Boston Trust Walden has been at the leading edge of impact investing for more than forty years. Impact investing seeks to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.
In this section
Additional Impact Investing Resources
As long-term shareowners of publicly traded companies, it is our right and responsibility to use active ownership to protect and improve the sustainability policies, practices, and performance of companies. Our experienced team of professionals is dedicated to achieving outcomes we believe are in the best long-term interests of companies and shareholders. In aggregate, we believe change at the company level can benefit human rights, the natural environment, and our overall economy, and that clients can earn a competitive rate of return on these investments. We also recognize effective public policy can bolster change we realize on a company-by-company basis.
At Boston Trust Walden, we achieve impact for clients through:
ESG research and integration
Public policy advocacy
Our multi-faceted approach seeks to maximize the reach and impact of active ownership.
We believe well managed companies value input from investors and other stakeholders that aims to improve the sustainability of their business by limiting risk and protecting or enhancing shareowner value. Active ownership is a tool we use to further that aim.
Amy Augustine, Director of ESG Investing
Engagement Focus Areas
- Science-based greenhouse gas emissions targets
- Smart climate policy
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- Board diversity
- Equal employment opportunity disclosure
- LGBTQ employment non-discrimination
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- ESG/sustainability reporting
- Lobbying transparency
- Proxy voting and fiduciary responsibility
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In addition to our three focus areas, we actively engage on other ESG issues important to us and our clients.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
The SDGs are a call to action that investors should not ignore. Since their inception, we have been assessing how our work incorporates the SDGs and where opportunities exist to advance their objectives.
Bill Apfel, CFA, Chief Investment Officer
Boston Trust Walden has been one of the leading investor voices on the Sustainable Development Goals, which we believe are an important development in global efforts to end poverty, reduce inequality, protect the natural environment, and pursue peace and stability.
We consider the SDGs as part of our investment framework and in our shareholder engagement and public policy advocacy.
Boston Trust Walden was the first US-based signatory to the 2017 Stockholm Declaration, which communicates investor support for the SDGs.
Engaging in shareholder advocacy and proxy voting is a core investor right – and it’s critical to protect this right through public policy and activism.
Tim Smith, Director of Shareowner Engagement
Measuring Success Transparently
We consider engagement to be successful when we observe progress toward these potential outcomes:
better corporate policies (e.g., amending board nominating charters to include explicit consideration of gender and race)
more sustainable business practices (e.g., adoption of science-based greenhouse gas goals)
increased transparency (e.g., initiating or substantially improving sustainability reports)
effective public policy
We report on our impact results annually and publicly disclose our ESG integration approach, active ownership initiatives, and proxy voting record.
Organizations with Whom We Partner
We have relationships with organizations that share our commitment to foster more sustainable business practices, such as:
Access to Medicine Index
Intentional Endowments Network
Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Investor Alliance for Human Rights
Center for Political Accountability
Mission Investors Exchange
Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)
Ceres Investor Network
Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
Climate Action 100+
Thirty Percent Coalition
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
We Are Still In
Global Impact Sourcing Coalition
Workforce Disclosure Initiative
Tim Smith, the first Executive Director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), speaking at the General Motors Annual General Meeting in 1971, requesting that the company cease doing business in apartheid South Africa. Since 2000, Tim has served as Boston Trust Walden’s Director of ESG Shareowner Engagement.
Meeting Client Needs
Shareholder resolution filing
We provide assistance to clients who wish to directly participate in shareholder initiatives. We invite clients to co-file shareholder resolutions filed by Boston Trust Walden as well as other investors.
We help faith-based investors translate their ESG priorities into tailored investment portfolios. Read more about how we serve faith-based clients.
Fossil fuel screening
Many of our clients have asked us to exclude fossil fuel companies from their portfolios. We understand the priorities of those who have signed the Divest-Invest Pledge and have two decades of experience managing portfolios without exposure to coal, natural gas, and oil.
Mission-aligned Investment Policy Statement (IPS) development
We work with clients to develop and incorporate their responsible investing criteria into their Investment Policy Statements.
Community development investing
Clients may direct us to invest in community development institutions, banks, and credit unions that support economic development and affordable housing.
Boston Trust Walden defines impact investing as an investment approach that seeks to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns. Other relevant industry terms include: environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, mission-related investing, responsible investing, socially responsible investing (SRI), sustainable investing, and values-based investing.