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College and University Presidents Announce Call to Action...

Boston, MA (February 12, 2019) — Today in Tempe, Arizona, higher education leaders announced a Call to Action: Guiding Principles for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions in response to the recent scientific reports that strongly advise unprecedented action in the next decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Institutions are signaling for ambitious cross-sector climate solutions that advance just and equitable sustainability practices on campuses and their surrounding communities. Developed in coordination with presidents, chancellors, and trustees from higher education institutions of the Climate Leadership Network, the joint declaration took place at the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, an annual event hosted by Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN). The call provides nine guiding...

Read More


Addressing Climate Change Through a Private Equity Lens, ...

“Climate change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable,” Jim Yong Kim, former president of the World Bank Group, recently said. The World Bank Group is not alone in focusing on a more climate resilient future. Climate change remains the most significant ESG issue for asset managers, who have more than doubled their investments to nearly $3 trillion into the space over the last two years, according to the U.S. SIF Foundation's biennial Report on U.S. Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends. Moreover, the report found that private equity and venture capital ESG assets under management more than doubled to $283 billion with 565 funds. Given these investment trends, Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) talked with industry experts to...

Read More


Impact Investing Leaders Introduce Opportunity Zones Repo...

The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University collaborate to create a shared framework to guide best practices in the Opportunity Zones market NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2019 -- The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (“USIIA”) and the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University (“Beeck Center”) today released a set of principles and a detailed impact measurement framework to help guide the development of the Opportunity Zones market. The Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework, a voluntary guideline, is designed to define best practices for Opportunity Fund managers seeking to invest in designated Opportunity Zones around the country. Market participants will be encouraged to abide by these best practices and...

Read More


Higher Education Endowments and the Climate Crisis

  By: Anthony D. Cortese, Sc.D., Co-founder of Second Nature, and Co-Founder and Senior Fellow of The Intentional Endowments Network   Humanity is at a crossroads without historical precedent. Current economic, social, and environmental trends are not sustainable.  Challenges related to climate change, water, food, economic inequality, poverty, and social unrest pose an existential threat to society. Witness the October UN Report on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment released last month.  We need a transformative shift in the way we think and act individually and collectively and higher education must lead the way in our role to provide the knowledge and the educated citizenry for a thriving civil society for the long term. Society looks to higher education to identify solutions...

Read More


The Power & Impact Of Community Investing

“Decent affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in this country. The reason is simple: without basic shelter, everything falls apart,” Matthew Desmond wrote in his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Many endowments and experts focused on Community Investing would agree. While affordable housing serves as one aspect of Community Investing, such investment programs tend to catalyze local innovation and stimulate the economy by way of job creation and education. Further, for some investors, Community Investing tends to hit the bottom line twice: invigorating local economies while boosting returns. The Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) approached specialists within the Community Investing space to get their perspectives on the value of Community Investing, understanding how to...

Read More


Tony Cortese Named as AASHE Lifetime Achievement Award Wi...

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has named Dr. Tony Cortese as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his outstanding achievements and progress toward sustainability.  With over 3 decades of leadership, Dr. Cortese played an essential role in the formation of many of the key organizations and frameworks in the higher education sustainability space - including the Talloires Declaration, Second Nature, AASHE, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, and the Intentional Endowments Network - that have guided the evolution of the movement for sustainability by and in higher education. “The 2018 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. They are truly pioneering the...

Read More


Two Recent Legal Decisions in Delaware Have the Potential...

In mid-July, the Delaware Senate passed a bill which, among other things, amends the code related to decedents' estates, fiduciary relations and property with a new provision that states that when making an investment decision a fiduciary may take into account the needs of the beneficiaries "as well as the beneficiaries’ personal values, including the beneficiaries’ desire to engage in sustainable investing strategies that align with the beneficiaries’ social, environmental, governance or other values or beliefs of the beneficiaries." Additionally, the Delaware Certification of Adoption of Transparency and Sustainability Standards Act was signed by the Governor at the end of June and will become effective October 1, 2018. This piece from Harvard Law School describes the act that makes it possible for companies...

Read More


Perspectives on Exxon Mobil Exiting Lobbying Group ALEC

Written By: Tim Smith, Walden Asset Management To Colleagues  involved in Shareholder Advocacy on Exxon and Alec  And Lobbying:Some of you may have seen the news released yesterday that ExxonMobil had decided to withdraw from ALEC.  I enclose three stories below capturing the key points. There are many investors who have chosen to avoid ownership of energy or oil company stocks like Exxon. Others have chosen to use their shares to put pressure on companies on climate change. All of us are deeply concerned about the power of fossil fuel companies on public policy. One of the focus points is how companies lobby directly or through trade associations on climate-related legislation. There have been ten years of lobbying disclosure resolutions including...

Read More


Gender Lens Investing Landscape: Barriers & Opportunities

Nearly four decades before they were even allowed to vote, women in the U.S. were placing their bets within the financial markets. In 1880 Mary Gage opened the first stock exchange in Manhattan for women – prior to this, women depended on men to invest in public equities on their behalf. Fast forward to the 21st century, the financial markets and companies more broadly only recently started to realize the value of female representation. The gender lens discussion was further fueled by the United Nations in late 2015, when it listed gender equality among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, some market practitioners have long understood the importance of gender lens investing, and in particular, its impact to the bottom line....

Read More


What We're Reading: Barron's Special Report on Sustainabl...

This week, Barron's released a Special Report on Sustainable Investing containing 8 articles on topics ranging from how to get started in sustainable investing, the 20 most influential people in ESG investing, and a cover story on BlackRock's work in the space, highlighting CEO Larry Fink's 2018 annual letter to companies emphasizing 'positive contribution[s] to society.' “Short-termism has been captured by the tick-tock of reporting, that’s why I’m trying to create a louder dialogue about long-termism, or the idea that a long-term Warren Buffett-like process will lead to greater sustainable returns,” Fink reports in the article. “ESG risks are going to be a formidable component of investing over a sustained period of time. We want ESG risk management to be a...

Read More


What We're Reading: Barron's Special Report on Sustainabl...

This week, Barron's released a Special Report on Sustainable Investing containing 8 articles on topics ranging from how to get started in sustainable investing, the 20 most influential people in ESG investing, and a cover story on BlackRock's work in the space, highlighting CEO Larry Fink's 2018 annual letter to companies emphasizing 'positive contribution[s] to society.' “Short-termism has been captured by the tick-tock of reporting, that’s why I’m trying to create a louder dialogue about long-termism, or the idea that a long-term Warren Buffett-like process will lead to greater sustainable returns,” Fink reports in the article. “ESG risks are going to be a formidable component of investing over a sustained period of time. We want ESG risk management to be a...

Read More


Gender Lens Investing Landscape: Barriers & Opportunities

Nearly four decades before they were even allowed to vote, women in the U.S. were placing their bets within the financial markets. In 1880 Mary Gage opened the first stock exchange in Manhattan for women – prior to this, women depended on men to invest in public equities on their behalf. Fast forward to the 21st century, the financial markets and companies more broadly only recently started to realize the value of female representation. The gender lens discussion was further fueled by the United Nations in late 2015, when it listed gender equality among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, some market practitioners have long understood the importance of gender lens investing, and in particular, its impact to the bottom line....

Read More


Perspectives on Exxon Mobil Exiting Lobbying Group ALEC

Written By: Tim Smith, Walden Asset Management To Colleagues  involved in Shareholder Advocacy on Exxon and Alec  And Lobbying:Some of you may have seen the news released yesterday that ExxonMobil had decided to withdraw from ALEC.  I enclose three stories below capturing the key points. There are many investors who have chosen to avoid ownership of energy or oil company stocks like Exxon. Others have chosen to use their shares to put pressure on companies on climate change. All of us are deeply concerned about the power of fossil fuel companies on public policy. One of the focus points is how companies lobby directly or through trade associations on climate-related legislation. There have been ten years of lobbying disclosure resolutions including...

Read More


Two Recent Legal Decisions in Delaware Have the Potential...

In mid-July, the Delaware Senate passed a bill which, among other things, amends the code related to decedents' estates, fiduciary relations and property with a new provision that states that when making an investment decision a fiduciary may take into account the needs of the beneficiaries "as well as the beneficiaries’ personal values, including the beneficiaries’ desire to engage in sustainable investing strategies that align with the beneficiaries’ social, environmental, governance or other values or beliefs of the beneficiaries." Additionally, the Delaware Certification of Adoption of Transparency and Sustainability Standards Act was signed by the Governor at the end of June and will become effective October 1, 2018. This piece from Harvard Law School describes the act that makes it possible for companies...

Read More


Tony Cortese Named as AASHE Lifetime Achievement Award Wi...

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has named Dr. Tony Cortese as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his outstanding achievements and progress toward sustainability.  With over 3 decades of leadership, Dr. Cortese played an essential role in the formation of many of the key organizations and frameworks in the higher education sustainability space - including the Talloires Declaration, Second Nature, AASHE, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, and the Intentional Endowments Network - that have guided the evolution of the movement for sustainability by and in higher education. “The 2018 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. They are truly pioneering the...

Read More


The Power & Impact Of Community Investing

“Decent affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in this country. The reason is simple: without basic shelter, everything falls apart,” Matthew Desmond wrote in his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Many endowments and experts focused on Community Investing would agree. While affordable housing serves as one aspect of Community Investing, such investment programs tend to catalyze local innovation and stimulate the economy by way of job creation and education. Further, for some investors, Community Investing tends to hit the bottom line twice: invigorating local economies while boosting returns. The Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) approached specialists within the Community Investing space to get their perspectives on the value of Community Investing, understanding how to...

Read More


Higher Education Endowments and the Climate Crisis

  By: Anthony D. Cortese, Sc.D., Co-founder of Second Nature, and Co-Founder and Senior Fellow of The Intentional Endowments Network   Humanity is at a crossroads without historical precedent. Current economic, social, and environmental trends are not sustainable.  Challenges related to climate change, water, food, economic inequality, poverty, and social unrest pose an existential threat to society. Witness the October UN Report on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment released last month.  We need a transformative shift in the way we think and act individually and collectively and higher education must lead the way in our role to provide the knowledge and the educated citizenry for a thriving civil society for the long term. Society looks to higher education to identify solutions...

Read More


Impact Investing Leaders Introduce Opportunity Zones Repo...

The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University collaborate to create a shared framework to guide best practices in the Opportunity Zones market NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2019 -- The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (“USIIA”) and the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University (“Beeck Center”) today released a set of principles and a detailed impact measurement framework to help guide the development of the Opportunity Zones market. The Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework, a voluntary guideline, is designed to define best practices for Opportunity Fund managers seeking to invest in designated Opportunity Zones around the country. Market participants will be encouraged to abide by these best practices and...

Read More


Addressing Climate Change Through a Private Equity Lens, ...

“Climate change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable,” Jim Yong Kim, former president of the World Bank Group, recently said. The World Bank Group is not alone in focusing on a more climate resilient future. Climate change remains the most significant ESG issue for asset managers, who have more than doubled their investments to nearly $3 trillion into the space over the last two years, according to the U.S. SIF Foundation's biennial Report on U.S. Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends. Moreover, the report found that private equity and venture capital ESG assets under management more than doubled to $283 billion with 565 funds. Given these investment trends, Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) talked with industry experts to...

Read More


College and University Presidents Announce Call to Action...

Boston, MA (February 12, 2019) — Today in Tempe, Arizona, higher education leaders announced a Call to Action: Guiding Principles for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions in response to the recent scientific reports that strongly advise unprecedented action in the next decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Institutions are signaling for ambitious cross-sector climate solutions that advance just and equitable sustainability practices on campuses and their surrounding communities. Developed in coordination with presidents, chancellors, and trustees from higher education institutions of the Climate Leadership Network, the joint declaration took place at the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, an annual event hosted by Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN). The call provides nine guiding...

Read More


Addressing Climate Change Through a Private Equity Lens, ...

“Climate change is an existential threat to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable,” Jim Yong Kim, former president of the World Bank Group, recently said. The World Bank Group is not alone in focusing on a more climate resilient future. Climate change remains the most significant ESG issue for asset managers, who have more than doubled their investments to nearly $3 trillion into the space over the last two years, according to the U.S. SIF Foundation's biennial Report on U.S. Sustainable, Responsible, and Impact Investing Trends. Moreover, the report found that private equity and venture capital ESG assets under management more than doubled to $283 billion with 565 funds. Given these investment trends, Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) talked with industry experts to...

Read More


College and University Presidents Announce Call to Action...

Boston, MA (February 12, 2019) — Today in Tempe, Arizona, higher education leaders announced a Call to Action: Guiding Principles for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions in response to the recent scientific reports that strongly advise unprecedented action in the next decade to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Institutions are signaling for ambitious cross-sector climate solutions that advance just and equitable sustainability practices on campuses and their surrounding communities. Developed in coordination with presidents, chancellors, and trustees from higher education institutions of the Climate Leadership Network, the joint declaration took place at the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, an annual event hosted by Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN). The call provides nine guiding...

Read More


Gender Lens Investing Landscape: Barriers & Opportunities

Nearly four decades before they were even allowed to vote, women in the U.S. were placing their bets within the financial markets. In 1880 Mary Gage opened the first stock exchange in Manhattan for women – prior to this, women depended on men to invest in public equities on their behalf. Fast forward to the 21st century, the financial markets and companies more broadly only recently started to realize the value of female representation. The gender lens discussion was further fueled by the United Nations in late 2015, when it listed gender equality among its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, some market practitioners have long understood the importance of gender lens investing, and in particular, its impact to the bottom line....

Read More


Higher Education Endowments and the Climate Crisis

  By: Anthony D. Cortese, Sc.D., Co-founder of Second Nature, and Co-Founder and Senior Fellow of The Intentional Endowments Network   Humanity is at a crossroads without historical precedent. Current economic, social, and environmental trends are not sustainable.  Challenges related to climate change, water, food, economic inequality, poverty, and social unrest pose an existential threat to society. Witness the October UN Report on Climate Change and the National Climate Assessment released last month.  We need a transformative shift in the way we think and act individually and collectively and higher education must lead the way in our role to provide the knowledge and the educated citizenry for a thriving civil society for the long term. Society looks to higher education to identify solutions...

Read More


Impact Investing Leaders Introduce Opportunity Zones Repo...

The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance and Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University collaborate to create a shared framework to guide best practices in the Opportunity Zones market NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2019 -- The U.S. Impact Investing Alliance (“USIIA”) and the Beeck Center for Social Impact + Innovation at Georgetown University (“Beeck Center”) today released a set of principles and a detailed impact measurement framework to help guide the development of the Opportunity Zones market. The Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework, a voluntary guideline, is designed to define best practices for Opportunity Fund managers seeking to invest in designated Opportunity Zones around the country. Market participants will be encouraged to abide by these best practices and...

Read More


Perspectives on Exxon Mobil Exiting Lobbying Group ALEC

Written By: Tim Smith, Walden Asset Management To Colleagues  involved in Shareholder Advocacy on Exxon and Alec  And Lobbying:Some of you may have seen the news released yesterday that ExxonMobil had decided to withdraw from ALEC.  I enclose three stories below capturing the key points. There are many investors who have chosen to avoid ownership of energy or oil company stocks like Exxon. Others have chosen to use their shares to put pressure on companies on climate change. All of us are deeply concerned about the power of fossil fuel companies on public policy. One of the focus points is how companies lobby directly or through trade associations on climate-related legislation. There have been ten years of lobbying disclosure resolutions including...

Read More


The Power & Impact Of Community Investing

“Decent affordable housing should be a basic right for everybody in this country. The reason is simple: without basic shelter, everything falls apart,” Matthew Desmond wrote in his book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Many endowments and experts focused on Community Investing would agree. While affordable housing serves as one aspect of Community Investing, such investment programs tend to catalyze local innovation and stimulate the economy by way of job creation and education. Further, for some investors, Community Investing tends to hit the bottom line twice: invigorating local economies while boosting returns. The Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) approached specialists within the Community Investing space to get their perspectives on the value of Community Investing, understanding how to...

Read More


Tony Cortese Named as AASHE Lifetime Achievement Award Wi...

The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) has named Dr. Tony Cortese as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his outstanding achievements and progress toward sustainability.  With over 3 decades of leadership, Dr. Cortese played an essential role in the formation of many of the key organizations and frameworks in the higher education sustainability space - including the Talloires Declaration, Second Nature, AASHE, the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, and the Intentional Endowments Network - that have guided the evolution of the movement for sustainability by and in higher education. “The 2018 award winners demonstrate an inspiring passion for solving some of the world’s most complex challenges. They are truly pioneering the...

Read More


Two Recent Legal Decisions in Delaware Have the Potential...

In mid-July, the Delaware Senate passed a bill which, among other things, amends the code related to decedents' estates, fiduciary relations and property with a new provision that states that when making an investment decision a fiduciary may take into account the needs of the beneficiaries "as well as the beneficiaries’ personal values, including the beneficiaries’ desire to engage in sustainable investing strategies that align with the beneficiaries’ social, environmental, governance or other values or beliefs of the beneficiaries." Additionally, the Delaware Certification of Adoption of Transparency and Sustainability Standards Act was signed by the Governor at the end of June and will become effective October 1, 2018. This piece from Harvard Law School describes the act that makes it possible for companies...

Read More


What We're Reading: Barron's Special Report on Sustainabl...

This week, Barron's released a Special Report on Sustainable Investing containing 8 articles on topics ranging from how to get started in sustainable investing, the 20 most influential people in ESG investing, and a cover story on BlackRock's work in the space, highlighting CEO Larry Fink's 2018 annual letter to companies emphasizing 'positive contribution[s] to society.' “Short-termism has been captured by the tick-tock of reporting, that’s why I’m trying to create a louder dialogue about long-termism, or the idea that a long-term Warren Buffett-like process will lead to greater sustainable returns,” Fink reports in the article. “ESG risks are going to be a formidable component of investing over a sustained period of time. We want ESG risk management to be a...

Read More


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