Socially Responsible Companies
We are often asked if a certain company is “socially responsible.” We prefer to speak about socially responsible investors – investors that consider the social and environmental implications of their investment decisions.
A large corporation may have operations in 100 countries and employ more than 100,000 people. It may do some things very well, and some things not so well. Corporations provide employment for millions and offer products and services that save lives, reduce environmental damage and expand our horizons. They can also create substantial harm. All large companies produce both positive and negative impacts.
What does it mean to say that a large publicly traded corporation is ‘socially responsible’?
Sustainability is a journey, and no company is perfect. We are therefore willing to work with those companies that face significant challenges but demonstrate a commitment to improve. We use our investments to raise standards and explore themes that we believe will benefit all parties in the long run, recognizing that, as owners of publicly traded corporations, it is our obligation to help create a more just and sustainable economic system built on principles of fairness and sustainability.
We seek to invest in companies committed to the following:
- Strong stakeholder relations, including investments in employees;
- High labor and environmental standards for suppliers;
- Serving the greatest needs of local communities;
- Managing environmental affairs responsibly;
- Monitoring the human rights implications of their activities.
Domini also favors companies involved in clean technology and energy efficiency, alternative energy, microfinance, mobile communications, organic agriculture and vaccines. For a complete list of companies that we currently invest in, view the portfolios of the Domini Social Equity Fund and Domini International Social Equity Fund.
Below are two case studies that provide some insight into our decision-making process and shed some light on what it might mean to be “socially responsible” – as a company and as an investor.