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  • Dow Jones Sustainability Index - 20 September 2010
  • Ethical consumerism – also referred to as green consumerism or moral purchasing - along with fair-trade practices and a focus on sustainable development, spurred on by a growing concern for the environment, is resulting in an increasing number of investors taking into account a company's commitment to upholding ethical and green principals in their day to day business when making investment decisions. A useful tool in determining which companies fit the bill in this regard is the range of Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI) which closely track the performance of top sustainability-driven companies on a worldwide scale.

  • US Small-Caps Take Strain in Current Economy - 16 August 2010
  • As concerns regarding the pace of economic recovery in the US persist, it has become apparent that small-cap businesses have been hardest hit by investor gloom. Despite fairly upbeat data on retail sales and consumer sentiment, Friday saw the Russell 2000 index of small-capitalization stocks fall by 1.21 percent, being 7.49 points. The total decline for the week was 6.33 percent, going on record as the second consecutive week down. The Standard & Poor's Small Cap 600 fared no better, dropping 1.31 percent, being 4.35 points, and ending the week down 6.04 percent. This turn of events from when small-caps were challenging blue-chip stocks a while ago, highlights the depth of risk aversion being experienced in current markets, primarily as a result of the Fed’s current outlook on economic recovery.

  • The Value of Business Ethics - 8 April 2010
  • In a world that is becoming increasingly corrupt, with questionable behavior tainting virtually all levels of society, the definition of Business Ethics can become somewhat blurred and often differs quite drastically depending on who you may be speaking to. Some even claim that ethics are irrelevant to the field of business, taking the stance that the main responsibility of a company CEO is to make money, and if one needs to use some "creative accounting" to do so, then so be it. This approach was promoted by Milton Friedman (1912-2006), a well respected multiple award-winning American economist and statistician associated with the Chicago School of Economics, who was reported as saying that corporations are amoral, cannot have social responsibilities and that CEOs have a single duty, that of maximizing the profits of the company they have been entrusted to run.

  • Trend of Socially Responsible Investing - 14 January 2010
  • With the spotlight on global warming and people all over the world becoming conscious of their carbon footprint, many corporate companies are using their social responsibility programs as a marketing tool. While many are seriously doing what they can for the environment, others are indulging in "greenwashing", realizing that a growing number of investors are becoming biased toward companies seen to be socially responsible. This has given impetus to socially responsible investing (SRI), also referred to as ethical investing, or socially-conscious investing, in which both financial return and social good are maximized.

  • Corporate Social Responsibility - 7 January 2010
  • As authorities express concern over global warming and all its associated implications, consumers are encouraged to do whatever they can to reduce their impact on the environment. While there have always been groups of pro-environmentalists, increased awareness of the consequences of poor environmental management has resulted in a marked increase in ethical consumerism and green branding. It has also put a whole new perspective on how both consumers and management teams view corporate social responsibility (CSR).

  • Ethical Consumerism - 23 November 2009
  • With it being an accepted fact that consumer spending is a driving force behind the US economy, as we head into the festive season, retailers are no doubt hopeful that consumers will ease the negative impact of the economic crisis that has held the country in its grip all year. However, as consumers continue to grapple with job losses and pay cuts, which have led many to lose their homes and other assets, they have been forced to trim down their shopping lists and redefine what they may have viewed as necessities in the past. This redefining may very well also have a negative impact on ethical consumerism, a practice which is also referred to as ethical purchasing, ethical consumption, green consumerism and moral purchasing.

  • The Practice of Greenwashing - 2 November 2009
  • With the threat of global warming, increasing awareness of both individual and corporate carbon footprints, and a general trend toward saving the environment, going "green" is seen by many as being socially responsible and is becoming part of marketing strategies around the world. Environmentally conscious investors may even, to some extent, choose green companies over others when making investment choices. So, with the general trend toward all things green, the term "greenwashing", which was coined by American environmentalist Jay Westerveld back in 1986, has taken on greater significance. Greenwashing is a combination of the words "green" and "whitewashing" – a term which has long been used to describe trying to make something bad look good, but it remains fundamentally bad. And so the term greenwashing has come to be applied to the practice of spending more time and money advertising that a company or product is green, than actually implementing environmentally sound practices.

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