My Partner and I are proud to be Social Entrepreneurs. Therefore, every day we talk about Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing (SRI). We also talk about Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) screening and scoring. More importantly, we talk about managing risk, rates of return, portfolio growth and retirement planning. That’s our business! Making money for our clients in a Sustainable and Responsible way.
All of these subjects come from the same source – STEWARDSHIP! That’s ultimately the foundation of the discussion. We can ask ourselves: “Will future generations have what they need to live a full and productive life in the future?” The answer is evidenced by each of us, every day. The decisions we make in our daily lives tell our story; good or bad. We will follow this truth: If it is to be it is up to me!
Stewardship means mindfully behaving in such a way that if everyone did the same, we would all be better off and our future would be bright!
How can we do this stewardship thing? First, we must learn about the Circular Economy where there is NO Waste! Second, we should examine the supply chain management of corporations we buy things from. This will uncover hidden problems or harmful behaviors along the chain. The United Nations gives us a very good road map. They created the Sustainable Development Goals. They speak directly to the subject of Stewardship and show us what needs to be solved!
We can also turn to Shareholder Advocacy. This actually FORCES Stewardship when needed! This involves posting resolutions for corporate shareholders to vote on, in terms of continuing or stopping various corporate behaviors. This is the ‘walk softly, but carry a Big Stick’ approach to stewardship. Believe it or not, aberrant corporate behavior can be, and IS, changed every year by shareholder vote, or the threat of a shareholder vote! We can make a difference!
There is definitely a need for an overwhelming theme of planetary stewardship. Fortunately it is built into the SRI/ESG world by definition. I think we should actually start taking credit for it! My first step is to start actually using the STEWARDSHIP word aloud in public.