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Global Investment Standards
At Domini Social Investments, we have a strong commitment to communicate with the investors in our funds, with the corporations and financial institutions around the world in which we invest, with our fellow members of the financial community, and with the general public about the standards we use in choosing our investments.
These standards guide our investments in the stocks and the fixed-income securities in our funds. We apply these standards to all our investments, believing they help identify opportunities to simultaneously provide strong financial rewards while helping to create a more just and sustainable economic system with increased opportunities for all.
Our standards cover the relationship of corporations to the following stakeholders or partners:
Shareholders interested in the following topics can click here:
Two fundamental principles underlie these global standards: the promotion of a society that values human dignity and the enrichment of our natural environment. We view these twin goals as crucial to a healthier, wealthier, and more sustainable world.
For our stock funds, which invest primarily in the stocks of publicly traded companies, our principles lead us to apply standards based on the strength of corporations’ relationships with the following stakeholders:
We view these stakeholders as partners with corporations, and believe corporations have important opportunities to invest in their partners and, in turn, to be rewarded by them. We also recognize that corporations can create substantial risks — financial, social, and environmental — when they fail to manage their partnerships appropriately. Because there is often a mutual interdependence between corporations and their partners, our assessments of the strength and vitality of their relationships are a vital part of our investment process.
We assess the strength of these relationships by evaluating key themes relevant to each stakeholder. We believe that companies will succeed and prosper in the long run when they do the following, among other things:
Contribute to the local communities in which they are located
Produce high-quality, safe, and useful products
Enrich the ecosystems on which they depend
Invest in the health and development of their employees
Treat their investors and lenders openly and transparently
Strengthen the capabilities of their suppliers
By applying our standards to equities, we believe we can help identify strong long-term investments, as well as highlight companies that enrich their relationships with these partners. These considerations help to build the demand for data on corporate social and environmental performance and to communicate our expectations to corporations and other investors.
For our bond fund, which invests in the securities of government agencies and financial institutions, these principles lead us to seek opportunities that do the following:
Increase access to capital for those historically underserved
Support the creation of public goods in economically disadvantaged regions
Encourage responsible innovation in financial services to these regions
These are each important building blocks in the creation of a more just economic system.
To measure this ability to enhance access, create public goods, and innovate, we assess our fixed-income investments against a five-level gradient of community impact, within the risk parameters of our bond fund. Our Community Impact Gradient assesses our investments’ impact, for example, in helping those with low and moderate incomes to purchase a house or start a business; enabling financially challenged cities and towns to reclaim environmentally damaged properties or to redevelop deteriorated neighborhoods; making it possible for underserved communities to enhance their education and healthcare systems; or assisting those who never participated in the financial system to open a checking and savings account. Such investments help create the communities of opportunity and trust that are necessary to address the problems of tomorrow.
Our standards are designed to address the financial as well as social needs of our investors, who ask us to align their investment decisions with their concerns for society and the environment. We believe that these twin social and financial goals can be achieved and we are pleased to offer this description of how we put our principles into action.
Past performance is no guarantee of future results. The Domini Funds are subject to market risks and are not insured. You may lose money.
The Domini Social Bond Fund is not insured and is subject to market risks, including interest rate and credit risks. During periods of rising interest rates, bond funds can lose value. The Domini Social Bond Fund currently holds a large percentage of its portfolio in mortgage-backed securities. During periods of falling interest rates, mortgage-backed securities may prepay the principal due, which may lower the Fund’s return by causing it to reinvest at lower interest rates. Some of the Domini Social Bond Fund's community development investments may be unrated and carry greater credit risks than its other investments.