An update on behalf of business

Lucas Lee

What do we do?

We invest in socially beneficial companies and industries, using the revenue accumulated from selling our student publications. We donate our investment earnings to a nonprofit organization, which the seniors on the business team will choose. This year’s yield will support further investment ventures, and we hope to use the funds we generate from our financial portfolio to make a positive impact .

Last year, the business team was created with the help of Chief Financial Officer David Weil. This year’s group is comprised of juniors and seniors from the Economics Club and The Chronicle staff. We seek to increase the number of our members in years to come.

Get to know our investments

Currently, our financial portfolio includes Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) and Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW), two corporations chosen last year for its commitment to improving the environment. We have two different types of investments: an exchange-trade fund, which consists of assets which are traded close to the net asset value, and shares, which are specific to a company.

Social Impact?

Our assets have continued to prove their commitment to the environment in the past year. Starbucks made great strides in the last fiscal year by creating an initiative to find an alternative to plastic straws such as paper or bamboo straws. Starbucks has focused on its global and social impact on the environment by becoming responsible for coffee, creating greener cups and packaging and lessening the environmental impact of stores according to their 2018 Global Social Impact Report.

It is crucial thatour investments have a positive impact and that our returns are used to have a positive impact as well. By achieving this goal, we hope to support environmentally conscious corporations and their efforts to better the world.

How are our investments helping?

Starbucks invested in climate-resilient coffee trees which will provide high-quality coffee despite global warming. It also supported the Global Farmer Fund and created the Starbucks Foundation Origin Grants to strengthen farming through low-interest financing and foster growing communities. According to the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, the company invested $27.1 million in farmer loans. To improve the environment, it launched its third sustainability bond in May 2019 to invest in green projects for improving its coffee supply chain. According to the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report, 99 percent of its coffee is ethically sourced and 95 percent of its tea is ethically sourced.

Due to the negative environmental impacts of plastic straws and packaging, Starbucks joined the NextGen Cup Challenge which sought to eliminate 1 billion single-use plastic straws . It is aiming for a 70 percent reduction in straws after developing 12 new cup technologies, according to the Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report.

Starbucks also reduced its stores’ carbon footprint according to Starbucks 2018 Global Social Impact Report. It is currently involved in a program to certify its stores to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Our investment in Starbucks is promising as the stock has gone up over 7 percent. Although the money we receive from the sales will go to a nonprofit, the goal of this fund is most importantly to highlight companies that work to support the community and make the world a better place, rather than putting aside ethics for profit.