At The Legacy Foundation, we believe ESG factors have an impact on corporate performance and that integrating these factors into the investment process can mitigate risk and add value to a retirement portfolio. We also believe that well-managed companies that maintain good relations with employees, consumers, communities, and the natural environment, and that strive to improve in those areas, will in the long run, better serve investors. In our view, sustainable investing is simply a better, smarter way to invest.
That is why we offer an investment option known as sustainable investing – the full integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis and portfolio construction. The result, we believe, is an increased level of scrutiny that helps us construct investment portfolios made up of companies that are better positioned to manage the risks and opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy
Three Pillars of ESG
Environmental, social and governance (ESG) refer to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment in a company or business.
Our environmental criteria focus on companies’ ability to manage operational and reputational risks and to capitalize on opportunities created by the shift towards a more sustainable economy. We focus on such issues as air and water emissions, recycling and waste reduction, use of clean and renewable energy, climate change initiatives, and other policies and practices relating to environmental impact. Generally, we favor companies with comprehensive environmental policies, practices and performance, and those with good environmental performance compared with industry peers, and whether they are working to improve environmental sustainability.
Our workplace criteria focus on companies’ ability to create value by maintaining a productive workforce. We examine diversity, occupational health and safety, employee relations and human rights and favor companies who have policies and procedures intended to encourage and foster safe, diverse and productive workplaces. And, our community criteria focus on a company’s commitment to and relationship with the communities in which it operates, including the pursuit of sustainable development abroad. Our ESG investment process tends to favor companies that work to enhance the quality of life in the communities in which they do business.
Our governance criteria focus on a companies’ ability to align the long term interests of managers with those of shareholders. This includes a corporate commitment to shareholders, transparency and accountability as demonstrated in such areas as board structure, executive compensation, shareholder rights, bribery and fraud, and policies regarding takeover defenses and political spending. In addition, we also examine a company’s board and senior executive ranks for diversity. In particular, we believe that gender diversity among board members and in senior management is material to a company’s business prospects and essential to a company’s ability to generate long term shareholder returns.
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