvert CEO Barbara Krumsiek shared insights on why assets in Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI) products are growing, what SRI is, and what opportunities are most promising now.

Krumsiek shared several dynamics that are behind increased asset flows into SRI vehicles:

  • New awareness among investors that there is a connection between environmental, sustainable factors and investment performance.
  • Companies are finding that sustainable investing in their products and markets makes for good business.
  • Investors (individual and institutional) are more actively engaged in using proxy voting and other measures to improve the performance of companies.

Mack noted her understanding that the definition of SRI has expanded significantly from simple avoidance of so-called “sin stocks” to include broader, more impactful sustainability issues of governance, workplace diversity, human rights, and the environment, among others. Mack and Krumsiek discussed The Calvert Social Index, a broad-based, rigorously constructed benchmark for measuring the performance of large, U.S.-based companies following sustainable and responsible policies. Krumsiek describes how Calvert evaluates companies for the Index:

  • Management of their environmental liabilities and opportunities – Calvert understands that companies who ignore the potential impact of their carbon- and climate-change footprint risk a negative impact on their bottom line and their public image.
  • Record on workplace and diversity – Studies have shown that companies with diverse boards have better stock performance and broader client appeal.
  • Attention to human rights – As globalism expands, it is of greater importance that companies fight corruption and invest in safe workplaces.

Historically, a criticism of SRI has been that it necessitated sacrificing some performance, but Krumsiek points out that this has not held over time. Calvert’s expectation is to perform at or above benchmark averages. When asked about currently compelling areas of SRI, Krumsiek cited water as a huge opportunity. There are great investing opportunities in water transportation, water infrastructure and clean water. Another exciting area is “green bonds,”, which Krumsiek asserts will be key to growing climate-friendly industries to critical mass.

Watch the full interview below.

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