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Winning and ethical investment join forces

22 September 2006

Winning and ethical investment join forces

How to get “Resilient Returns from Responsible Policy” is the theme of an Auckland conference on Friday, October 13, for investment trusts, charities, funds, commercial organisations and individual investors interested in socially responsible investment (SRI), sponsored by the Council for Socially Responsible Investment.

“I’m often asked by organisations if we can be environmentally and socially responsible, but at the same time get the kinds of competitive market returns we need for our members and stakeholders?” said Dr Robert Howell, CEO of the Council for Socially Responsible Investment (CSRI).

“The good news is that the traditional wisdom about socially responsible investment is wrong. You don’t have to sacrifice returns to invest responsibly. This conference has been set up to show organisations how to move to socially responsible policies and practices. Improved SRI research and analysis services, plus increased international networking of socially responsible funds, have now combined to make SRI investing a practical and winning long term strategy.”

The conference brings together Australian SRI experts, plus New Zealand experience, to present a step-by-step approach for organisations wishing to become socially responsible investors. “We call it win/win investing – society wins and stakeholders win,” said Howell.

The target audience for the conference is board members and management from investing organisations, plus consultants and advisors. Australian speakers include Duncan Patterson of the Centre for Ethical Research (CAER), Canberra. CAER act in Australia for leading UK-based Ethical Investment Research Services (EIRIS). He will take delegates through an EIRIS-developed toolkit for charity trustees, relevant also to other groups. Mark Bytheway, CEO, Sustainable Investment Research Institute (SIRIS) of Melbourne will talk about SRI research. Paul Beckmann, CEO, Christian Super, Sydney will present lessons learned from when they moved to an SRI framework and his advice for organisations considering it. John McLeod, Philanthropic Services, Goldman Sachs JB Were, Sydney will talk about issues for SRI and their work and services. Angus Dennis is the Sustainable Funds Business Manager at AMP Capital in Sydney, and will talk about their experience and the kind of SRI advice they can give. Geoff Stewart, Senior Associate, Mercer Consulting, Sydney, will talk about the role of consultants in SRI. Bill Hartnett from Innovest will talk about their experience as researchers and advisors.

New Zealand experience of an organisation working with SRI issues will be presented by Michael Law and Hori Awa, who will describe the Trust Waikato experience. Tariq Ashraf of the Ministry of Economic Development will talk about shariah compliant investment. The goal of the day is to provide participants with strategies and tools to start to move their organisations or funds to an SRI framework.

The Conference will be held at the KPMG Centre. KPMG are sponsoring their premises for the conference. Information about the conference can be found on the CSRI website, www.csri.org.nz.

The Council for Socially Responsible Investment was formed in response to a growing demand from ordinary people and investment institutions for help in making ethical investment choices.

Council membership is open to anyone with an interest in investments that are socially responsible and environmentally sustainable.

The Council is a charitable trust which:
• promotes ethical, sustainable investment
• helps people and organisations to develop guidelines, investments and methods for socially responsible investment
• researches, educates, promotes and advocates.

ENDS

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