Public Policy

Public Policy
The purpose of the Public Policy Program is to support a focused public policy agenda that promotes the principles of sustainable and responsible investment to the national legislative and executive branches of government.  As detailed below, the SRI industry brings a distinct voice and set of priorities to legislative and regulatory initiatives. 
 
US SIF and its members have achieved a number of major policy successes.  In 2003, we successfully encouraged the Securities and Exchange Commission to require mutual funds and registered investment advisors to publicly disclose their proxy voting guidelines and the votes they cast on behalf of their clients. In 2007, we challenged what could be the most serious threat to the shareholder resolution process in a decade. In 2010, US SIF worked closely with its members and other partners to support passage of the landmark financial reform legislation - Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Since its passage, US SIF has advocated for strong rules in order to implement the legislation, including sections dealing with conflict minerals disclosure, payments by resource extractive companies to governments, executive compensation and other areas.
 
US SIF’s Policy Program implements its goals by providing information to our members, the general public and policymakers; recommending action to and creating opportunities to collaborate for sustainable and responsible investing professionals; and by conducting media and public education campaigns. To read US SIF letters and statements to policymakers, please click here.
 
Selected examples of US SIF Policy Priorities include:
 
  • Disclosure of corporate political contributions. 
  • Rulemaking carrying out the Dodd-Frank Act, including the disclosure of executive compensation, disclosure of use of “conflict” minerals by publicly traded companies and disclosure by publicly traded companies engaged in resource extraction of their payments to host governments.
  • Funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and other community investment initiatives.
  • Climate change legislation and regulation, including rules to curb toxic emissions from coal- and oil-fired electric generating units.
  • Mandatory ESG disclosure.
  • A sustainable investment option for federal employees in the Thrift Savings Plan. 
 
Policy Training and Capitol Hill Day:  
US SIF organizes a Policy and Advocacy Training and Capitol Hill Day for members whenever it hosts its annual conference in Washington, DC.  After attending the training program on policy, US SIF members meet with their respective members in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The event is a unique opportunity for both seasoned advocates and those who are newer to advocacy to help advance policy priorities relating to sustainable and responsible investment.
 
If you are a member, sign up to receive the latest news and updates via our Policy electronic discussion list. Not a member? Join us to get involved.