The Cedar Portfolio is a set of exemplary multi-asset model portfolios targeting outperformance relative to industry benchmarks at generally lower risk, with our exemplary equity-only portfolios based on stable, profitable, cash-flowing businesses with manageable debt and leverage, and exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs characterized by strong Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) factors and Social Responsible Investing (SRI) screening. We also maintain an exemplary Impact Investing (II) model portfolio as a subset of our equity portfolios, consisting of businesses that have projects or a business model (or both) involved with beneficial social or environmental impact. We categorize this overall approach as Responsible Investment (RI).
We incorporate RI into the investment decision-making process because it is a key part of our investment strategy, it enhances all stakeholders – investors, communities, employees, customers, suppliers and governments.
We are signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment:
The guiding principles for our investment process on our equity model portfolios are as follows:
- We have a dual focus on businesses with both great financial and socially responsible performance;
- We see this dual focus as providing mutual synergy:
- Increasing business profitability grows the stakeholder pie, enhancing socially responsible performance to all stakeholders
- Implementing responsible corporate actions and activities with respect to strong CSR programs has a positive influence on financial performance;
- We incorporate the assessment of strong CSR programs into our investment analysis and decision-making processes;
- We seek disclosure relating to CSR by the businesses we have in our model portfolios.
Alex Edmans on The Business Case for Purposeful Business:
As per our investment strategy, an assessment of CSR is a qualitative smart beta factor we emphasize highly. Many of the businesses we identify demonstrate this recognition through industry certifications and assessments. Some of these are listed below:
CDP Mission Statement:
We want to see a thriving economy that works for people and planet in the long term. To do this, we focus on investors, companies and cities on taking urgent action to build a truly sustainable economy by measuring and understanding their environmental impact.
Ethisphere Mission Statement:
The Ethisphere® Institute is the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices that fuel corporate character, marketplace trust and business success. Ethisphere has deep expertise in measuring and defining core ethics standards using data-driven insights that help companies enhance corporate character and measure and improve culture. Ethisphere honors superior achievement through its World’s Most Ethical Companies recognition program and provides a community of industry experts with the Business Ethics Leadership Alliance (BELA).
Global Reporting Index (GRI) Mission Statement:
GRI helps businesses and governments worldwide understand and communicate their impact on critical sustainability issues such as climate change, human rights, governance and social well-being. This enables real action to create social, environmental and economic benefits for everyone. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards are developed with true multi-stakeholder contributions and rooted in the public interest. Our mission is to empower decisions that create social, environmental and economic benefits for everyone.
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council Mission Statement:
The ASC is an independent, international non-profit organization that manages the world’s leading certification and labeling program for responsible aquaculture. To transform aquaculture towards environmental sustainability and social responsibility using efficient market mechanisms that create value across the chain.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO):
International Standards make things work. They give world-class specifications for products, services and systems, to ensure quality, safety and efficiency. They are instrumental in facilitating international trade.
ResponsibleAg is an industry-led initiative committed to helping agribusinesses properly store and handle farm input supplies. The program helps members ensure they are compliant with environmental, health, safety and security regulations to keep employees, customers and our communities safe.
Forest Stewardship Council Controlled Wood Standard (FSC):
FSC controlled wood is material from acceptable sources. FSC works to take care of our forests and those who rely on them: by protecting plant and animal species, indigenous people rights, forest workers’ safety, and much more.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
The Sustainable Development Goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while tackling climate change and environmental protection.