Publications & Resources


Perspectives on Sustainable Palm OilPerspectives on “Sustainable” Palm Oil:  Problematic Certification Systems and the Responsible Investor

March 2014

Over the last decade, palm oil has become the largest single source of dietary oils in the global food system. Its growth has been accompanied by a host of issues, such as deforestation, biodiversity loss, and exploitation of local communities. There are some efforts underway to improve business practices, but the most prominent industry sustainability organization, now representing over 1,000 companies, has been widely criticized for lax standards and failure to enforce compliance.

"Perspectives on 'Sustainable' Palm Oil" is intended to provide responsible investors with an overview of the global palm oil supply chain and identify the emerging best practices in this challenging industry.

Perspectives on “Sustainable” Palm Oil: Problematic Certification Systems and the Responsible Investor


Beyond Fossil Fuel Free Investing: Reducing Global Energy Demand through Efficiency

October 2013

While going “fossil fuel free” is a good place for investors to start, it only addresses the supply side of the energy equation. Understanding the energy efficiency of a company, country, or region allows investors to deal with the critical demand side of the equation. This is where tremendous opportunity may be found for companies with superior strategies, as well as for cost effective methods to mitigate the degrading impact on our environment from growing energy demand.

"Beyond Fossil Fuel Free Investing" summarizes some of Portfolio 21's research on the global energy system and covers energy usage, sources, and opportunities for achieving increased efficiency throughout the world.

Beyond Fossil Fuel Free Investing: Reducing Global Energy Demand through Efficiency


Managing Investment Portfolios without Fossil Fuel StocksManaging Investment Portfolios without Fossil Fuel Stocks

October 2013 (Updated)

In the investment community, there is currently an effort underway to divest coal, oil, and gas production companies.  This paper provides information for investors interested in the emerging "fossil free investing" movement. This campaign is seeking to encourage divestment from fossil fuel companies due to their climate change impact and corporate environmental practices.

"Managing Investment Portfolios without Fossil Fuel Stocks" discusses Portfolio 21's long held rationale for not investing in the sector, and our experience managing global equity portfolios without fossil fuel exploration and production stocks.

Managing Investment Portfolios without Fossil Fuel Stocks


Approaches To Environmental Investing CoverApproaches to Environmental Investing

April 2013

There are many reasons investors may pursue environmental investing: to improve the resilience of our society, to avoid investment risk, or to seek new opportunities. Investment managers may share these basic goals and assumptions, however, methods for conducting environmental research and formulating strategy vary widely.

"Approaches to Environmental Investing" is intended to illuminate the key concepts of environmental investing and assist investors in navigating differences among approaches.

Approaches to Environmental Investing



Evolutions in Sustainable Investing:  Strategies, Funds and Thought Leadership

Edited by Cary Krosinksy

Portfolio 21 is profiled in a chapter of Evolutions in Sustainable Investing. The profile describes the development of Portfolio 21’s global equity investment process, with particular attention to the firm’s high bar of environmental criteria.  The chapter is available as a downloadable PDF from the book's publisher.

Excerpt:  "Portfolio 21’s approach is unique, perhaps even radical by some investment management standards. By not investing in oil, gas, and mining companies, the firm chooses instead to deploy its capital to support progressive companies striving to meet society’s demands for more sustainable and responsible products and services."

Download the chapter from the publisher


US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

Portfolio 21 Investments is a member and supporter of US SIF, an association of investors, asset managers, and others who are engaged in responsible and sustainable investing.

United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

Portfolio 21 Investments is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

Ecological Footprint Network

Portfolio 21 Investments is a member of the Global Footprint Network, which seeks to accelerate the use of the ecological footprint to assess and reduce our impact.  The co-founder of the network, Susan Burns, was instrumental in the development of the criteria we use to evaluate companies.


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