Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

Sensible Investing 2007


Get a HIP Replacement

Be HIP in how you buy, how you innovate, where you invest, and how you vote.

How You Buy: When scanning for products for your family, in addition to improving health or boosting wealth, consider how that product affects the overall environment--from how it's made (e.g. natural vs. synthetic components) to how it gets delivered to you (e.g. packaging, delivery method) to what happens after you dispose it (e.g. compostable vs. landfilled toxins). Ask the manufacturer these questions and request that they report this information on a product label (like Timberland’s boots).

How You Innovate: At work, inject new thinking into your company's offerings. Make a product that is completely recyclable. Source materials from native farms and diverse peoples. Choose low-carbon emissions methods of transport. Encourage healthy practices for employees and suppliers. Create economic value for customers by reducing prices and encouraging re-use. You have the power to change your workplace. Demand the same from your colleagues and leaders.

Where You Invest: Buying stocks and bonds with positive human impact is possible today. Several funds now have socially-responsible criteria that are positive screens in for impact, not just exclusions for provocative industries (e.g. nuclear, tobacco, weapons). Microfinance funds are emerging to support entrepreneurs worldwide--and have financial returns that are attractive to traditional bonds with lower risk and higher repayment rates.

How You Vote: In addition to your shopping cart and your portfolio, you have the power to elect leaders and shift their positions by being involved. Learn about your town's and state's policies towards equality, the environment and how wealth is created, and health is sustained. Make your voice heard with your representatives--and advocate for sustainable solutions that partner across all three sectors--business, social and government.