For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Stefanie Spear, sspear@asyousow.org, 216-387-1609

Gender Lens Investing Tool Adds Sustainability Report Card, Grading Funds on Climate, Deforestation, and Weapons

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA - As You Sow, a leading non-profit promoting sustainable investing, today announced that its Gender Equality Funds investing tool has been upgraded with a first-of-its-kind sustainability report card, grading investments on six environmental and social issues including gender equality, fossil fuels, deforestation, and weapons. The updated search tool helps investors find mutual funds and ETFs that match their values, and have financial returns that beat the market.

The sustainability report card brings together data from As You Sow's suite of six Invest Your Values tools. The new report card allows investors to easily see in one place if your 401(k) options or personal portfolio is invested in:

  • Companies with poor gender equality policies.
  • Fossil fuels, including coal-fired utilities, pipelines, and oil field services.
  • Companies contributing to the destruction of the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests by producing palm oil, beef, soy, timber, rubber, or paper/pulp.
  • Assault weapons, ammunition, cluster munitions, nukes, and military grade weapons.

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“Ninety-one million American workers with assets worth more than $8.4 trillion are invested in the current economic paradigm that is destroying our planet and civil society; yet very few even realize it,” Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow, explained. “If we want a safe, just, and sustainable future we need to shift our investments into companies that support our values. These tools empower every investor, from employees with a 401(k) retirement plan to individual investors, to know what they own so they can invest in a future that they want to live in.”

The Invest Your Values free, online search tools offer investors insight into the environmental and social impact of their portfolios, alongside traditional metrics like financial returns. Investors can search for funds that earn the highest annualized returns, and the highest grades for the issues that matter to them. Each fund is compared to benchmark indexes like the S&P 500 on financial performance and sustainability results.

“People have the power to create the future they want to see by investing with their values,” Ruth Shaber, founder and president of Tara Health Foundation, said. “Since the bulk of wealth in this country is invested in mutual funds, tools like Gender Equality Funds are essential. These new upgrades make aligning your investments with your values easier than ever since there are many funds that get an A grade for gender equality and outperform the market.”

As You Sow’s Invest Your Values suite of tools are free to use, and were built to encourage investors to move their hard-earned savings to funds that are aligned with their values. Each site has an action toolkit explaining how individuals can talk with their financial advisor or retirement plan manager to add socially responsible investment options.

“Americans increasingly want to invest responsibly but it can be difficult to find mutual funds that are actually responsible and not just marketed that way,” Green Century President Leslie Samuelrich said. “As You Sow’s report card is an extremely useful tool for investors who want to separate the greenwashed chaff from the authentically-responsible wheat.”

As You Sow’s Invest Your Values websites include: Gender Equality Funds, Fossil Free Funds, Weapon Free Funds, Gun Free Funds, Deforestation Free Funds, and Tobacco Free Funds.

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As You Sow is the nation’s non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, we harness shareholder power to create lasting change that benefits people, planet, and profit.

Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.

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