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Sustainable Investing: Putting the Economy Back Together

Muhammad Yunus in Houston

Dr. Muhammad Yunus

By Cliff Feigenbaum, founder & publisher
The GreenMoney Journal

These are trying times. It seems Washington politicians want to divide us over debt and spending, while across America people and businesses just need access to more capital. Each of us, here and around the world, has a role in fixing and in a sense redesigning the economy as economic and environmental challenges abound.

What does the redesigned ‘new’ economy look like? How is each person’s contribution valued? How do we bring humans back into economic measurements? A more human economy enhances and benefits our life and our environment. This new living economy includes personal wellbeing and a thriving environment as measures of prosperity. In the sustainable and ethical economy we are responsible for making positive impacts with our money.

While our occasional political votes are critically important in this divisive era, it’s our economic voting that occurs almost daily. As we shop and invest, each decision becomes an exercise of economic power.

New York Times Columnist Thomas L. Friedman addressed some of these concerns in his June 2011 article, “The Earth Is Full.” Friedman asks how did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed growth, climate, natural resource, and population redlines all at once? Read it at http://nyti.ms/kkDVQS

This Fall 2011 issue opens with an interview of microcredit pioneer Dr. Muhammad Yunus by movie producer Holly Mosher. Next, Hope Credit Union CEO Bill Bynum updates us on what is and isn’t working in New Orleans. Then, as promised in 2009, we check back with Honest Tea co-founder Seth Goldman on the Coca-Cola acquisition. And for investors and especially investment advisors, we close with a report on the new GIIRS – Global Impact Investing Rating System. Also in this print edition is our exclusive mutual fund performance chart.

Here on GreenMoney.com you will also find a new article from Woody Tasch on Slow Money, the latest from New Resource Bank, as well as several other features, including our extensive Global Calendar of Green Events. Truly there are many important sustainable living and investing events going on around the world. From Impact Investing to social business, to SRI, to green building and renewable energy, there is a plethora of information on what it will take to create healthy local and global economies.

GreenMoney has enjoyed a summer of positive media coverage. We received online article and blog mentions from Fast Company, Forbes, Greenbiz.com and the Huffington Post. We also began our new ad campaign in The Nation magazine‘s “Reimagining Capitalism” issue and Ode magazine’s “Money” issue.

CBS Evening News discussed solutions to the foreclosure crisis using SRI and Community Investing, featuring Boston Community Capital and Amy Domini. It’s exciting to see these forces for positive change working and getting coverage.

We are in the planning stage for GreenMoney’s 20th Anniversary in 2012. Before then I would like to acknowledge Green Century Capital Management, the investment advisor to the Green Century Funds, who is also celebrating its 20th anniversary. Since 1991, Green Century has been dedicated to green investing, seeking competitive returns as corporations improve their environmental performance. Also this fall, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) celebrates its 40th Anniversary of influential corporate engagement.

Finally, I want to recommend a few of the many important books recently published: “Plastic Ocean” by Charles Moore; “The Bond” by Wayne Pacelle; “The Responsible Business” by Carol Sanford; “The Big Thirst” by Charles Fishman; “The Wealth of Nature” by John Michael Greer; “Climate Capitalism” by Hunter Lovins; “Locavesting” by Amy Cortese; “The End of Growth” by Richard Heinberg; and “Impact Investing” by Anthony Bugg-Levine and Jed Emerson. Also check out the recent films now on DVD, “Carbon Nation” and “Second Nature.”

In closing we want to acknowledge the recent passing of sustainability pioneer, Ray Anderson of Interface, Inc. Thank you, Ray, for inspiring so many of us. See the articles below from him and about him. Also take some time to watch his insightful talk at the 2009 TED conference we have linked here – http://blog.ted.com/2011/08/08/remembering-ray-anderson

Here is to all of us doing our part to better the economy and the world.

– Cliff Feigenbaum, founder and publisher, cliff@greenmoney.com

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