Responsible Markets
`Aha Ho`opuka Pono
Hawai`i Double-Bottom Line Investment Summit

February 26-28, 2001

Agenda      Participants

The `Aha Ho`opuka Pono summit provided an interactive venue for key Hawaii leadership to explore and weigh strategies for investing local capital in ways that include social, cultural and environmental factors within the context of financial performance and fiduciary responsibility. The goal of the summit is to develop an approach to investment that capitalizes on Hawaii's future economic opportunities while preserving what is special about our islands and communicating the values of our local people to the world.

If we make investments that are sound from a fiduciary standpoint and if those investments also benefit working people, promote economic development and provide for environmental protection, we will have what California Treasurer Philip Angelides calls a "double bottom line" return. Mr. Angelides has pointed out that it's not a matter of a choice between investing to make money or investing to do the "right" thing. It's a matter of taking the time and making the effort to find investments that do both.

The `Aha Ho`opuka Pono summit gathered leading experts and practitioners from the fields of socially responsible investing (SRI) and community reinvestment in a roundtable setting to work through the following topics with key members of Hawaii's political, financial and community leadership:

  • "Double bottom line" investment strategies that achieve financial return and advance the goals of environmental sustainability and equality of opportunity
  • A review of state legislation relevant to "double bottom line" investing
  • Economically Targeted Investments (ETIs) that create employment and housing
  • Fiduciary duties: legal, financial and ethical requirements for today and tomorrow
  • Financial performance of screened portfolios
  • Environmental and social screening as enhanced fundamental stock analysis
  • Cost/benefit of implementing divestment — case study in tobacco divestiture
  • Intellectual property as a vehicle for investment in domestic emerging markets
  • Alternative Investments: venture capital and global investments with social objectives
  • Targeted investments for Taft-Hartley pension funds that produce labor-friendly collateral benefits
  • Labor-friendly LBOs as a model for alternative investment in the 21st century
  • Investment policies that incorporate mission related values
  • Corporate governance: proxy voting and shareholder advocacy as tools to modify corporate behavior.

The `Aha Ho`opuka Pono summit provided an interactive education on the opportunities and techniques of "double bottom line" investing — including screening, proxy voting, and targeted investment — and how these relate to issues of performance and fiduciary responsibility. Participants included key Hawaii and mainland representatives from the following sectors: public pension & labor funds, SRI investment, private foundations, real estate, private trusts, Hawaiian trusts, government, legal, venture capital, intellectual property and education. It was intended that participating institutions and individuals from Hawaii would develop an in-depth understanding of "double bottom line" investing, initiate ongoing relationships with practitioners in the field, and strongly consider integrating a double bottom line into their investment policies.

Recently, there has been a growing movement throughout Hawaii to explore the possibilities of achieving "double bottom line" returns with our institutional investments.

The Hawaiian community is already recognizing the importance of making investments that result in more than just financial returns. A clear example of this wisdom can be found in Kamehameha Schools' new strategic plan, which includes the specific goal to "Manage the portfolio of resources to derive an overall balance of economic, educational, cultural, environmental and community returns."

Support for "double bottom line" investing is also growing among Hawaii's labor unions. A pre-summit meeting was held on December 15, 2000, with approximately 25 leaders from Hawaii unions. The meeting resulted in increased interest in "double bottom line" investing among the union leadership and additional commitments of support for the investment summit.

Given the labor movement's central role in Hawaii's modern history, the importance of native Hawaiian trusts, and the dependence of our state's economy on the protection of our natural environment, there is growing recognition in Hawaii that "double bottom line" investments make sense and are critical to our common future.

We live in an extraordinary time in Hawaii's history. The growing financial health of our State is reflected in a wide array of recent indicators. In the midst of significant technological change and sizable demographic shifts, our local economy is moving towards greater diversity and strength. Opportunities for younger generations to repatriate to Hawaii are now becoming more of a reality and not just the dream of many parents.

Yet, ours is a State that faces enormous challenges, which, if unmet, will undermine our hopes for sustainable economic progress in the 21st century. Among the most serious challenges is a lack of capital for expanding the economic opportunities that are now becoming available to Hawaii's citizens. Another challenge is maintaining a unity of purpose among our local people regarding the preservation of what makes Hawaii special, while simultaneously adapting to ongoing demographic changes.

Properly implemented, a double-bottom line strategy will spur investment in Hawaii that expands economic opportunity while also preserving what is special about our islands. Because this investment approach has historically been supported by constituencies that are often at odds with each other, the summit should serve as unifying event for Hawaii. Labor unions, native Hawaiians, environmentalists, public officials and small businesses can all get positively enthused about the economic, social and environmental benefits of double-bottom line investing, and have an opportunity to work together in implementing the various opportunities that this comprehensive approach to investing provides.

Ultimately, the `Aha Ho`opuka Pono investment summit sought to serve as a catalyst for shaping a common vision of shared values that will serve to reconnect Hawaii's people to our rich heritage and inspire a desire to make positive contributions to a sustainable economic future.

The summit was sponsored by Responsible Markets, LLC, with community organizing support from the Kuleana Waiwai Like Project of the Native Hawaiian Advisory Council.

The Summit was held February 26 - 28, 2001, and the agenda is available here.

For more information please call 808-573-1000 or email