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Global Profit and Global Justice

Using Your Money to Change the World

Global Profit and Global Justice
Using Your Money to Change the World
by Deb Abbey with Perry Abbey, Tim Draimin, Adine Mees and Coro Strandberg 
New Society Publishers, 2004

Where do you find socially responsible and yet profitable companies in which to invest your savings? How can you curb or change your consumption habits to protect the environment and encourage social justice?

These are the kinds of questions posed and answered in the pages of this book. Perry Abbey's chapter on " Investing on the Sustainability Frontier," for instance, details a new direction in portfolio design, seeking out companies that are profitably involved in solutions to global problems in a sustainable fashion, such as alternative energies and water purification. He promotes the idea of rating corporate performance on economic, social and environmental parameters and not just the traditional risk and return models.

Based on the premise that each individual can make choices in his or her daily life that will shape the global future, the papers in this volume cover a broad range of methods and strategies from shareholder advocacy and consumer activism to community-based investing and philanthropy.

"Increasingly, it's corporations that determine policies and practices at home and abroad," notes Deb Abbey, an investment manager specializing in social impact investing. "Some people think that globalization is evil, but the reality is that it's probably inevitable. Instead of fighting gloablization, I propose that we spend our energy creating a vibrant global community with a sustainable environment and justice for all."

To achieve this, the chapters of this book instruct readers to invest capital in social change, adjust consumptive habits and buy from certified sustainable and fair trade companies, and to give back to the community through philanthropy.


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Global Profit and Global Justice

It matters which way we walk. But many of us are too busy to get beyond good intentions. It's time to accept responsibility for our own actions. Does this mean that we should give corporations a free ride? That we should be responsible for their transgressions? Not at all. But we own those corporations through our retirement portfolios and pension plans. And we interact with them every day as employees, as consumer, as suppliers, and as communities. We have clout.
It's not enough to avoid the companies and products that you don't like. Boycotting is useful but not available for all product areas. Be proactive and deal with companies that are part of the solution. Contact companies and let them know that you're not interested in products that support environmental degradation or human rights abuses or other abhorrent practices. Contact companies and let them know that you will buy products that are environmentally friendly and socially sustainable. 

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