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Do your homework if you want to invest in a socially responsible way

Feb 06, 2014


Brad Cundiff i
s a senior partner at Green Living Communications. As a guest blogger for Environmental Defence this week, he wrote a personal piece reflecting his frustration with the typical "greenwashing" that goes on within the investment community. 
 
Most of us searching haplessly for ethical investment options in Canada share his pain, but it was particularly shocking to hear of an actual sales pitch from a credit union directly promoting an investment in the tar sands for "social and environmental benefits."

Cundiff described, “I almost choked on my coffee when I opened a recent newsletter from the investing arm of my credit union. There, on the back page, was a blurry photo of a sickly looking tree seedling in what looked like a vast clearcut under the headline, Canada’s Oil Sands – Digging Beyond the Headlines.
 
Now I take investment advice from companies that want to sell me financial products with a 20- kilogram bag of salt, but I was pretty taken aback by the article’s first line: “Investment in Canada’s oil sands represents a significant opportunity for wealth generation, along with social and environmental benefits – a triple bottom line.” 

                                                                       Photo credit: Benefits Canada

If you are looking for a financially secure and socially responsible investment option, it isn't all bad. Cundiff goes on to mention some options, but suggests doing your homework first. He mentions SolarShare bonds, being himself an investor, and ZooShare
 
To read the full story, click here.
 
The story was first published by Environmental Defence, January 29.