Public Policy

Public Policy
As the lead organization in the United States advancing sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing across all asset classes,  US SIF recognizes the profound impact that policymakers and regulators have on the environment in which SRI investment occurs and on many of the issues sustainable investors care about.  Engagement by the SRI community with policymakers is vital to the continued growth and positive impact of the industry.

The US SIF Public Policy Program supports an agenda that advances sustainable, responsible and impact investment to the national legislative and executive branches of government.  Through US SIF, the SRI industry brings a distinct voice and set of priorities to legislative and regulatory initiatives. 

US SIF’s Policy Program educates our members as well as the broader public, media and policymakers. Our Public Policy Committee recommends actions that investment professionals can take and tools they can use to influence public policy debates. And we work to share a compelling narrative about the sustainable investment community through the media and public education campaigns.
 
Moving the SRI Field Forward – Policy Successes

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 successfully challenged what could have been a serious threat to the shareholder resolution process in a decade when the SEC proposed but ultimately failed to change shareholder resolution eligibility levels.  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 – and its implementation.

In 2015, US SIF led the efforts that persuaded the US Department of Labor to rescind and replace a 2008 bulletin that had discouraged investors from considering environmental and social factors in the companies and funds in which they invest.  Also in 2015, US SIF actions resulted in the Thrift Savings Plan Investment Board announcement to create a mutual fund window for the federal government employee retirement system, potentially enabling federal employees SRI investment options.