There is something so positive and powerful when people collectively stand up and say, “We can do better!” As a means for change, whether it be in the political realm, advocating for social changes, or in the corporate world, it does not get much more formidable than that. Sometimes it can be tough for a company to sit down and evaluate their business practices, especially when there is no incentive to do so. However, when they have to answer to determined shareholders, sometimes their hand is forced. Having to justify poor business decisions and unsafe practices to angry shareholders can cause companies to reevaluate the status quo and come up with ways that they can do better.
The green movement has been incredibly consumer-driven. People crave environmentally friendly products and want to decrease their carbon footprint. Seeing a money-making opportunity, profit-motivated companies have turned their eye toward fulfilling this request. This is excellent news for both the environment and for consumers. And that makes it great for a company’s bottom line. If you can find a company that is on this globally vital track, it is worth considering for your portfolio. Research the companies that are making big changes or have a global impact. You should be investigating a company’s environmental practices whenever you are considering adding something new to your portfolio. As shareholders, we can—and should—be demanding that the companies we invest in try harder to eliminate poor environmental impact strategies. Even something as simple as providing electronic copies of shareholder reports can have an impact, both environmentally (no wasted natural resources) and financially (no printing costs). That’s money that could go into investors’ pockets or into developing other green strategies.
Here is something that I’ve been looking into space heaters. There are all kinds of space heaters on the market today. Some run on things like propane, kerosene, or gasoline. Others are electric, which are safe to use indoors but not helpful if the power goes out. But there is another option: some companies are now making high quality oil filled heaters, some of which can run on things like vegetable oil or even cooking waste oil. Some restaurants and fast food places are making money by selling off their waste oil to be used for purposes just like this. Can you imagine? Something that was difficult or costly to dispose of before is now a profitable endeavor. You know that makes shareholders happy! There are space heaters out there right now that use cooking waste oil as a heat source.
There are all kinds of different ways to make a positive impact on the environment. I urge you to look into them. As a shareholder, you can use that leverage to help guide your investments in the right direction. Do the research, take an active role, and let your voice be heard!