Investors Become Climate Heroes by Caring About the Environmental Impacts of the Companies They Support

Patrick Costello, CFP® of Green River Sustainable Financial Services specializes in environmentally sound, pragmatic investment strategies.

We are undeniably in the midst of a worldwide climate emergency, with record breaking heat waves appearing in daily news feeds and informing our personal lives. Most world leaders are embracing a rapid pivot toward a low carbon energy system, and in financial markets we see unmistakable trends away from legacy coal, oil and gas companies toward those developing green, renewable sources of energy. 

Green River’s investment philosophy is that it is both prudent and necessary for investors to add screening protocols to the investment selection process that evaluate funds and the companies they own for carbon footprint, carbon risk and other important Socially Responsible Investing metrics. 

Studies done by and The Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing show that sustainable, ESG, low-carbon investing does not require financial sacrifice. 

There are two local organizations with whom we work and upon whom we rely for their absolutely critical efforts in raising awareness about climate chaos and delivering practical solutions for investors who seek to align their investments with their values. 

Fossil Free California is a non-profit organization I am proud to sponsor and present to the readers of Marin Magazine. I recommend visiting their website to understand the full scope of their efforts to end support for climate-damaging fossil fuels and promote a just transition to a low carbon economy. They advocate and lobby for fossil fuel divestment by institutions and individuals, with emphasis on CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation’s two largest public pension funds.

Another of our partners is a nationally recognized non-profit called As You Sow. In addition to their shareholder advocacy work, they have created seven web-based search engines that allow investors and advisors to “lift the lid” on any stock fund, examine the company stocks it holds, and report on exactly what the fossil fuel, tobacco, weapons manufacturing, guns, prisons, palm oil deforestation and gender equality exposures are of the fund. 

With our primary focus being investment strategies that support a livable climate, we prioritize two of these search engines above the others:, and 

The Fossil Free funds search engine identifies five levels of fossil fuel industry exposure and is relatively self-explanatory. 

The Gender Equality fund search engine examines the ration of women to men at the top executive levels of companies, as well as in the company workforce more generally. The relationship of Gender Equity and Equality to climate comes clearly into focus at Project Drawdown. Their research identifies efforts to improve the health and education of women and girls as one of the most impactful strategies for reducing emissions of heat trapping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. 

At Green River we are highly appreciative of the important work of our climate defending allies Fossil Free California and As You Sow and will continue to bring them to the community’s attention.

Feel free to contact us at Green River for a no-cost evaluation of your options. 

J. Patrick Costello, CFP®,  (415) 453-6000

[email protected]

J. Patrick Costello, Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC, located at 1776 Pleasant Plain Rd., Fairfield, IA 52556. Advisory services through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Cambridge and Green River Financial Services are unaffiliated. Investing involves risk. Depending on the different types of investments there may be varying degrees of risk. Socially responsible investing does not guarantee any amount of success.