How We InvestRigorously screened investments in unity with Friend's views on peace, social justice and the environment.
Friends Fiduciary works to ensure that our investments are in unity with Friends’ distinctive views on peace and social justice. We act in three primary ways to ensure our Quaker testimonies and values guide our investment activity:
- Actively screen companies for social responsibility
- Vote shareholder proxies to communicate our Quaker values on financial, social, environmental, and governance issues
- Join other institutional and faith-based investors in shareholder resolutions and company dialogues to encourage reform
We seek to live the Peace Testimony by not investing in weapons or weapons components. Off-the-shelf commercial and consumer products sold to the Department of Defense (DOD), DOD contractors, or to their international counterparts are not considered weapons components.
We also exclude companies that:
- Obtain their business from the production of alcohol, tobacco or firearms
- Operate gambling casinos or lotteries
- Own, operate or manage for-profit prisons
- Explore, extract, produce or refine coal, oil or gas or have carbon reserves, and those that derive a majority of their revenue from the transportation and storage of these materials
- Have histories of poor environmental, social, and governance practices
For electric utility companies we seek those that are transitioning to a lower carbon, sustainable business model.
FFC hires best-in-class investment managers and works closely with them to implement our screens and identify the “better actors” across those industries in which we invest. To ensure every company that passes the initial screening process is acceptable for the portfolio, Friends Fiduciary staff reviews all domestic equity and fixed income purchases. Our international equity manager has a social responsibility focus and is a leader in SRI research.
Please click here to download our Socially Responsible Investment guidelines.
As witness to our Quaker values, we are active owners of the stocks we hold. We always vote our proxies, seeking improved corporate disclosures, accountability, and just, sustainable business practices. We use an institutional proxy voting service which votes according to our custom proxy voting guidelines. We disclose our proxy voting record through Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) for the most recently ended proxy season here.
At Friends Fiduciary, active ownership goes beyond just voting proxies at a company’s annual meeting—it means raising issues that we see as important to the company’s long term sustainability and profitability. We do this by engaging companies in dialogue. If companies are unresponsive or unwilling to address an important concern, we can file a shareholder resolution. Resolutions are voted on by all company shareholders at its annual meeting and serve as an important barometer of shareholder interest and perspective. We often find that filing a resolution is enough to bring an otherwise unresponsive company to the dialogue table—and if a company is willing to change and we can reach a compromise, we withdraw the resolution. We see withdrawals as wins because it means the company has committed to forward movement. We maximize our impact by joining up with other like-minded investors through networks like the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and Ceres.
We raise a variety of issues with the companies we hold across environmental, social, and governance categories. Recent examples include methane reduction, food waste, lobbying, and human rights in the supply chain.
In 2020-2021 proxy season, we engaged 47 companies on 20 different issues. We dialogued with 29 companies, filed resolutions with 20, and were able to withdraw 4 of those resolutions after reaching agreement with the companies. Our robust active ownership is more fully described in our Stewardship and Engagement Policy.