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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an idea that corporations have to consider the interests of customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and ecological considerations in all
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Socially responsible investing (SRI) describes an investment strategy which combines the intentions to maximize both financial return and social good.
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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Sept/Oct 2002 : Cover Story

Cover Story

Social Screens


More Cover Story Articles

- Funds Overview
- Social Screens
- Shareholders Advocacy
- Restoring Faith in the Markets

 

A comprehensive set of about 100 social and environmental screens are applied to the Domini 400 Social Index. The underlying philosophy for the screens is that companies with fewer environmental liabilities, more diverse boards and workforces, generous employee benefits and authentic commitments to their communities are better positioned to succeed and prosper. Domini assesses the many ways in which a company impacts all its stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, communities and the natural environment. It does not invest in companies or other issuers that manufacture tobacco or alcohol, or derive revenues from gambling operations, or the ownership or operation of nuclear power plants. It also excludes major military contractors and firearms manufacturers. When screening companies in which to invest, Domini examines the following qualities:

* Corporate citizenship—companies with innovative and generous charitable giving programs with a particular emphasis on programs promoting economic and social justice.
* Diversity—companies with women and minorities in management positions and on the board of directors as well as those that have a record of purchasing from or investing in women- and minority-owned businesses. It also looks for companies with strong employee benefit programs that address work/family concerns such as childcare, elder care and flextime, as well as companies that recognize innovative hiring programs for the disabled as well as progressive
policies toward gays and lesbians.

* Employee relations—companies with a commitment to worker involvement/ownership through employee stock ownership, cash profit sharing and employee participation in management decision-making. It also looks for companies with histories of fair labor negotiations and strong retirement benefits.
* Environment—companies that show respect for the natural environment, which is demonstrated by the product or service the firm provides or exhibited through in-house recycling or pollution-prevention programs, gifts to conservation groups or other ways of conducting day-to-day business.
* Non-U.S. operations—companies that pay fair wages, support human rights and protect the environment where they operate in less developed countries. It also looks for companies that enforce a code of conduct in choosing where and with whom they will do business.
* Safe and useful products—companies that provide high-quality products and are industry leaders in research and development.

More detailed information on the screens can be found on the Domini Web site at www.domini.com. KLD is the social research firm that created and maintains the Domini 400 Social Index.

 

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