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2014

December 30, 2014

ZAM launches new SRI/ESG Global Equity strategy

The new Zevin Global Equity strategy is a low beta, low turnover portfolio that utilizes our unique hybrid of top-down and bottom-up investment styles, allocating among attractive regions and sectors while managing downside risk. It seeks long-term capital appreciation by investing predominantly in companies with attractive valuations that have demonstrated stable revenue and earnings growth, high returns on capital, and conservative balance sheets. It incorporates Zevin’s long history of integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, socially responsible guidelines, and shareholder activism into the investment process. Read the press release here.

Categories: In the Press, Organizational News

December 18, 2014

ZAM co-files 4 shareholder resolutions each at Chevron and Exxon

Zevin asked both Exxon and Chevron to adopt quantitative goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to be more transparent about their lobbying activities. At Exxon, we additionally co-filed to nominate a candidate to the board with environmental expertise and to tie sustainability measures to executive pay. At Chevron, we asked for a report on community impacts of fracking. Also co-filed at Chevron was a resolution urging the company to cancel high-cost projects and distribute the proceeds to shareholders.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 18, 2014

Zevin urges goals for greenhouse gas emissions reduction from Berkshire Hathaway, Home Depot and Qualcomm

ZAM has co-filed shareholder proposals at Berskhire Hathaway, Home Depot, and Qualcomm asking the companies to adopt quantitative goals for reducing total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their operations. Unfortunately the Berkshire Hathaway resolution was subsequently withdrawn on a technicality.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 17, 2014

ZAM co-files shareholder resolutions at Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Bank in Australia

For the first time outside the US, shareholders will vote whether their banks should to disclose how much greenhouse gas emissions its lending and investment portfolios are financing.  The resolutions, coordinated by ACCR and co-filed by Zevin clients, ask Commonwealth Bank and ANZ Bank to discuss their exposure to climate change risks, particularly ‘unburnable carbon’, in their lending and investing activities and to assess the greenhouse gas emissions that are attributable to their financing activities. Banks are acutely exposed to climate-related risks through their lending activities and many fossil fuel companies depend on banks to help them grow. For more information on the resolutions as well as updates on the banks' responses, click here.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 15, 2014

Sonia Kowal interviewed by Bloomberg Markets Magazine

Her focus on ESG investing is included as one of six ideas for 2015. Read the article here.

Category: In the Press

December 14, 2014

Lobbying resolutions filed at Wal-Mart and Centerpoint and co-filed at AT&T, IBM, Google and UPS.

ZAM pushes Wal-Mart and Centerpoint to disclose information about their lobbying activities. Similar shareholder resolutions were also co-filed with other investors at AT&T, Google, UPS, and IBM over their substandard lobbying disclosure. We are concerned about lobbying initiatives by both companies that influence legislation and regulation. We believe it is in the best interests of shareholders for companies to be transparent with respect to lobbying expenditures, policy positions and oversight mechanisms. This includes both direct and indirect lobbying, including through trade associations, as well as grassroots lobbying communications.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 11, 2014

Zevin co-files shareholder resolution at pipeline company, Kinder Morgan, on carbon asset risk

Zevin partners with First Affirmative Financial Network to co-file a resolution at Kinder Morgan questioning expansion of the company's Canadian oil sands export capacity and investment in coal export infrastructure. These investments are of concern due to strong community opposition and the recent steep decline in oil prices that threatens the profitability of oil sands production. The resolution seeks additional information on how the company is preparing for market conditions in which demand growth for the high carbon fuels it transports is reduced due to regulation or other climate-associated drivers.

Category: Shareholder Activism

December 4, 2014

Robert Zevin speaks at Harvard Business School about fossil fuel free investing

The event, titled "Engaged Investment & Climate Change", brought together experts to discuss how investors can help shape an effective response to the challenge of climate change. The Harvard Gazette reviews the event in an article - please read it by clicking here.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

November 19, 2014

Sonia Kowal discusses governance at BSAS Sustainable Investing conference

Sonia Kowal joined Robert Von Rekowsky from Fidelity Investments to discuss the impact of both sovereign and corporate governance on global equity investing at BSAS's (Boston Securities Analyst Society) sold-out Sustainable Investing conference.

Category: Presentations

November 13, 2014

Zevin urges Pulte Homes and CR Bard to improve disclosure of sustainability metrics

Zevin Asset Management filed a shareholder resolution at Pulte Homes with concerns about the company’s environmental, social and governance performance and specific measureable goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A similar resolution was co-filed at C.R. Bard.

Category: Shareholder Activism

November 10, 2014

Sonia Kowal speaks on a panel - Climate Change: The Challenge of Stranded Assets

At a very well-attended session at The SRI Conference in Colorado Springs, Sonia Kowal presented an overview of how Zevin is approaching the subject and the challenges that we have faced in addressing stranded assets and fossil fuel divestment.

Category: Presentations

November 8, 2014

Amber Fairbanks delivers a "popcorn presentation" at the SRI Conference

Portfolio Manager and Senior Securities Analyst, Amber Fairbanks, introduces Zevin Asset Management to financial advisors at The SRI conference in Colorado Springs. Click here to watch her presentation.

Category: Presentations

November 4, 2014

Investment Update - What's to be done about High Frequency Trading?

High Frequency Trading (HFT) is essentially no different from a highwayman standing in the road with a gun demanding a tributary toll from all who would go about their business to the better without him.  In his book, Flash Boys, Michael Lewis succeeded in arousing some moral outrage about this highway robbery mostly outside of the circle of financial professionals.  Most financial professionals seem to think that the amount it is costing investors is small enough to fall off their moral radar screens and that the high frequency traders deserve some reward for their ingenuity and investment.  To read the full investment update, click here.

Category: Investment Updates

October 30, 2014

Sonia Kowal leads discussion on Program Related Investments at Exponent Philanthropy conference

Sonia Kowal leads a Peer Salon on PRIs (Program Related Investments) at Exponent Philanthropy's National conference in Washington DC. The session aims to educate family foundations on different ways of investing with impact.

Category: Presentations

October 22, 2014

Sonia Kowal educates Ropes & Gray conference about Responsible Investing

Sonia Kowal speaks at Ropes & Gray's Leading by Example conference at Bentley University. She was joined on the panel on Responsible and Impact Investing by James Gifford, Senior Fellow at Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard and the founder of the UNPRI, John Goldstein, Co-Founder and Managing Director at Imprint Capital. The panel was moderated by Anja Saloranta, Development Director at Redstar Ventures.

Category: Presentations

September 22, 2014

Leadership changes at Zevin deepen commitment to clients

Zevin Asset Management LLC is pleased to announce that Sonia Kowal has been appointed President. Benjamin Lovell is stepping down from his role as President in order to focus on his role as Portfolio Manager. Zevin is making these changes in response to the growth of the firm, its continued focus on putting clients first and to offer increased opportunities to younger members of the organization. To read the full release, click here.

Category: Organizational News

September 20, 2014

ZAM is proud to participate in the People's Climate March in New York City

Under the banner "Investors for Climate Solutions", Julie Barthelemy from Zevin Asset Management marched with other responsible investors for climate justice and to protest governmental and corporate inaction to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The group was mentioned in this Nation article.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

September 16, 2014

Sonia Kowal joins a panel discussion on fossil fuel divestment held by Associated Grantmakers

The panel's discussion focused on the pros and cons of fossil fuel divestment. The panel was moderated by Heidi Brooks of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. Sonia's co-panelists included Wilhelm Merck of Merck Family Fund and Mark Peters, Principal at Federal Street Advisors.

Category: Presentations

August 25, 2014

Another shareholder resolution at Emerson Electric

ZAM co-files a shareholder resolution at Emerson Electric Co which asks management to prepare a sustainability report to improve company transparency on environmental, social, and governance matters. The primary filer is Walden Asset Management. ZAM co-filed similar resolutions with the Company the previous four years all of which received well over 30% vote in favor of the proposal.

Category: Shareholder Activism

July 27, 2014

Climate proposal at General Mills withdrawn following strong action by the company

A shareholder proposal co-filed with Oxfam America at General Mills has been withdrawn after the company developed a strong policy to implement measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions from its supply chain and has agreed to press for political action to address climate change. Further details can be found in Oxfam America's blog.

Category: Shareholder Activism

June 23, 2014

Sonia Kowal speaks at Boston's SRI Base Camp

Zevin's Director of Socially Responsible Investing, Sonia Kowal, speaks on a panel about the advantages of SRI investing at Boston's SRI Base Camp.

Category: Presentations

June 5, 2014

ZAM's lobbying resolution at Wal-Mart presented by Dr. Iva Carruthers

ZAM is proud to have Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, a premier African American faith and justice organization with national and global outreach, present the lobbying dislcosure shareholder resolution at the company's annual. She works on behalf of many low-income families, communities of color, and Wal-Mart consumers who experience the consequences of lobbying activities that can destabilize American families and communities, including through support for legislation that limits or disenfranchises voters, dismantles public education, and legalizes unfair criminal justice policies. Click here to read her presentation to shareholders and click here to watch her presentation at the shareholders meeting. In total 11.7% of the votes cast were in favor of the proposal but over 50% of the votes are controlled by insiders including Walton family members, executive officers and directors. Removing these shares shows that 32.4% of non-insiders voted FOR the lobbying disclosure proposal.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, Presentations

June 2, 2014

ZAM Press Release: WalMart pushed to disclose lobbying

Click here to read more about ZAM's shareholder resolution at Walmart, calling on the company to diclsoure its direct and indirect lobbying payments.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

May 26, 2014

Sonia Kowal's letter to the Wall Street Journal responding to an Op-Ed on corporate political disclosure

Read Sonia Kowal's letter to the Wall Street Journal condemning their Op-Ed that disdained the need for corporate political donations and lobbying disclosure.

 

Category: In the Press

May 25, 2014

ZAM's shareholder resolution on lobbying disclosure at Wal-Mart featured in the Huffington Post

Zevin Asset Management's shareholder resolution asking Wal-Mart for disclosure around its lobbying activities has been featured in teh Huffington Post. Read the article here.

Categories: Shareholder Activism, In the Press

April 25, 2014

Sonia Kowal speaks at "Investing in a Sustainable Future" conference at MIT

In her conference plenary, Sonia Kowal speaks on the topic of Responsible Investing: Pragmatic Strategies to Decrease the Environmental Impact of Large Companies. The goal of this conference is to stimulate thinking and discussion about the relationship between economic activity and environmental impacts with a particular focus on investing. Details of the conference and videos of the presentations can be found here.

Category: Presentations

April 13, 2014

Zevin co-files proposal at General Mills on climate change

ZAM partners with Oxfam to urge General Mills to account for climate change in its supply chain.  The proposal asks the company to disclose the company’s sources for palm oil, soy and other commodities with a demonstrated “high climate risk” profile, to disclose greenhouse gas emissions by the company and in its agricultural supply chain and whether the company and its suppliers have adopted quantifiable and sustainable greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets

Category: Shareholder Activism

March 24, 2014

Sonia Kowal provides the "Investor Perspective" on a CDP webinar dealing with corporations' engagement with legislators on cliamte policy

In the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) Investor Signatory Webinar - Responsible Corporate Engagement in Climate Policy, Sonia Kowal, ZAM's Director of Socially Responsible Investing, shared the investor perspective on corporations engaging on climate policy. She covered why investors are concerned, how investors use the responses to the CDP questionnaire, and what best practice looks like before finishing with an overview of current investor/corporate engagments in the US on this topic.

Category: Presentations

February 9, 2014

Sonia Kowal interviewed for the Boston Foundation's newsletter

The Boston Foundation embraces Socially Responsible Investing strategies and interviews Sonia Kowal, ZAM's Director of SRI, for a story in their January 20 14 Philanthropic Advisor newsletter.

Category: In the Press

January 23, 2014

ZAM 2013 Advocacy Highlights

At Zevin Asset Management (ZAM) we are committed to social change and are actively involved in many efforts to improve sustainability, respect for civil rights and liberties, and economic justice. We are part of many collaborative, long-term efforts to advance progressive causes. Through our work, we hope to give power to other stakeholders, both inside and outside companies to achieve improvements.   Please click here to read a summary of our work on environmental, social and governance issues in 2013.

Category: Shareholder Activism

Past performance is not indicative of any specific investment or future results. Views regarding the economy, securities markets or other specialized areas, like all predictors of future events, cannot be guaranteed to be accurate and may result in economic loss to the investor. Specific securities identified and described may or may not be held in portfolios managed by Zevin Asset Management, LLC and do not represent all of the securities purchased, sold, or recommended for advisory clients. The reader should not assume that investments in the securities identified and discussed were or will be profitable. Any securities identified may not have beenselected based on their performance but as an illustrative tool for demonstrating ZAM's shareholder advocacy approach.