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Impact Investing

Boston Trust Walden has been at the leading edge of impact investing for more than 45 years. Impact investing seeks to generate positive social and environmental impact alongside financial returns.

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 on a company-by-company basis.

Our multi-faceted, collaborative approach seeks to maximize the reach and impact of active ownership.

How We Achieve Impact


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ESG research and integration


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Company engagement


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Shareholder resolutions


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Proxy voting


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Public policy advocacy


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Thought leadership

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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

Engagement Focus Areas

Climate Risk

  • Science-based greenhouse gas emissions targets
  • Public policy advocacy
  • Read more

 

Equality

  • Board diversity
  • Workforce composition disclosure
  • LGBTQ employment non-discrimination
  • Read more

Governance

  • ESG/sustainability reporting
  • Lobbying transparency
  • Proxy voting and fiduciary responsibility
  • Read more

In addition to our three focus areas, we actively engage on other ESG issues important to us and our clients.

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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

Outcomes We Seek


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Mission- and values-aligned portfolios


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Improved corporate policies


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More sustainable business practices


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Increased transparency


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Effective public policy

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

History of Leadership

Since 1987, we have filed 541 shareholder resolutions, with more than 42% withdrawn based on negotiated agreements with companies

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

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

In 2015, we spearheaded a campaign to align corporate goals on greenhouse gases with climate science

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

In 2007, we became a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment

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)

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 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.

 

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