Negative Screens

We believe certain industries and business activities are too environmentally risky or present social outcomes that are too unattractive to warrant investment consideration.

Following are the industries and companies we avoid on this basis:

Agricultural Biotechnology

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in companies involved exclusively in agricultural biotechnology, or in diversified companies that derive more than a small percentage of revenues from genetic engineering (GE) for agricultural applications. We perceive the risks of these activities to be too high, including potential changes in the local ecology, increased use of herbicides and pesticides, and the likelihood of more allergens and toxins. However, given the prevalence of GE ingredients, many food manufacturers experience… Read Full Policy

Alcohol

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in companies involved exclusively in the alcoholic beverage industry, or in diversified companies that derive more than a small percentage of revenues from the manufacture of alcohol. According to the World Health Organization, “The harmful use of alcohol results in approximately 2.5 million deaths each year…” Additionally, there are significant economic costs including healthcare, law enforcement, and other indirect social impacts. Portfolio 21 has chosen to avoid this sector based… Read Full Policy

Animal Testing

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 evaluates companies involved in animal testing on a case by case basis depending on purpose and methods.  For instance, pharmaceutical companies are often required by law to conduct animal testing prior to a drug’s approval. In cases where animal testing is not a regulatory requirement, Portfolio 21 prefers to invest in companies that do not test on animals.  If a company is involved in animal testing, Portfolio 21 ensures it is actively working… Read Full Policy

Fossil Fuels

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in companies directly involved in the extraction and production of fossil fuels ─coal, oil, and natural gas.  However, due to the current limitations of renewable energy resources (in terms of current capacity and financial attractiveness), Portfolio 21 will invest in companies involved in the transmission and distribution of natural gas, as well as utilities that utilize natural gas as a fuel source. Natural gas has a lower greenhouse gas (GHG)… Read Full Policy

Gambling

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in companies involved exclusively in the gambling industry, or in diversified companies that derive more than a small percentage of revenues from gambling.  Portfolio 21 has chosen to avoid this sector based on the social problems, including crime, prostitution, compulsive gambling behavior, and drug and alcohol abuse that often accompany this sector.  Additionally, Portfolio 21 views this sector’s business model as unsustainable, wrought with poor business practices, and high exposure… Read Full Policy

Metals and Mining

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in metals and mining companies. By nature, the mining industry has enormous ecological impacts. Mining requires access to large volumes of water and generates large volumes of waste. Proper management of waste is often difficult, creating numerous liabilities in the form of spills and releases, surface water runoff, and contamination. Mining is also labor intensive and takes place in challenging environments, often in countries with varying safety standards, in areas… Read Full Policy

Nuclear Energy

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in companies involved exclusively in nuclear energy generation, or in diversified companies that derive more than a small percentage of revenues from nuclear energy generation.  We do not support nuclear power because we consider the cost of new nuclear installations to be high relative to the environmental, health, and safety risks associated with nuclear reactors and waste.  A typical reactor will generate 20-30 tons of high-level nuclear waste annually.  There… Read Full Policy

Tobacco

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in companies involved exclusively in the tobacco industry, or in diversified companies that derive more than a small percentage of revenues from the production of tobacco. According to the World Health Organization, tobacco kills up to half of its users and consumption of tobacco products is increasing on a global basis, particularly in low and middle income countries. Cigarette smoke contains a complex mixture of over 4000 chemicals, over 60… Read Full Policy

Weapons

posted September 4, 2013

Portfolio 21 does not invest in companies involved exclusively in the production of weapons, or in diversified companies that derive more than a small percentage of revenues from weapons production. Warfare and conflict cause widespread human and ecological devastation, therefore we limit our exposure to companies involved in the manufacturing of weapons, as well as military contracting for weapons-related products and services. However, we do invest in some companies that maintain military contracts as we… Read Full Policy

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