By Dale Wannen, PGS alumnus and President of Sustainvest Asset Management
It takes just one idea and one person to change everything. Soon approaching this week from October 24-26, nearly 3,000 thinkers and doers will converge in California’s hub of innovation, Silicon Valley, for the 2013 Net Impact Conference. Fortunately, I was asked to put together a panel on the topic of sustainable investing. As a Presidio C9 Alumnus and President of Sustainvest Asset Management, an investment firm dedicated to integrating sustainable and responsible investing into the mainstream and working with investors to get their portfolios more in line with their values, I feel fortunate to get my message across at this awesome venue.
The panel I am part of is titled “Inside Job: Creating Change through Shareholder Activism.” Due to my experience in shareholder activism and involvement in ESG investing, this panel should prove not only educational but also enlightening to hear what the “anti-Merrill Lynch” movement of the bay area is doing along with some key players in this space that are advocating for transparency in this sector.
Somewhere along the way, investors lost touch with the fact that they actually own the company when they buy shares. People don’t realize that they are making very powerful decisions within their 401k's or their IRAs and can, in fact, become more sustainable with those decisions without sacrificing returns.
Attendees will walk away with a plethora of resources to get further involved in this exciting space of utilizing capital to push companies to make a change. Activism goes beyond rallies and picket lines. Investors have the power to advocate for social and environmental change within public corporations through their investment portfolios. By filing shareholder resolutions or choosing to divest, activist shareholders are successfully leveraging impact from the inside. This session will delve into shareholder resolutions, divestment campaigns, and how you can push for change with your investment dollars.
Other panel members include Danielle Fugere, President and Chief Counsel of As You Sow Foundation, Michael Passoff, CEO of Proxy Impact, and Ben Collins, Research and Policy Campaigner of Rainforest Action Network.
This panel takes place on Friday, October 25th at 2:45 PM. Learn more.
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