Our Research Process

Here at Humankind Investments, we take our socially responsible research seriously. Wherever we have data, we use it to try to calculate how companies impact humanity in a few steps.


We’d like to illustrate this process using a fictitious tech company that we’ll call "Giggle." Giggle produces robots that perform stand-up comedy acts for people to enjoy in the comfort of their own homes.

Step 1

Calculating Giggle’s Direct Humankind Value

First we look at how Giggle, through its own actions, impacts people as investors, customers, employees, and members of society.


Step 1

However, in terms of Giggle’s impact on society, things don’t look as rosy.
Its robot factory produces some air pollution, which creates negative health outcomes for locals and the environment.
That’s two demerits that count against Giggle.

Our research team works to estimate the dollar value of each of these impacts. We then add up all of those numbers to create an estimate of Giggle’s direct Humankind Value.

Step 2

Calculating Giggle’s Indirect Humankind Value

Giggle works with other companies whose contributions are necessary to help them build and distribute their comedian robots. To properly estimate how Giggle impacts humanity, we must also take into account the direct Humankind Values of its business partners. For example, Giggle’s massive factory uses a lot of electricity, and the energy company that supplies the electricity generates a lot of air pollution and emits greenhouse gases. Giggle’s supply chain also features parts from manufacturers whose labor practices are in violation of international labor conventions. The negative values from the pollution and greenhouse gas production of its electricity provider and the value of the damage from the labor violations of its parts manufacturers – as well as the rest of the direct values associated with those two companies and with those of the other Giggle supply chain partners – are summed up using a proprietary algorithm to arrive at Giggle’s indirect Humankind Value.


Step 2

Step 3

Calculating Giggle’s Total Humankind Value

Finally, we combine Giggle’s direct Humankind Value and indirect Humankind Value to estimate its total value to humanity, i.e. its Humankind Value.


Step 3

We repeat this process again and again for all companies, updating and improving our model whenever we can include more or better information. We then weight companies in our portfolio based primarily on their total Humankind Value scores. Companies creating greater value for humanity are therefore given larger weights.

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Applying Humankind Value to the Real World

For a deeper dive into how we estimate a company’s Humankind Value, learn more about our Giggle example.

Interested to know how we apply this methodology to real companies? Head over to the Humankind Rankings site to see how we rate America’s highest Humankind Value companies.

If you as an investor want your money to be put to work in companies that can create more positive value for humanity, check out our ETF.

To learn more about how our company’s principles drive our research method, read our mission.

Members of our team write articles applying our research to societal problems. You can check out a handful of them below or go in-depth on our articles page.


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Learn more about investing opportunities with Humankind