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Investing in a Sustainable World: Why GREEN Is the New Color of Money on Wall Street Hardcover – November 12, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“…makes a strong business case for taking environmental and social considerations into account in the investment process… “

Accounting Today



“…clearly an important book, well presented, and very well written..The book is a banquet of fresh ideas and optimistic opportunities…”

Inland Empire Business Journal



Selected as on the best books of 2009 by CEO Refresher.com

Book Description

For business and investors, there’s no doubt about it: The smart money is going green...and the growing movement toward ecologically forward-thinking companies is quickly becoming bigger and bigger. What may be surprising to some is that socially responsible organizations aren’t just doing the right thing for the environment, they are also paying off financially, making their investors money and increasing the bottom line.

Investing in a Sustainable World offers clear proof, through facts, figures, and hard documentation, that “going green” leads directly to better stock market performance...and that investors and companies who ignore it will, in fact, lose money. The book reveals the most powerful global mega­trends—from the ongoing focus on emerging markets to natural resource depletion—which are transforming the very basis on which companies will compete, and offers an approach to sustainability-enhanced investing beneficial to both investors and companies.

Revolutionary and backed by undeniable statistics, this book shows the clear link between sustainability initiatives and clear-cut profitability.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: AMACOM (November 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814410928
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814410929
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,783,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Angelo A. Calvello on December 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed Investing in a Sustainable World. Right from the Acknowledgements, I knew I was in for a treat. The book does a great job making the argument for sustainable investing, juxtaposing it to SRI, demonstrating its overarching merits, deconstructing the standard objections, and demolishing the long-held theories that support these objections. It makes extensive use of case studies and examples, many of which are new even to experienced readers in this space. Chapter 3 is especially informative in that examines the disjunctive approach to sustainability manifest by such premier investment organization as The World Bank, the Yale endowment, and the State of Connecticut. No reason to pull any punches when the evidence is clear. If this book does not move investors to act then I fear we will be wallowing in the mediocrity of myopic investment strategies and returns for much longer than 10 years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well before Al Gore became its poster boy, Matthew Kiernan, a pioneer and a visionary, saw early on the outlines of a new sustainability investment paradigm and has for twenty years pursued his goal to "re-engineer the DNA of capitalism". This book is not only a thorough introduction to the case for incorporating extra-financial environmental, social, and governance data into investment decisions, it is also a primer on sustainable investing. Thus, it can be read by specialists and novices alike. It is not a "how-to" guide to investing, but lays out a comprehensive road map showing why a new investment philosophy is urgently needed. Briefly, traditional methods of measuring company performance using financial data are inadequate and do not paint the full picture of a company's potential performance. Financial data are necessarily lagging indicators that form the basis for incomplete speculation about future earning potential. In an interdependent world. however, companies face a broad range of challenges with new cross-border environmental regulations, new social challenges from stakeholders, and a web of complex governance issues. Kiernan argues that the impact of all of these factors should be part of the assessment of any company, and furnishes the methodology and the reasoning behind such assessments. His company, Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, provides world-class research based on this methodology. More and more, the so-called "mainstream" investment world is coming around to his views. The book is written in a lively style that engages the reader, and makes a strong case, based on plenty of examples, for a sustainable investment revolution. Some revolutions are incremental, but Kiernan in this book shows how the framework is now in place for a true change in the way we assess corporate performance and invest responsibly using positive rather than negative screens.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A highly persuasive and coherent guide to using environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria as the compass for investment decisions and portfolio management. The logical next generation built on early "socially responsible investing" (SRI) practices such as screened mutual funds, shareholder advocacy, and community/mirco investing, this powerful book updates the conventional wisdom, going deeper than 4 other books on similar topics published this year.

The author is the founder of Innovest, one of the top-rated sustainability investment research firms in the world. The book essentially proves that single bottom line accounting and traditional measures are simply insufficient. So-called "intangibles" -- including such central sustainability concerns as environmental risk, human health and safety, basic rights, and principles of effective governance such as stakeholder engagement and transparency -- must be included "as if" they will translate in lasting success.

Finally a book that can shift our assumptions about what works now and what will likely continue to yield "triple bottom line" rewards in the years to come.

A must read!
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Format: Kindle Edition
A very insightful, well written text that is a pleasure to read and full of useful information (without coming off as a textbook).
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Format: Hardcover
Here's a book that answers the question: "what can we do to feel better about the mess we're in, without the hard work required to change a paradigm that so destructive?" The answer: well, we can support what we think is the best of the companies that are causing our problems. This will involve looking at what companies and their PR firms come up with to throw us a bone in order to have us perceive them as good guys.

Let's take BP as an example:
The authors are "not recommending the wholesale divestment of companies simply because they are in high-impact sectors, such as oil and gas; that is the approach of the traditional SRI, which [they] categorically reject" [emphasis in the original]. BP is cited as an example of an oil company not to reject because it is "making substantial strategic investments in "sustainability-friendly" energy technologies, such as solar, wind and biomass".

So, having read this book you might have taken their recommendation to reconsider buying BP stock. And where would you be now? You would have supported the company that is causing so much damage to our environment, and you would have lost a lot of money.

The problem is that we have accepted the destructive belief that it's OK that corporations only legal requirement is to make money for their owners/investors. They are, therefore, legally required to externalize costs wherever possible and governments have become accomplices in this, allowing corporations to dump waste into our environment and use up our resources without having to pay for the privilege.
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