Grant Bradski is the Sustainable Investing Initiative & Creative Content Coordinator at As You Sow. He assists on special projects such as corporate investigative research, proxy statement resolutions, and ESG investing. Grant also works closely with the Director of Digital Strategies coordinating projects related to Invest Your Values, As You Sow’s free online climate-related financial transparency tools. This is part of a series of interviews in which you can get to know the grants given under the 2022 Equity Rises Request for Proposals and the people behind all the work.
Question 1: Tell us about your work! What kind of goals do you have? What are you excited about?
I work on our Invest Your Values program at As You Sow. We build free online educational tools for investors to show them what environmentally and socially problematic investments are hidden inside their mutual funds, ETFs, and 401ks. I’m really excited about a handful of Invest Your Values projects, including: our new fossil fuel finance and insurance ratings, grading “toxic bonds,” or bonds sold by fossil fuels companies, and of course updating our Weapons Free Funds database and action toolkit.
Question 2: What challenges have you faced in supporting As You Sow’s work informing investors about which mutual funds and asset managers invest in military contractors and weapons production?
A big challenge we have faced over the past year is getting companies to acknowledge not only that they are supporting the Military Industrial Complex through their 401k investments, but also that they have the opportunity to make real change and divest from these destructive industries. We do believe there is interest in using shareholder advocacy to promote social change. We have seen great progress these past years engaging companies through our Racial Justice Initiative, but now it’s time for companies to take a deep look at what socially problematic industries they are directing their employee savings into.
Question 3: Who or what motivates you?
Honestly working alongside all my incredibly motivated, talented, and thoughtful colleagues fills me with inspiration each day. I have learned so much from all of them, from the leadership to our office administrators. Each person at As You Sow has so much to offer, and I feel incredibly grateful to be a small part of this organization.
Question 4: What's the most interesting or memorable project you've gotten involved with in your career?
I was brought on a couple years ago to help out with our newest Invest Your Values project: the 401k Scorecard. There are a 100 million employees in the U.S. with over $10 trillion in assets, yet most have no idea they are financing the climate crisis and saving for a future that may not be fit to retire into. This is terrifying, but also presents an incredible opportunity for people to leverage their investor power to literally change the world. I have woken up inspired to be a part of this project every day since I joined As You Sow.
Question 5: How do you measure progress in your work?
Our Invest Your Values program measures progress in our work in a slightly different way than the rest of our programs, which can measure progress in total agreements and commitments from companies, high shareholder votes for their resolutions, majority votes, and total shareholder resolutions. Our program measures progress through web traffic, by adding new functions to our websites, and now shareholder resolutions as well. This past year is the first time we have submitted shareholder resolutions through our Invest Your Values program, and it has been quite exciting to get into this space.
Question 6: How can someone best support As You Sow?
There are many ways individuals can support our work at As You Sow. For our Invest Your Values program, we love it when people use our free online tools to align their investments with their values, then spread the word about them. Investors can also authorize their shares in a company stock, so we can submit our resolutions to that company on their behalf. And of course, we are a nonprofit and are completely funded by grants and donations, so donating to our causes allows us to continue to make real change in the world for years to come.
Question 7: What is the best book you’ve read recently?
I recently finished Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman. I’ve really enjoyed escaping into his fantasy words – it can be hard to put his books down!