The Calvert Principles for Responsible Investment

January 16, 2017

Learn more about what guides our selection of companies for all our indexed investment strategies, and many of our actively managed strategies.



  • Calvert seeks to invest in issuers that balance the needs of financial and nonfinancial stakeholders and demonstrate a commitment to the global commons, as well as to the rights of individuals and communities.


We believe that most corporations and other issuers of securities deliver a net benefit to society, through their products and services, creation of jobs and the sum of their behaviors. As a responsible investor, Calvert Research and Management seeks to invest in issuers that provide positive leadership in the areas of their operations and overall activities that are material to improving societal outcomes, including those that will affect future generations.


Calvert seeks to invest in issuers that balance the needs of financial and nonfinancial stakeholders and demonstrate a commitment to the global commons as well as to the rights of individuals and communities.

The Calvert Principles for Responsible Investment (Calvert Principles) provide a framework for Calvert's evaluation of investments and guide Calvert's stewardship on behalf of clients through active engagement with issuers. The Calvert Principles seek to identify companies and other issuers that operate in a manner that is consistent with or promote:

Environmental Sustainability and Resource Efficiency


  • Reduce the negative impact of operations and practices on the environment
  • Manage water scarcity and ensure efficient and equitable access to clean sources
  • Mitigate impact on all types of natural capital
  • Diminish climate-related risks and reduce carbon emissions
  • Drive sustainability innovation and resource efficiency through business operations or other activities, products and services


Equitable Societies and Respect for Human Rights


  • Respect consumers by marketing products and services in a fair and ethical manner, maintaining integrity in customer relations and ensuring the security of sensitive consumer data
  • Respect human rights, respect culture and tradition in local communities and economies and respect Indigenous Peoples’ Rights
  • Promote diversity and gender equity across workplaces, marketplaces and communities
  • Demonstrate a commitment to employees by promoting development, communication, appropriate economic opportunity and decent workplace standards
  • Respect the health and well-being of consumers and other users of products and services by promoting product safety


Accountable Governance and Transparency


  • Provide responsible stewardship of capital in the best interests of shareholders and debtholders
  • Exhibit accountable governance and develop effective boards or other governing bodies that reflect expertise and diversity of perspective and provide oversight of sustainability risk and opportunity
  • Include environmental and social risks, impacts and performance in material financial disclosures to inform shareholders and debtholders, benefit stakeholders and contribute to strategy
  • Lift ethical standards in all operations, including in dealings with customers, regulators and business partners
  • Demonstrate transparency and accountability in addressing adverse events and controversies while minimizing risks and building trust


Calvert's commitment to these Principles signifies continuing focus on investing in issuers with demonstrated responsibility and sustainability characteristics. The application of the Calvert Principles generally precludes investments in issuers that:

  • Demonstrate poor environmental performance or compliance records, contribute significantly to local or global environmental problems, or include risks related to the operation of nuclear power facilities.
  • Are the subject of serious labor-related actions or penalties by regulatory agencies or demonstrate a pattern of employing forced, compulsory or child labor.
  • Exhibit a pattern and practice of human rights violations or are directly complicit in human rights violations committed by governments or security forces, including those that are under U.S. or international sanction for grave human rights abuses, such as genocide and forced labor.
  • Exhibit a pattern and practice of violating the rights and protections of Indigenous Peoples.
  • Demonstrate poor governance or engage in harmful or unethical practices.
  • Manufacture tobacco products.
  • Have significant and direct involvement in the manufacture of alcoholic beverages or gambling operations.
  • Manufacture or significant and direct involvement in the sale of firearms and/or ammunition.
  • Manufacture, design or sell weapons, or the critical components of weapons that violate international humanitarian law; or manufacture, design or sell inherently offensive weapons, as defined by the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the U.N. Register on Conventional Arms, or the munitions designed for use in such inherently offensive weapons.
  • Abuse animals, cause unnecessary suffering and death of animals, or whose operations involve the exploitation or mistreatment of animals.
  • Develop genetically-modified organisms for environmental release without countervailing social benefits such as demonstrating leadership in promoting safety, protection of Indigenous Peoples' rights, the interests of organic farmers and the interests of developing countries generally.

An investment in a particular company or other issuer does not constitute Calvert’s endorsement or validation of the issuer, and the absence of a particular investment from a managed portfolio does not necessarily indicate that the issuer operates in a manner that is inconsistent with the Calvert Principles.