“Walmart uses a half percent of all the electricity produced in the United States, ranking it ahead of 12 states in electricity consumption” according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
“The Google’s search engine’s 5-minute service lapse in August 2013 caused global internet traffic to drop by 40%” reported Forbes.
I recommend reading the whole 30-page document some evening as you sit by the fire, but in the mean time I highlight one of the main thrusts of the paper:
Large Corporations have a tremendous amount of power, more power than other stakeholders (such as citizens of the nations that they operate in, their own employees, their shareholders, and often even the governments where they operate); with great power comes great responsibility. Corporations are ultimately held accountable in this responsibility by the collective social contract that exists between the corporation and their customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders, and regulators (collectively: stakeholders). These stakeholders are taking note and ever increasing their demands on corporations to consider social and environmental impacts in their decisions and corporations are listening. The Calvert paper emphasizes that environmental and social responsibility are likely to be ‘baked in’ to the social contract that allows corporations to exist and grow.
There is certainly a moral case for Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) as most investors are not as coldly rational as the economists theorize about, but for those investors that are coldly rational profit-seekers, pay attention to this trend…
There is a global long-term trend toward these values and the companies that are early adopters will benefit from public opinion, friendly regulators, and thoughtful shareholders and the late adopters will be confronted with higher fees, lawsuits, poor public opinion and regulator scrutiny. It follows that investing in companies that are early adopters of Socially Responsible values may be the better companies to own. There is a lot of uncertainty in global economics but cutting through the noise to spot the long term trends that will affect companies over the next several decades is the job of the shrewd investor. There are not a lot of opportunities to spot and capitalize on long term trends, but when they present themselves it is time to act. Many believe this is one of those trends.