SRI investing: Aligning money and assets with values and priorities (Part 1 of 2)

There is a growing movement among philanthropic leaders and fund managers that investments can and should be deployed for community and environmental good.

Unfortunately, the rhetoric on Wall Street has separated traditional investment portfolios from socially responsible investing. As a result, too often people, organizations and foundations are funding big oil with one hand through their pension and investment portfolios and green homes with the other hand, only through much smaller charitable contributions.

Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing (SRI) brings both hands in alignment with the heart and mind for smart outcomes. Over the last couple of decades, the field of SRI is changing the tired norm that profit is devoid of good for people and planet.

Travois has worked to support the leadership of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities for nearly 23 years. We match New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) investors with Native communities, supporting the values and outcomes of affordable home ownership, good jobs with childcare, and green development.

We are honored to work hard alongside 90 sovereign nations to advance the principle of self-determination and to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues as key indicators of what makes for smart investment choice.

The only good economy is a moral one, and SRI has demonstrated that our purchases and investments can and should be for good.

We want to continue to build and grow sustainable, responsible impact investing in Indian Country. The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin has been leading the way in the field. We profile the leadership of Susan White, an organizer of money and justice, in Part 2 of this blog.

Do you want to learn more about SRI and be part of the conversation on how American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities can further lead the way? Join us at our Travois annual conference.

Or check out highlights on first steps you can take now from the U.S. SIF guidebook, “Creating a Sustainable World: A Guide to Responsible Stewardship of American Indian Assets,” especially if you are a tribal council chairperson or tribal investor.

It includes steps on how to “1) align your investment policy and goals with your principles and priorities, 2) become an active shareholder, 3) integrate corporate environmental and social factors into your investment decisions, and 4) build Native-owned communities.”