Market News

 September 19, 2006
Investors Want Environmentally-Sound Portfolios

 Chicago, USA - Share buyers are increasingly concerned that the companies they invest in are pursuing sound environmental policies.

Research from Flag - a communications consultancy -- showed a growing proportion of investors now base their decision to buy on a corporation's "green strategies".

In a telephone poll 36 per cent of investors answered yes to the question "Do a company's environmental policies have any effect on your decision to buy its shares?"

The ethical investment market has flourished in recent years but the poll suggests that mainstream investors now demand environmental awareness from all companies.

Rob Cameron, Director of Flag, said: "This research shows there is increasing awareness among investors -- and society in general -- of the importance of corporate environmental policies and actions. Only eight years ago investors' awareness of these issues was very limited and had little effect on stock purchase decisions.

"With climate change just one of a range of environmental issues on the majority of corporate agendas, our poll shows that share buyers are taking environmental issues into account when they decide to buy into a company."

51 per cent of investors replied that it had no effect on their share purchase decision and the remaining 14 per cent gave no indication either way.

"Having worked on in this field for nearly a decade I have seen tremendous and often overlooked progress by the corporate world in addressing environmental concerns," commented Rob Cameron.

"Many millions are now being spent on social and environmental strategies by the FTSE 100 but little is being done to assess the influence of this on shareholders' views. Other research has shown the impact on consumer purchasing decisions. Flag's research shows that environmental strategies are starting to have an effect on investor decisions too.
Flag -- part of the Computershare group of companies - has advised on corporate responsibility issues since 1998 to companies that include Ford, Chevron and E.ON.

The research was carried out by surveying investors calling the Computershare's Bristol Communication Centre. Computershare manages 90 million shareholder accounts for over 14,000 corporations around the world.