Investing for Earth Day
By Linda Hauck
Earth Day 2022’s theme is “Invest in our Planet.” The first Earth Day in 1970 took place at a time of crisis not unlike our own; Smog, oil spills, pesticide use, open space loss, and untreated industrial pollution threatened human health and wildlife. That first Earth Day led to bipartisan support for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and passage of numerous environmental laws.
Over 50 years later, the climate crisis threatens humans, animals, and plant life and with extreme temperatures, wildfires, drought, rising sea levels, pandemics, and more. Businesses, which have often preferred market based responses to environmental pressure over regulatory ones, are taking steps reduce their carbon footprints and to minimize exposure to environmental risks. Likewise, investors are seeking ways to distinguish between levels of corporate environmental commitment.
Morningstar Investment Research Center is a great place for environmentally conscious investors to get started. You can find daily articles under the Articles & Videos’ “Sustainability Matters” tab. The screening tools for mutual funds, exchange traded funds, and equities all include a Sustainability Rating to help investors evaluate potential assets on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) dimensions. Check out the methodology before using any rating scheme.
FactSet (Contact Finance Lab for to register for remote access), a database provided by the Gmelich Lab for Financial Markets, offers multiple ESG databases covering not only funds and equities but bonds as well. ESG ratings can be used in the screener, company/security, and portfolio monitor. The Truvlau Labs is their premier ESG data provider that applies artificial intelligence to business news, trade journals & blogs, watchdog groups, and social media to arrive at disaggregated ratings.
Investing in financial markets isn’t the only way to back environmentally friendly businesses. Consumers can do so through thoughtful choices and here are just a few library resources to help do just that.
- Beyond Greenwash
- Food, Environment and Climate Change: Justice at the Intersections
- An Introduction to Sustainability: Environmental, Social and Personal Perspectives
- Sustainable Home: Practical Projects, Tips and Advice For Maintaining a More Eco-Friendly Household
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life
- An (Almost) Zero Waste Life: Learning How to Embrace Less to Live More
Linda Hauck is Business Librarian at Falvey Library.
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