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:
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:
We hire investment managers who are willing to be our SRI partners and screen out companies that do not fit within our guidelines.
Friends Fiduciary staff reviews domestic equities in advance of purchase, ensuring that all companies that passed the initial screening process are acceptable for the portfolio. Our international equity manager has a social responsibility focus and is a leader in SRI research.
Please click here to download our full SRI 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 and just, sustainable business practices.
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 2018, we engaged 40 companies in 20 different issue areas. We dialogued with 15 companies, filed resolutions with 25, and were able to withdraw just under half of those resolutions.
Read more about our recent shareholder engagement work on page 3 of our most recent newsletter.