Are Homebuilders socially responsible?

Homebuilders such as Toll Brothers say that investors don’t care whether or not they’re being socially responsible. However, several are moving in the direction of responsible corporations and CSR.
I think SRI investors should consider these companies especially those that are manufacturing homes that are green-friendly and with renewable resources.

Are Glassdoor reviews correlated with strong corporate performance?

Glassdoor, one of my favorite tools in SRI/Impact Investing, has announced it will be taken over by Recruit Holdings for $1.2Bn.    Recruit Holdings, thankfully, has said it will maintain Glassdoor (a California company founded 10 years ago) as an independent entity.  It will utilize Glassdoor’s tool in its recruiting work (which is headquartered in Japan).

The Glassdoor story reminded me that it is such a powerful tool not only for job-hunting (as mentioned above) but to notice happy employees and their relationships with their employers.  This is a key tool I use to detect employee satisfaction.  I examine the company rating (1 worst through 5 Best) as well as a historical evolution and trends.  Many of our readers are familiar with Glassdoor so I will leave it up to you to get to know their offerings.  The key takeaway you should know is that reviews cannot be deleted.  Sure, some companies arm-twist new employees to post rosy reviews, but historical reviews are not deleted.

Other important rating measures includes the percentage of reviewers that approve of their CEO and the percentage that would recommend their employer to a friend.  Companies with ratings of 4.0 (out of 5.0) and 80% and greater CEO approval have been noted to have stronger financial performance as well as better governance.

It follows that stronger company performance should be at least indirectly tied to share price out-performance for those companies that are publicly-traded.  There haven’t been many studies in this area other than a recent study out of a UK business school.  Now that Glassdoor’s historical data is nearing the 10 year mark, it would be interesting if someone performed a global analysis of stock price performance versus Glassdoor ratings.   Another idea would be to examine the performance of IPO (initial public offerings) based on their Glassdoor ratings as the company has many privately owned firms in its database.  As a side-note, Glassdoor itself was talking to bankers recently about its own IPO before being swooped up.

Last month Snap (the Snapchat app for teenagers) share price plunged over 20% in one day after releasing earnings and metrics that shows the company may be losing control of its business (Elon Musk take note ! )  If a prospective investor were to have examined Snap’s Glassdoor ratings they would have at least thought twice before pulling the trigger given its lackluster ratings (see below).

Can vegans eat this stuff ?

Now that there may be lab-grown meat, the question is whether or not Vegans will feel compelled to eat such a product . The lab-grown meat would still be as if one were actually eating real animal meat.

Co-Founder, Co-Editor & Journalist – LIVEKINDLY
Memphis Meats, an alternative meat startup, has recently finished a round of fundraising and they gained support from some big names. Major meat packer, Cargill was one of the contributors to the $17 million that the company obtained. Alongside Cargill, Bill Gates and Richard Branson also chose to invest in the company.
Memphis Meats are currently working on lab grown meats. This meat is grown in tanks from the cells of the animals that the meat traditionally comes from. These cells are then fed nutrients in order to grow muscle tissue which will then be consumed as meat. Although their product isn’t available on the market yet, they have successfully produced chicken, beef and duck.

Startups like Memphis Meats aim to solve the world’s protein problem. Currently, the earth’s population are consuming more meat than is sustainable. Animal agriculture is devastating to the environment. As the earth’s population is set to increase until 2050, and the world’s appetite for meat continues to grow, this is presenting a huge problem.
Many people have turned to a plant-based diet to tackle the issue, but for people who love the taste of meat, they can’t see this being an option. Companies Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat have both created burgers out of plants that are supposed to replicate ‘the real thing’. However, for some people Memphis Meats’ creations might be one step closer to the real thing as it is grown out of the same cells that can be found in the meat they currently buy.

Cargill’s decision to invest in Memphis Meats, and expand[ing]’ their consumers ‘protein choices, mirrors Tyson’s move to invest in Beyond Meat. This suggests that meat companies are experiencing the effects of the public’s changing opinion on meat.
Although some animal rights activists are still concerned about the ethics of lab grown meat, it could be seen as a stepping stone to reducing the harm caused to animals. If lab grown meat became popular, as big investors appear to believe it will, it could dramatically reduce the number of farms which would have a positive ethical and environmental impact.

Image credit: Flickr | Gizmodo | Impossible Foods