Weekly Highlights October 6, 2011

Oct 7, 2011 11:00 AM ET


US SIF Foundation/Mercer Report: US Retirement Plans Offering SRI Options Could Double in Next Three Years  
(SIF Foundation/Mercer
)  The number of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in the United States offering a sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) choice could double in the next two to three years, according to a new report released today by Mercer and the US SIF Foundation (formerly the Social Investment Forum Foundation).   Associated Profiles : Social Investment Forum (SIF), Mercer, Mercer

First pan-European Study on the Adoption of ESG Practices among Corporate Pension Funds Reveals that SRI is Becoming Mainstream
(EUSIF) As European regulators prepare to launch new recommendations on sustainable and responsible investment, Eurosif’s 2011 Corporate Pension Funds & Sustainable Investment Study reveals that a majority of EU corporate pension funds are already taking steps towards integrating ESG factors in investment decisions.  Associated Profiles : EU Social Investment Forum

Three Fortune 500 firms to disclose political spending  
(LI Business News) 
It looks like a few firms have agreed to open the books on their political donations, a year after the Supreme Court unceremoniously closed the door on once strict limits to contributions. A trio of Fortune 500 companies whose stock is held by the New York State Common Retirement Fund have agreed to disclose their political campaign contributions and procedures, after requests from New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.  Associated Profiles : New York State Common Retirement Fund


Mainstream Investors Sharpen Sustainability Focus  
(Mindy Lubber, Ceres)
Recently, the jam and syrup mogul J.M. Smuckers heard resoundingly from its stockholders on an uncommon topic: climate change and coffee prices. A shareholder resolution put forward by Calvert Investment Management and Trillium Asset Management asked the company to report within six months on its plans for managing climate change risks to its coffee supply chain.  Associated Profiles : Ceres

Sovereign Wealth Funds

Seven Things You Didn't Know About Sovereign Debt Defaults  
Investors have renewed their obsessing over the risk of sovereign default, as fear creeps back into the market that contagion will lead to a replay of the financial crisis and the return of a recession. While sovereign debt defaults are frightening, they are actually quite common and may not lead to the worst-case scenario that many are expecting. Here are seven facts about sovereign debt defaults that might surprise you.

Analysis: After big shakeout, offshore yuan reforms are coming
(Reuters)  The biggest difference between the offshore yuan and other emerging market currencies these days is that a central bank has not come to the rescue of the so-called CNH market to smooth volatility.  As central banks around Asia keep selling dollars to slow downward pressure on their currencies amid global market turmoil, Beijing has taken a hands-off approach to Hong Kong's yuan market, which is central to its efforts to internationalize the renminbi.   Associated Profiles : Hong Kong (China) Monetary Authority -- Investment Portfolio  


Tiny Qatar’s Big Plans May Change Mideast: Meghan L. O’Sullivan 

Qatar, a country of fewer than 2 million people set on a peninsula smaller than Connecticut, seems an unlikely candidate to become a regional power. Yet with little fanfare and less warning, tiny Qatar has emerged as one of the Middle East’s most influential states.  As the U.S. struggles to understand and predict the new contours of the region, it would be wise to pursue even closer ties to this regional maverick

.  Associated Profiles : Qatar Investment Authority

This is just a sample of some of the articles from this weeks SustainabilityHQ Highlights.  You can view the full Highlights by using the following links.  Sustainability | ESG, Highlights for the Week of October 6, 2011.