Photo: Divestment movement grows

(Credit: Chris Yakimov via Flickr)

By Andrea Seale, Deputy CEO

Change is in the air... People are taking a stand for the Earth. And it's not just the "usual suspects."

In September, hundreds of thousands took to the streets all over the world, in the largest climate change action in history — 2,646 marches in 162 countries. Business leaders are calling for climate action and carbon pricing. Even the heirs of the Rockefeller Standard Oil fortune are cutting their ties with fossil-fuel investments, including the Alberta oil sands.

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Diverse organizations — religious and healthcare groups, cities and universities, as well as individuals from all walks of life — are divesting their financial assets from fossil fuel companies.

At the Foundation, our investment decisions are guided by our mission. Our financial managers have built a better portfolio based on strict standards that match our organizational values. Other like-minded groups are taking note and asking for these fund choices, too.

Here's our strategy:

  • We work with professionals to screen investments in publicly traded companies based on both social and environmental criteria. This requires in-depth research and frequent review because corporate practices change all the time.
  • Certain types of businesses are excluded, such as weapons, tobacco and pornography. The remaining companies' social and environmental performances are assessed and only the highest-ranking corporations are included in our portfolio.
  • Our explicit stand on climate change means we do not invest in companies involved in the extraction, processing or transportation of fossil fuels.

It takes some planning, but these investment decisions have not harmed the Foundation's financial returns. In pioneering a better way of managing our funds, we've learned that anyone with investments can take an ethical approach. Ask your financial adviser to explain your investments and make changes that reflect your commitment to the planet.

Live your values: Donate your stocks

If you are interested in donating publicly traded stock to the David Suzuki Foundation, please fill out the form at www.davidsuzuki.org/stocks. We sell the shares immediately and use the funds to support our environmental work. By gifting your publically traded shares, you don't have to pay capital gains tax and you'll receive a tax receipt for the full value of your contribution on the day it is received.

If you have questions, email or call 604-732-4228, extension 1500.

February 11, 2015
http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/panther-lounge/2015/02/divestment-movement-grows/

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