By day our Elizabeth Beauvais is a seasoned communications professional and corporate social responsibility expert. By night, she teaches friends and neighbors how to apply CSR principles to their own investing. We recently talked with Elizabeth about her experience. Here is what she had to say:
Q: How did you come to be knowledgeable about this topic?
My background is in impact investing and corporate social responsibility. I’ve spent nearly 20 years thinking about how social and environmental issues affect financial markets and corporate behavior. In my work, I’ve advised a lot of big companies in oil and gas, defense and banking on how to factor in environmental, social and governance issues. Although I work mostly on the corporate side, I discovered that I really enjoyed presenting through the lens of a consumer and investor.
Q: Can you tell us how you were invited to present on this topic?
I am a member of First Presbyterian Church of Shreveport, and each month they host a University series that is open to the community. The University program provides short-term courses for adults wanting an in-depth and balanced education on a variety of issues. This is a program I feel passionate about, and I wanted to give back and be of service to my community.
Q: Could you tell me a little about your talk?
I offered guidance about the art of spending money wisely and consciously. We’re all faced with making smart, cost-effective purchases, and we also have options for spending and investing in ways that affect a wide variety of global and environmental issues. It’s an ongoing challenge, which is why understanding the impact of your actions, understanding your options and aligning your values with your spending is so important.
Q: What is sustainable investing & spending?
At a high level, it is how we choose to spend our money, whether investing in retirement funds, or buying new tennis shoes. The choices we make can have far-reaching impacts, from a company’s corporate governance policy, to the life of a young girl in a distant country making textiles, to the strength and growth of our own local economy. What’s most exciting to me is how environmentally conscious spending and investing can be truly innovative and profitable, such as through leapfrog technologies or rethinking products in terms of services.
Q: Where can we get more information?
Here are a few of my favorites: