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ESG Investing Trends: Common Approaches and Benchmarking

In this Q&A, Thomas Kuh and Paul Schutzman, Executive Directors at MSCI, discuss the significant ESG trends and developments that we should be aware of in 2017,  some of the ESG concerns, demands and questions they hear most frequently from asset owners in the US, and what first steps institutions that are grappling with how to approach ESG can take. Thomas Kuh                                                         Paul Schutzman Executive Director, MSCI                      Executive Director, MSCI               1. Can you please explain your roles...

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The Future of Investing is Impact Investing

(Originally posted on the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance website, available here. The Intentional Endowments Network is proud to sit on the Alliance's 8-member Industry Advisory Council of leading impact investing network organizations. Together the organizations on the Council represent over 800 members representing trillions of dollars of assets under management.) By:  Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation and Chair, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance The United Nations estimates that achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require trillions of dollars. The global goals aren’t the only way to measure our challenges, but they do paint a clear picture: given the scale of the problems the world faces, it’s clear that traditional sources of capital, like government aid and philanthropy,...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates O...

Though the US government is no longer supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, many endowments, foundations, and other US institutions remain committed to aligning their investment policies with the goals of the international accord. In response, the Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates have outlined a blueprint for action for investors wishing to uphold the aims of Paris Climate Agreement and implement ESG factors into portfolios. Specifically, we have outlined considerations for incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the development of investment policy statements (IPS), as well as a blueprint for incorporating language around the Paris accord into an institution’s IPS. Articulating Purpose, Priorities, and Principles in a well-designed investment policy can help interested institutions effectively incorporate social and environmental concerns into their investment...

Read More


University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climat...

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now posted at this link: The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day: http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum. Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk. Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network Builds Momentum

Last year, 77 Founding Members launched IEN’s membership program. Founding Members included: Arizona State University Foundation, Becker College, California State University, Calvert Investments, Carleton College, Hampshire College, Hanley Foundation, Lane Community College, Lewis & Clark College, Litterman Family Foundation, Middlebury College, Portland State University, San Francisco State University Foundation, UBS Asset Management, University of Maine and University of Massachusetts Foundation. Through the membership program, IEN facilitates connections with experts and peers to support administrators and trustees in enhancing their institutions’ approach to sustainable investment and addressing stakeholders’ concerns. Some of the major accomplishments of the Network over the past year included: Producing several guides and resources to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer to peer networking Hosting multiple events, which included a total of seven interactive,...

Read More


Fiduciary Duty & Divestment at Unity College

In the fall of 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to divest from investments in fossil fuels, making the College the first institution of higher learning in the United States to divest. Stephen Mulkey, President of Unity College at the time of divestment, made the moral case for divestment to the college community in an open letter. “The colleges and universities of this nation have billions invested in fossil fuels. Like the funding of public campaigns to deny climate change, such investments are fundamentally unethical,” President Emeritus Mulkey wrote. “The Trustees have looked at the College’s finances in the context of our ethical obligation to our students, and they have chosen to make a stand.” The Board of...

Read More


Transforming Investing for a Climate Safe Future - Plenar...

While at the Second Nature 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit this February, members of the Intentional Endowments Network held a plenary panel focused on aligning higher education endowment investments with climate leadership goals. Speakers discussed the investment risks and opportunities posed by climate change, what the higher education sector can do in this area, and trends in business and the finance industry related to climate.  Panel Speakers:  Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State University Bob Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee, Kepos Capital; Board Chair, Commonfund; Board Member, WWF Geeta Aiyer, President, Boston Common Asset Management Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Program Director, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Center for Responsible Business 

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Reflecting on 2016 and Looking Ahead - Update on the Inte...

Dear IEN members and friends, Thank you for being a part of the Intentional Endowments Network. As we move toward implementing our 2017 priorities – of growing the network and advancing intentionally designed endowments – we’d like to take a moment and provide you with an update on an active and productive 2016. The threats of climate change, toxins, extreme wealth inequality, oppression, human rights violations, water scarcity, breakdown in trust, loss of topsoil, failed states, political instability, and other sustainability challenges represent risks to investments in all sectors. Understanding the short- and long-term risks and opportunities of these trends is essential for prudent endowment management. Joining the conversation on these topics also serves as a tremendous leadership opportunity for...

Read More


Strategies for Investing in a Climate-Safe Future

By: Ken Locklin, Director, Impax Asset Management Conventional wisdom can be seductive.  Pundits are quick to predict that even the slightest shift in public policy breezes augur for imminent, wholesale change in direction.  But, as fiduciaries we are called upon to make investment decisions grounded in reality, and based on rigorous, rational analysis.  Reality is typically more resilient, and not necessarily deflected by policy zephyrs. One reality that investors and policy makers alike face is the increasing impact of climate change.  It increasingly impacts our physical world and significantly heightens investment risk.  While these impacts impose challenges for investors in general, they simultaneously offer compelling opportunities for investors in climate solutions. The incoming administration campaigned as pro-coal, climate change sceptics.  But...

Read More


Navigating the Sustainable Investment Landscape: A New Pa...

A new paper by World Resources Institute finds strong interest and opportunities and key barriers for sustainable investing within the US institutional investor marketplace.  A survey of over 100 investment professionals shows that institutional investors - including pensions, foundations, universities, and NGOs - are increasingly considering the material importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in constructing their portfolios. Stakeholder pressure and economic drivers are making sustainability an issue that long-term investors simply cannot ignore.

Read More


Navigating the Sustainable Investment Landscape: A New Pa...

A new paper by World Resources Institute finds strong interest and opportunities and key barriers for sustainable investing within the US institutional investor marketplace.  A survey of over 100 investment professionals shows that institutional investors - including pensions, foundations, universities, and NGOs - are increasingly considering the material importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in constructing their portfolios. Stakeholder pressure and economic drivers are making sustainability an issue that long-term investors simply cannot ignore.

Read More


Strategies for Investing in a Climate-Safe Future

By: Ken Locklin, Director, Impax Asset Management Conventional wisdom can be seductive.  Pundits are quick to predict that even the slightest shift in public policy breezes augur for imminent, wholesale change in direction.  But, as fiduciaries we are called upon to make investment decisions grounded in reality, and based on rigorous, rational analysis.  Reality is typically more resilient, and not necessarily deflected by policy zephyrs. One reality that investors and policy makers alike face is the increasing impact of climate change.  It increasingly impacts our physical world and significantly heightens investment risk.  While these impacts impose challenges for investors in general, they simultaneously offer compelling opportunities for investors in climate solutions. The incoming administration campaigned as pro-coal, climate change sceptics.  But...

Read More


Reflecting on 2016 and Looking Ahead - Update on the Inte...

Dear IEN members and friends, Thank you for being a part of the Intentional Endowments Network. As we move toward implementing our 2017 priorities – of growing the network and advancing intentionally designed endowments – we’d like to take a moment and provide you with an update on an active and productive 2016. The threats of climate change, toxins, extreme wealth inequality, oppression, human rights violations, water scarcity, breakdown in trust, loss of topsoil, failed states, political instability, and other sustainability challenges represent risks to investments in all sectors. Understanding the short- and long-term risks and opportunities of these trends is essential for prudent endowment management. Joining the conversation on these topics also serves as a tremendous leadership opportunity for...

Read More


Transforming Investing for a Climate Safe Future - Plenar...

While at the Second Nature 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit this February, members of the Intentional Endowments Network held a plenary panel focused on aligning higher education endowment investments with climate leadership goals. Speakers discussed the investment risks and opportunities posed by climate change, what the higher education sector can do in this area, and trends in business and the finance industry related to climate.  Panel Speakers:  Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State University Bob Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee, Kepos Capital; Board Chair, Commonfund; Board Member, WWF Geeta Aiyer, President, Boston Common Asset Management Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Program Director, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Center for Responsible Business 

Read More


Fiduciary Duty & Divestment at Unity College

In the fall of 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to divest from investments in fossil fuels, making the College the first institution of higher learning in the United States to divest. Stephen Mulkey, President of Unity College at the time of divestment, made the moral case for divestment to the college community in an open letter. “The colleges and universities of this nation have billions invested in fossil fuels. Like the funding of public campaigns to deny climate change, such investments are fundamentally unethical,” President Emeritus Mulkey wrote. “The Trustees have looked at the College’s finances in the context of our ethical obligation to our students, and they have chosen to make a stand.” The Board of...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network Builds Momentum

Last year, 77 Founding Members launched IEN’s membership program. Founding Members included: Arizona State University Foundation, Becker College, California State University, Calvert Investments, Carleton College, Hampshire College, Hanley Foundation, Lane Community College, Lewis & Clark College, Litterman Family Foundation, Middlebury College, Portland State University, San Francisco State University Foundation, UBS Asset Management, University of Maine and University of Massachusetts Foundation. Through the membership program, IEN facilitates connections with experts and peers to support administrators and trustees in enhancing their institutions’ approach to sustainable investment and addressing stakeholders’ concerns. Some of the major accomplishments of the Network over the past year included: Producing several guides and resources to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer to peer networking Hosting multiple events, which included a total of seven interactive,...

Read More


University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climat...

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now posted at this link: The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day: http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum. Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk. Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates O...

Though the US government is no longer supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, many endowments, foundations, and other US institutions remain committed to aligning their investment policies with the goals of the international accord. In response, the Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates have outlined a blueprint for action for investors wishing to uphold the aims of Paris Climate Agreement and implement ESG factors into portfolios. Specifically, we have outlined considerations for incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the development of investment policy statements (IPS), as well as a blueprint for incorporating language around the Paris accord into an institution’s IPS. Articulating Purpose, Priorities, and Principles in a well-designed investment policy can help interested institutions effectively incorporate social and environmental concerns into their investment...

Read More


The Future of Investing is Impact Investing

(Originally posted on the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance website, available here. The Intentional Endowments Network is proud to sit on the Alliance's 8-member Industry Advisory Council of leading impact investing network organizations. Together the organizations on the Council represent over 800 members representing trillions of dollars of assets under management.) By:  Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation and Chair, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance The United Nations estimates that achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require trillions of dollars. The global goals aren’t the only way to measure our challenges, but they do paint a clear picture: given the scale of the problems the world faces, it’s clear that traditional sources of capital, like government aid and philanthropy,...

Read More


ESG Investing Trends: Common Approaches and Benchmarking

In this Q&A, Thomas Kuh and Paul Schutzman, Executive Directors at MSCI, discuss the significant ESG trends and developments that we should be aware of in 2017,  some of the ESG concerns, demands and questions they hear most frequently from asset owners in the US, and what first steps institutions that are grappling with how to approach ESG can take. Thomas Kuh                                                         Paul Schutzman Executive Director, MSCI                      Executive Director, MSCI               1. Can you please explain your roles...

Read More


ESG Investing Trends: Common Approaches and Benchmarking

In this Q&A, Thomas Kuh and Paul Schutzman, Executive Directors at MSCI, discuss the significant ESG trends and developments that we should be aware of in 2017,  some of the ESG concerns, demands and questions they hear most frequently from asset owners in the US, and what first steps institutions that are grappling with how to approach ESG can take. Thomas Kuh                                                         Paul Schutzman Executive Director, MSCI                      Executive Director, MSCI               1. Can you please explain your roles...

Read More


Fiduciary Duty & Divestment at Unity College

In the fall of 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to divest from investments in fossil fuels, making the College the first institution of higher learning in the United States to divest. Stephen Mulkey, President of Unity College at the time of divestment, made the moral case for divestment to the college community in an open letter. “The colleges and universities of this nation have billions invested in fossil fuels. Like the funding of public campaigns to deny climate change, such investments are fundamentally unethical,” President Emeritus Mulkey wrote. “The Trustees have looked at the College’s finances in the context of our ethical obligation to our students, and they have chosen to make a stand.” The Board of...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network Builds Momentum

Last year, 77 Founding Members launched IEN’s membership program. Founding Members included: Arizona State University Foundation, Becker College, California State University, Calvert Investments, Carleton College, Hampshire College, Hanley Foundation, Lane Community College, Lewis & Clark College, Litterman Family Foundation, Middlebury College, Portland State University, San Francisco State University Foundation, UBS Asset Management, University of Maine and University of Massachusetts Foundation. Through the membership program, IEN facilitates connections with experts and peers to support administrators and trustees in enhancing their institutions’ approach to sustainable investment and addressing stakeholders’ concerns. Some of the major accomplishments of the Network over the past year included: Producing several guides and resources to facilitate knowledge exchange and peer to peer networking Hosting multiple events, which included a total of seven interactive,...

Read More


Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates O...

Though the US government is no longer supporting the Paris Climate Agreement, many endowments, foundations, and other US institutions remain committed to aligning their investment policies with the goals of the international accord. In response, the Intentional Endowments Network and Cambridge Associates have outlined a blueprint for action for investors wishing to uphold the aims of Paris Climate Agreement and implement ESG factors into portfolios. Specifically, we have outlined considerations for incorporating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into the development of investment policy statements (IPS), as well as a blueprint for incorporating language around the Paris accord into an institution’s IPS. Articulating Purpose, Priorities, and Principles in a well-designed investment policy can help interested institutions effectively incorporate social and environmental concerns into their investment...

Read More


Navigating the Sustainable Investment Landscape: A New Pa...

A new paper by World Resources Institute finds strong interest and opportunities and key barriers for sustainable investing within the US institutional investor marketplace.  A survey of over 100 investment professionals shows that institutional investors - including pensions, foundations, universities, and NGOs - are increasingly considering the material importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in constructing their portfolios. Stakeholder pressure and economic drivers are making sustainability an issue that long-term investors simply cannot ignore.

Read More


Reflecting on 2016 and Looking Ahead - Update on the Inte...

Dear IEN members and friends, Thank you for being a part of the Intentional Endowments Network. As we move toward implementing our 2017 priorities – of growing the network and advancing intentionally designed endowments – we’d like to take a moment and provide you with an update on an active and productive 2016. The threats of climate change, toxins, extreme wealth inequality, oppression, human rights violations, water scarcity, breakdown in trust, loss of topsoil, failed states, political instability, and other sustainability challenges represent risks to investments in all sectors. Understanding the short- and long-term risks and opportunities of these trends is essential for prudent endowment management. Joining the conversation on these topics also serves as a tremendous leadership opportunity for...

Read More


Strategies for Investing in a Climate-Safe Future

By: Ken Locklin, Director, Impax Asset Management Conventional wisdom can be seductive.  Pundits are quick to predict that even the slightest shift in public policy breezes augur for imminent, wholesale change in direction.  But, as fiduciaries we are called upon to make investment decisions grounded in reality, and based on rigorous, rational analysis.  Reality is typically more resilient, and not necessarily deflected by policy zephyrs. One reality that investors and policy makers alike face is the increasing impact of climate change.  It increasingly impacts our physical world and significantly heightens investment risk.  While these impacts impose challenges for investors in general, they simultaneously offer compelling opportunities for investors in climate solutions. The incoming administration campaigned as pro-coal, climate change sceptics.  But...

Read More


The Future of Investing is Impact Investing

(Originally posted on the U.S. Impact Investing Alliance website, available here. The Intentional Endowments Network is proud to sit on the Alliance's 8-member Industry Advisory Council of leading impact investing network organizations. Together the organizations on the Council represent over 800 members representing trillions of dollars of assets under management.) By:  Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation and Chair, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance Fran Seegull, Executive Director, U.S. Impact Investing Alliance The United Nations estimates that achieving its 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will require trillions of dollars. The global goals aren’t the only way to measure our challenges, but they do paint a clear picture: given the scale of the problems the world faces, it’s clear that traditional sources of capital, like government aid and philanthropy,...

Read More


Transforming Investing for a Climate Safe Future - Plenar...

While at the Second Nature 2017 Presidential Climate Leadership Summit this February, members of the Intentional Endowments Network held a plenary panel focused on aligning higher education endowment investments with climate leadership goals. Speakers discussed the investment risks and opportunities posed by climate change, what the higher education sector can do in this area, and trends in business and the finance industry related to climate.  Panel Speakers:  Wim Wiewel, President, Portland State University Bob Litterman, Chairman of the Risk Committee, Kepos Capital; Board Chair, Commonfund; Board Member, WWF Geeta Aiyer, President, Boston Common Asset Management Seren Pendleton-Knoll, Program Director, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business Center for Responsible Business 

Read More


University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climat...

On April 28, 2017, the University of Oregon held “Investing in the Age of Climate Change.” Organized by students, faculty, staff engaged in sustainability issues on campus, and the University of Oregon Foundation, the forum tackled the question of how climate change is affecting businesses and investors. The forum was videotaped and is now posted at this link: The nine videos posted track the speakers throughout the day: http://media.uoregon.edu/channel/archives/category/office-of-sustainability Steve Mital, UO Director of Sustainability, Quinn Haaga, President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon, and Clay Hurand, UO student activist, started things off with introductions to the forum. Paul Slovak, UO Psychology, provided a psychologist’s perspective on understanding risk. Susan Gary, UO Law, discussed fiduciary responsibilities for...

Read More


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