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Impact Investing

Boston Trust Walden has been at the leading edge of impact investing for more than four decades. Impact investing seeks to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.

Since the 1970s, Boston Trust Walden has used active ownership strategies to address complex social and environmental issues. As investors, we encourage the companies in which we invest to adopt better environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies and practices because we recognize companies that effectively manage sustainability risks are better positioned for success. Our active ownership initiatives span a range of issues and tactics with an aim to enhance the long-term prosperity of investors, businesses, the economy, and society.

History of Leadership

In 2021, we signed on to the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative supporting the goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or sooner

In 2020, we encouraged nearly 100 companies to disclose workforce demographics as COVID-19 and focus on systemic racism accelerated action

Since 1987, we have filed nearly 600 shareholder resolutions, with more than 40% withdrawn based on negotiated agreements with companies

Beginning in 2017, we challenged asset managers to address ESG issues in their proxy voting policies and practices

We have been one of the leading investor voices on the Sustainable Development Goals since 2015

In 1992, we launched a campaign to vote against boards of directors without people of color or women – a practice subsequently adopted broadly by the industry

We sub-advised first US mutual fund with anti-apartheid criteria (1982)

How We Achieve Impact

Our multi-faceted approach seeks to amplify the scope and scale of our impact.

ESG analysis: Researching and integrating ESG factors into investment decisions
Company engagement: Communicating directly with company management or boards
Shareholder resolutions: Filing proposals for vote at company annual meetings
Proxy voting: Voting on items in annual company proxy statements
Public policy advocacy: Engaging at the local, state, national, and international levels
Investor collaborations: Partnering with stakeholders to accelerate and amplify impact
Thought leadership: Raising the bar with respect to ESG analysis and active ownership

Engagement Focus Areas

Boston Trust Walden focuses its active ownership efforts on climate risk and equality, as well as the governance mechanisms that underpin it all.

In addition, we seek to be responsive to engagement opportunities that may arise, such as initiatives related to human rights and labor standards, deforestation, water risk, and animal welfare.

Climate Risk

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Equality

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Governance

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Impact Results

We report on our impact results annually and publicly disclose our ESG integration approach, active ownership initiatives, and proxy voting record.

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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 D. Augustine, Director of ESG Investing

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.

Faith-Based Screening
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 ask us to exclude fossil fuel companies from their portfolios. We understand the priorities of those who have signed the Divest-Invest Pledge and have over two decades of experience managing “fossil fuel free” portfolios.

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.

 

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