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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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The 2015 proxy season is off to a rollicking start, with the first vote of the season for a sustainability reporting resolution at Commercial Metals on January 14 earning 46.4 percent. Walden Asset Management and several co-filers asked the company for a report that would include discussion of its ESG “risks and opportunities” and greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets and goals. The company said it already is socially responsible and transparent, and argued the proposed report would not be worth the cost.

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.
In March investors will vote on three proposals:

On March 10, Apple investors will vote on a proposal from the National Center for Public Policy Research that asks for a report on the company's investments in renewable energy, which the group says may be at risk because of challenges to renewable energy laws. A resolution last year from NCPPR that asked for information on Apple's support for sustainability efforts earned just 2.1 percent, not enough for resubmission.

On March 12, National Fuel Gas shareholders will consider a request for a gender identity non-discrimination policy, which last year earned 33.6 percent support.

On March 18, Starbucks shareholders will consider a resolution last aired three years ago that asks for a board committee on sustainability; it earned 4.1 percent in 2012.