Can Investing Be Sustainable? Yes, Says Finance Major Pauline Saintil

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PAULINE SAINTIL '18
Boston, Mass.

MAJOR:
Finance

May 4th was a great day to be a JWU College of Business student. The Finance and Investment Academy (FIA) and Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS) hosted a major forum centered around aspects of Sustainable Investing. This included focus on ESG, which is an acronym for environmental, social, and governance.

A dynamic panel included industry professionals from Hasbro, PepsiCo, Ecolab, Johnson & Johnson, Bank Rhode Island and Ernest Young. Students walked away with a better understanding of what companies are doing in efforts to be more sustainable and why investors look for companies who make this a priority.

"Students walked away with an understanding of what companies are doing to be more sustainable."

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As a finance major, a major take-away for me from the forum was that these companies were really passionate about their ESG efforts. For example, Hasbro, chosen as the top company for ESG efforts by Corporate Responsibility Magazine, is also a leader when it comes to gender diversity in the workplace.

This resonates with me in relation to the US government’s decision to drop out of the Paris Accord. There are numerous cities, states, employers and employees acting on their own to make sure they keep the higher environmental standards outlined in this accord as a priority. This shows we can all make an impact!

It’s a good feeling to know when I graduate and go into the workforce, that I can work for a company that is socially and environmentally conscious.

"It’s empowering to realize you can choose to invest in companies that are giving back + making a difference."

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Highlights included the panelists’ perspective on:

  • the importance of impact and sustainability investing
  • how to be strategic in buying products from companies with a sustainable focus
  • how to choose sustainably-minded organizations as future employers
  • how to invest in sustainably-managed 401K mutual funds once employed

It’s so empowering to realize you can choose to invest in companies that are actually giving back and making a difference in the world. Now more than ever, it is important that we, even as students, take the initiative to engage in environmentally sustainable activities. And I plan to do so!

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