For-profit

Sustainvest Asset Management

Website:

sustainvest.com/

Location:

Petaluma, CA

Formation:

2013

Founder:

Dale Wannen

Sustainvest Asset Management is a for-profit environmental-social-governance (ESG)-related investment advisory firm that has approximately 120 clients with $18.5 million in assets under management. [1]

Sustainvest is a proponent of shareholder advocacy, a tactic which it has used to push left-of-center policies on topics such as climate change, political contributions, pesticide use, gender and racial discrimination, and pollution. [2]

Sustainvest Asset Management founder Dale Wannen was a San Francisco council member for the Natural Resources Defense Council,[3] one of the nation’s largest environmentalist groups, and was also a board member and treasurer of Global Exchange. [4]

Background

Sustainvest Asset Management is a for-profit ESG-related investment advisory firm that was created in 2013 by veteran investment advisor Dale Wannen.

The firm is fee-only and specializes in conducting “sustainable and responsible investing,” known as SRI. Sustainvest offers portfolio advice and investment management to multiple types of clients including individuals, foundations, trusts, and charitable organizations. [5]

Sustainvest will only take on a client if it provides a $5,000 minimum investment,[6] and the firm has approximately 120 clients with $18.5 million in assets under management. [7]

The firm is also a proponent of shareholder advocacy, a tactic that Sustainvest has used to push left-of-center policy on issues such as climate change, political contributions, pesticide use, gender and racial discrimination, and pollution. According to the firm’s website, Sustainvest has filed multiple resolutions since 2016 against companies such as Dunkin’ Brands, Anthem Inc, Dean Foods, Actavis Inc, and BioMarin Pharmaceuticals. [8]

Environmentalism

Sustainvest prioritizes environmental, social and governance (ESG) investment opportunities, and advertises to potential clients that if they live a “sustainable life,” drive a hybrid car, or buy organic foods, Sustainvest will be able to help them increase investment returns. [9]

The firm is also a member of 1% for the Planet, a left-of-center environmentalist organization that attempts to create partnerships between companies and environmentalist nonprofits by letting companies become members if they pay a yearly subscription and pledge to donate at least one percent of their sales to environmentalist causes. [10]

Sustainvest also actively tries to work with companies that have “strong sustainability rankings” with issues including “strong environmental practices” and “products that are safe and useful,” and actively avoids working with companies that have business practices which are harmful to the environment. [11]

Sustainvest contributed to the Center for Climate Protection between 2013 and 2014. [12]

People

The founder of Sustainvest Asset Management, Dale Wannen, is an investment advisor as well as a portfolio manager.

Wannen is not only the founder and CEO of Sustainvest but was also a board member and treasurer of Global Exchange, a nonprofit advocacy group that promotes human rights and environmentalism based in San Francisco, between 2013 and 2017. [13]

He was also a San Francisco council member for the Natural Resources Defense Council between 2012 and 2017. [14]

Prior to creating Sustainvest in 2013, Wannen worked as a portfolio manager at Harrington Investments, a socially responsible investment (SRI) firm which holds $200 million in assets under management. [15]

Harrington Investments has been involved in aggressive shareholder advocacy since its founding. Once invested in a publicly traded corporation, HII files shareholder proposals as a tactic to impose its left-leaning economic, social, and environmental values on companies. [16]

Wannen was also a board member of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network and founded Green Drinks Petaluma, a once a month social gathering for environmentalist activists and professionals. [17]

References

  1. Swindell, Bill. “Local Investment Adviser Goes Green to Get Green.” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, June 20, 2017. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/6996094-181/for-this-petaluma-investment-adviser. ^
  2. “Shareholder Advocacy.” Sustainvest Asset Management. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://sustainvest.com/shareholder-advocacy/. ^
  3. “LinkedIn – Dale Wannen.” LinkedIn. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalewannen/. ^
  4. “LinkedIn – Dale Wannen.” LinkedIn. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalewannen/. ^
  5. “LinkedIn – Dale Wannen.” LinkedIn. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalewannen/. ^
  6. “Sustainfolio Mechanics.” SustainFolio. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://sustainfolio.com/sustainfolio-mechanics/. ^
  7. Swindell, Bill. “Local Investment Adviser Goes Green to Get Green.” Santa Rosa Press Democrat, June 20, 2017. https://www.pressdemocrat.com/business/6996094-181/for-this-petaluma-investment-adviser. ^
  8. “Shareholder Advocacy.” Sustainvest Asset Management. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://sustainvest.com/shareholder-advocacy/. ^
  9. “Sustainvest Asset Management, LLC.” Crunchbase. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/sustainvest-asset-management-llc#section-overview. ^
  10. “About.” 1% for the Planet. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.onepercentfortheplanet.org/about. ^
  11. “ESG Integration.” Sustainvest Asset Management. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://sustainvest.com/esg-integration/. ^
  12. “CCP Annual Report 2013-2014.” The Climate Center. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://theclimatecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CCP-Annual-Report-2013-2014.pdf. ^
  13. “LinkedIn – Dale Wannen.” LinkedIn. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalewannen/. ^
  14. “LinkedIn – Dale Wannen.” LinkedIn. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalewannen/. ^
  15. “Our History.” Harrington Investments. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.harringtoninvestments.com/about-us/our-history/. ^
  16. “Advocacy.” Harrington Investments. Accessed February 3, 2020. http://www.harringtoninvestments.com/advocacy/. ^
  17. “LinkedIn – Dale Wannen.” LinkedIn. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalewannen/. ^
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Sustainvest Asset Management

215 Western Avenue, Suite B
Petaluma, CA 94952