Calvert, the nations largest family of socially responsible mutual funds, today published its first Sustainability Report using Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. The 50-page report detailing Calverts economic, social and environmental performance is available on the firms website.
For years, Calvert has advocated greater disclosure and transparency on the part of the companies we invest in. We believe social and environmental disclosure is not only relevant but highly material to investors" says Barbara J. Krumsiek, President and CEO of Calvert. "We therefore felt it was important to report to Calverts shareholders and other stakeholders on how we are discharging our own social and environmental responsibilities.
Calverts Sustainability Report follows reporting guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), an independent institution whose mission is to develop uniform Sustainability Reporting Guidelines for voluntary use by corporations and other organizations reporting on their economic, environmental, and social performance. Calvert is the first US-based socially responsible mutual fund firm and one of only a small number of US-based financial services companies to publish a Sustainability Report following the Guidelines. (A list of organizations reporting under the GRI Guidelines is available at www.globalreporting.org.)
The Calvert Sustainability Report attempts to integrate the GRI Guidelines with the companys own social and environmental criteria, which it uses in researching corporate performance for its own portfolio selection purposes. The report focuses on Calverts performance in seven issue areas: (1) corporate governance and business ethics; (2) workplace issues; (3) environment; (4) product safety and impact; (5) international operations and human rights; (6) Indigenous Peoples rights; and (7) community relations. These correspond to the seven issue areas that Calvert researches when analyzing corporate performance for its own mutual fund portfolios. The Calvert Sustainability Report constitutes the companys first systematic attempt to use those screens in assessing its own social and environmental performance.
As so much of our business involves assessing the social and environmental performance of others, it was a natural progression for Calvert to turn the mirror on ourselves, says Ms. Krumsiek. We hope it enables our shareholders, clients and other stakeholders to learn more about how we conduct our business and how we measure our progress towards corporate social responsibility and sustainability. We also hope that it encourages other companies – in our sector and beyond – to rise to the challenge of transparency and sustainability reporting.