Investing with an environmental conscience

I'm listing here companies I come across who behave irresponsibly, maliciously, or uncaringly towards the environment. In each case, I cite the source of my information. Why am I doing this? Because my retirement savings have to go somewhere other than into the mattress or under the floorboards, and unless I want to make managing my investments my full-time occupation (and I don't) I'm going to have to put much of my savings into mutual funds. Therein lies the rub. There are precious few environmentally responsible funds around. Yes, there are a fair few "socially responsible" funds, but most of them are more concerned with issues other than the environment. Stick totally with the environmentally responsible funds (and how environmentally responsible are they really? See Paul Hawken's analysis), and there's insufficient diversification for my comfort. So I have to compromise, and that compromise can be ugly. So how am I going to live with it?

I plan to live with it by doing what I can to change the way the investment community pays attention to the environment. This Web page is but one brick in a potentially very large wall. Here's what I'm setting out to do:

Ideally, every environmentally irresponsible company will appear on this page or on closely linked pages. (Yes, of course, ideally there would be no need whatever for a resource like this because all companies would be environmentally responsible.) You can use these listings to be environmentally proactive in your investing, for example:

Site Usage Notes

The best way to look for a company on this page is to use the ticker symbol in your browser's search box. The ticker symbol is more accurate because it's too easy to misspell company names. I don't put listings in alphabetical order because search makes that ordering unnecessary. You can look up a company's ticker symbol here.

The Hall of Shame

ticker company name remarks references
XOM Exxon Mobil dreadful environmental record. You can Google plenty of examples. e.g. Toxic Texas
CNX Consol Energy longwall mining. Destroys streams, wetlands, homes, etc. That Sinking Feeling (Audubon Society)
FCL Foundation Coal longwall mining. Destroys streams, wetlands, homes, etc. That Sinking Feeling (Audubon Society)
BOW Bowater destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
GP Georgia-Pacific destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
IP International Paper destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
LPX Louisiana-Pacific destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
MWV MeadWestvaco destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
PCL Plum Creek Timber destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
PCH Potlatch destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
RYN Rayonier destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
USPI Universal Forest Products destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
WY Weyerhaeuser destroyer of biodiversity and old-growth forests Rainforest Action Network
DD DuPont

Ah, what to make of DuPont? There are mixed signals out there. Here's a sample:

The bad: Long record of serious pollution. Slow to reform and practiced at information opacity. You can Google plenty of examples.

The slightly better: "DuPont reduced its greehhouse gas emissions during the 1990s by 63 percent, far ahead of the timetable envisioned in the Kyoto agreement on climate change (though the reduction was slight for carbon dioxide emissions, the most threatening element in global warming). DuPont also dramatially cut its total release of toxins into air, land and water from 890 million pounds a year to 550 million pounds and sharply reduced the amount of hazardous waste disposed of by the notorious practice of deep-well disposal, from 187 million pounds to 38 million pounds."

 

Ground Up

 

William Grieder: The Soul of Capitalism. Simon and Schuster, 2003.

 

Help me enrich this page. Let me know about companies that should be on this page.

Information? Comments? Questions? me.