ESG Integration

Since 1975, Walden has recognized that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors can impact corporate financial performance. As an investment manager and fiduciary, we seek to ensure that our clients’ assets are invested in securities that are well positioned to maximize return and minimize risk. We believe that integrating ESG analysis in the investment decision-making process enhances our ability to identify high quality securities across all asset classes.

Our in-house team conducts primary and secondary research to evaluate investment prospects. Our ESG analysts, most of whom are CFA charterholders, work alongside traditional securities analysts to evaluate companies under review. Together they consider any ESG factors that may materially impact the long-term prospects of that investment.

Exclusionary ESG Screening

Many clients wish to restrict certain types of holdings in their portfolio to align with their personal values or organizational mission. We have over 40 years of experience screening securities to meet our clients’ objectives while maintaining the integrity of our investment approach.

Our approach to screening has three key aspects:

1. Minimum ESG Standards. Walden screens out companies that generate a certain threshold of revenues from, or are market leaders in, the following:

  • animal welfare (factory farming, research animals)
  • alcohol production
  • coal mining
  • gaming
  • handguns
  • nuclear power fuel cycle
  • prison operations
  • tobacco manufacturing
  • weapons systems

2. ESG Performance Analysis. Our in-house team of analysts evaluate the overall ESG performance of each company from its core products and services to its environmental performance, workplace policies and practices, community impact, and corporate governance. Analysts assess impacts on stakeholders, performance over time (relative to peers and established goals), and transparency. 

3. Unique Client Guidelines. We have decades of expertise interpreting guidelines to ensure each clients’ mission or values is reflected in the portfolio. Thoughtful portfolio management is a hallmark of our approach. Examples of custom guidelines include fossil fuels, animal welfare, and Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) guidelines.