An SIF news release called FERIA a “significant milestone” and commended Rep. Jim Langevin (D-Rhode Island) for introducing the measure.
“Investors are increasingly turning to socially responsible and sustainable investment (SRI) options because good corporate governance and performance on social and environmental issues are often indicators of financial success, good management, and less risk,” said SIF CEO Lisa Woll, in the news release. “Many federal employees enter the government to pursue social and environmental goals and are looking for investment options that work towards — rather than against — achieving those goals.”
“Investing in companies that are committed to corporate responsibility and sustainability will have a positive impact on our financial system, as well as empower federal employees to reward companies that share their values,” Langevin said in the news release.
The proposed legislation would direct the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB) to select a “Corporate Responsibility Index” (CRI) as an option for Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) investment purposes. The new CRI would include companies that meet strict financial criteria, in addition to having strong corporate governance, sustainable environmental policies and practices, solid workplace relations, positive community involvement, safe products, and respect for human rights around the world, according to the announcement.
At least 17 states — Alaska, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin — already offer their employees the option of investing retirement dollars in SRI funds, the news release said.