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The Sustainable Investment Institute (Si2), a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., conducts impartial research and publishes reports on organized efforts to influence corporate behavior on social and environmental issues.

Si2 closely follows shareholder resolutions proposed by investor activists, analyzing changing reform campaigns and identifying key points of contention in reports that enable institutional investors to make informed, independent decisions about their votes and views on these proposals. In addition to educational proxy research materials for members, SI2 publishes reports for the interested public on related emerging issues.

Si2 seeks to elevate the debate on investor responsibility and expand the market for robust, impartial analysis of corporate sustainability concerns. Much of the extant research on socially responsible investing and corporate performance is gathered and maintained in proprietary databases by financial service firms, which limits the ability of academic researchers and the public at large to independently and accurately assess corporate behavior. By conducting original research on these issues and making reports more readily available, Si2 will enrich civil society’s knowledge and understanding. It will both inform investors and spur dialogue between key stakeholders and corporations, helping to identify solutions that benefit the world.

Founding members believe that a public interest research institute best realizes the organization’s intended mission; establishment as an independent institute differentiates Si2 from other companies, activists and research firms in the field. We avoid conflicts of interest by not taking a position on the issues we cover.

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IN MEMORIAM: Peter De Simone, Si2 co-founder, passed away from complications associated with pneumonia at the end of November. Peter started his career covering South Africa in the mid-1990s at the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), which later became part of ISS, then Risk Metrics Group. Peter covered issues ranging from early coverage of international sweatshops to fair employment in Northern Ireland, climate change and global corporate sustainability assessments. After a brief stint at US SIF, the SRI industry trade association, Peter joined Si2 full-time in 2011, where he worked covering proxy season, along with several special projects, the most recent of which was a report last spring on corporate board oversight of sustainability, in collaboration with the IRRC Institute. There will be a memorial event in Washington, D.C., sometime after the turn of the year.

Everyone connected to Si2 is saddened by this tragic loss, but we also are well prepared to continue the work we started with the founding of Si2, and look forward to providing more careful, impartial research about corporate sustainability debates in the months and years to come.

NANOTECH REPORT WEBINAR REPLAY: Si2 released a report looking at nanotechnology and what S&P 500 companies are disclosing about their risks and opportunities. Nanotechnology and the S&P 500: Small Sizes, Big Questions was commissioned by the Investor Responsibility Research Center Institute (IRRCi), which hosted a webinar on Thursday, October 23, 2014, to review the findings. A replay of the webinar, a full copy of the report, and the press release appear here.
December 9: The first shareholder resolution of the 2015 season to raise social and environmental issues will occur at the January 14 meeting of Commercial Metals, where investors will consider a sustainability reporting proposal submitted by Walden Asset Management.