HOW CAN FAITH AND FINANCES WORK TOGETHER?
By Gerald Korson
Does it make any difference which companies you support with your business? Perhaps it should.
Businesses seek to make money, and many companies invest their earnings in stocks or mutual funds. They also often make generous contributions to nonprofit organizations as part of their charitable outreach. Not only is it good for business, but people have come to expect no less.
“Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose,” writes Larry Fink, CEO of the $6.3 trillion asset-management firm BlackRock, in a recent letter to corporate executives announcing changes in his own firm’s investment strategy. “To prosper over time, every company must not only deliver financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society.”
Increasingly, companies are taking a new look at where and how they invest. Under broad principles of “socially responsible investing” (SRI), sometimes referred to as “environmental, social and governance investing” (ESG), corporate investment managers are making decisions based on selected ethical factors — eschewing the tobacco industry, for example, or favoring initiatives that address concerns over global warming.
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