Community Capital Management oversees a market-rate bond fund that invests in high quality fixed income securities whose proceeds are designed to positively impact communities throughout the United States. These investments can help support affordable housing, affordable healthcare, education and child welfare, health communities, neighborhood revitalization, rural community development, disaster recovery, environmental sustainability, small business development, job training and creation.
A prime example is an investment in economic development bonds that helped finance Sound Transit, a regional transit authority in the State of Washington. Sound Transit’s mission supports communities, the environment and economy by providing affordable, environmentally-friendly public transit that connects residents to where they live, work and play.
Investment firm, Green Century, is heading to the front lines of the fight against deforestation in Southeast Asia. Palm oil is the most widely used vegetable oil in the world, showing up in everything from cosmetics to candy bars. Unfortunately, palm oil production is also a major cause of deforestation in Southeast Asia, which creates land conflicts with local communities, destroys habitat critical for endangered species like tigers, orangutans and the Borneo Pygmy elephant, and contributes to climate change.
Mitigating deforestation is one of the most cost-effective ways to address climate change which is why in 2012 Green Century started working to stop the deforestation caused by palm oil. They pressed highly recognizable household brand name companies to adopt sustainable palm oil purchasing policies, promoted government action that supported forest protection, and mobilized investors to follow suit.
The results were swift: the agreement by the largest palm oil supplier alone is expected to prevent 1.5 gigatons of carbon pollution between now and 2020, equivalent to the annual emissions from all of Latin America.
Tools of Change
Calvert Investments believes strongly in the impact of shareholder advocacy. The largest 500 corporations in the world employ more than 43 million people and influence hundreds of millions of workers in their supply chains. Collectively, they sell products and services worth over $22 trillion and control assets valued at over $100 trillion. Influencing the corporate sustainability policies of these companies can have far-reaching, global impact on the environment and society.
The extent of corporate influence on society is increasingly recognized, along with the connection between a firm’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices and its financial success. A vigorous shareholder engagement program, such as the one Calvert pursues, is a key tool investors can use to improve corporate behaviors, while enhancing investment value and contributing to a more sustainable and equitable world.
In 2015, Calvert filed 56 shareholder resolutions, some of which resulted in significant outcomes: