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Responsible Investing vs. AR-15 weapons

“I believe we are going to reduce the distribution of assault weapons and I believe we are going to make it more difficult for those [gun] companies to get capital.”

That’s John Streur, chief executive of the investment firm Calvert Research & Management, one of the biggest responsible-investing mutual funds.

Calvert, a part of the  Eaton Vance firm, has about $14 billion in assets and is a long-time leading player in social responsible investing. Recently, as an investor, it was instrumental in Kroger’s decisions first, to stop selling guns to those under 21 and later, to stop selling firearms altogether. (Kroger cited slumping sales.)

Now, Streur says: “When it comes to mass shootings, I think American society feels helpless about what possibly can be done to try to change the equation. To have capital markets be part of the solution is meaningful. It is responsible investing at its best.”

Socially responsible investing is arguably moving from the investment periphery to the mainstream with now about  $10 trillion dollars of invested assets. And the Sustainability Accounting  Standards Board is promoting a new “social and environmental” measure to be mandated for inclusion in publicly-traded companies’ annual reports.

In that connection, the international Integrated Reporting Council’s new framework for estimating  company long term value is being applied in varying degrees by companies in a dozen countries around the world.

On maintaining pressure on weapon manufacturers, Mr. Streur contends that the fight “is by no means over