December 2017 Newsletter

Thank you for your engagement with IEN this year.  As Tony and I reflect on the progress we've all made together this year on advancing sustainable investing, we are filled with gratitude and hope -- we share some of these reflections in a blog post on IEN in 2017.  

We hope you enjoy this issue of our bi-monthly newsletter.  Below we highlight new resources on the sustainable investment journeys of Hampshire College and Pitzer College.

And while we will spare your inbox of one more dedicated year-end fundraising appeal email, we ask that you consider supporting IEN with a donation to the Crane Institute as part of your personal year-end giving. As a non-profit, we rely on the generosity of individuals, in addition to membership contributions and foundation grants to make this work possible. 

Finally, we hope you can join us at the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit on February 4-6, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. We are pleased to announce that Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California system, and Arizona State University President Michael Crow will be joining our line up of excellent speakers. 

As always, your contributions to the conversation are welcome and needed. Please be in touch with any questions, news or ideas for the IEN.

Warm regards,

Georges & The IEN Team


Feature Resources: 'Fireside Chat: The Pitzer College Story' and 'Webinar: Passive ESG Strategies'

In September, IEN, in partnership with the Center for Responsible Business at Berkeley-Haas and BlackRock, hosted an Intentionally Designed Endowment Roundtable for endowment decision-makers and stakeholders from institutions interested in enhancing their leadership on sustainable investing. The event focused on opportunities for investing in low-carbon strategies and climate solutions, and featured speakers including David Dinerman, Trustee at Hampshire College, Tom Mitchell, Managing Director at Cambridge Associates, Alicia Seiger, Deputy Director at the Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, and Rev. Kirsten Snow Spalding, Director of the Investor Network at Ceres.
In the opening panel, Jessica Huang, Vice President at Blackrock, and Don Gould, Trustee at Pitzer College, explore Pitzer College’s recent founding investment in a new fund developed by BlackRock with assistance from leading index provider MSCI and investment consulting firm Mercer.  You can see the full Fireside Chat here.


In November, we hosted a webinar with Anil Rao, Executive Director of Equity Applied Research at MSCI, Don Gould, Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees & Chair of the Investment Committee at Pitzer College, and President & Chief Investment Officer at Gould Asset Management, and Alex Bernhardt, Principal & US Responsible Investment Leader at Mercer. They gave an overview of passive ESG strategies and trends in the space, and dive deep into questions about Pitzer's process and implementation of their ESG investing strategy. You can watch the webinar here.



School Spotlight: Hampshire College

 
Hampshire College is widely known for aligning endowment investing with issues of social responsibility and justice: It was the first college to divest from South Africa, in 1976, and in 2011 was the first to divest from fossil fuels. The College divested from weapons contractors in 1982 and in 2015 published a list of disfavored industries that included private prisons. 

Many educational institutions are grappling with the question of how to align their endowment’s investment holdings with their missions as thought leaders and socially responsible institutions. Hampshire College has spent considerable time and effort in this area and has taken action to accomplish two objectives: aligning its endowment with its mission and incorporating its emphasis on sustainability with how its endowment is invested.

In November, IEN released a case study that details Hampshire’s background and why it decided to go down this path, how the college accomplished these goals, the challenges it faced, and its achievements in undertaking this effort. To read the full case study, click here. To read the press release, click here.


Featured Event: 2018 Higher Education Summit

Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are pleased to host the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Join your peers from February 4-6, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona for the largest national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions. Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and will shape the future of America’s global climate leadership. 

We are pleased to announce that Janet Napolitano, President of the University of California System, as well as Arizona State University President Michael Crow will be joining our line up of excellent speakers-- including Paul Hawken, the Executive Director of Drawdown and author of seven books including four national bestsellers, and Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, environmentalist and human rights activist. For more information follow this link, and to register, click here.


Updates from the Network 


Webinars

In the past few months, IEN has hosted the following webinars. Follow the links below for more information and to view recordings of each:

Next month we will be hosting a webinar with The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) on The Investor Case for Corporate Rights. Learn more about the webinar and register by following this link.


Working Groups

IEN Working Groups meet regularly to advance key strategies in support of the network's goals. Below is a brief update of what current Working Groups have accomplished.

  • Fiduciary Duty & Policy:  This group is now focusing on a briefing paper for trustees summarizing the latest thinking on fiduciary duty and sustainable / ESG investing. They are also developing a piece on crafting RFPs when seeking investment consultants to ensure they are are familiar with ESG investing, and are exploring opportunities to offer leadership development workshops and resources for trustees at conferences and within other networks.
  • Clean Energy: This working group is currently developing a resource on how to most effectively enable endowments to make impact investments in solar PV projects. This framework will build off of the Clean Energy White Paper that was released last fall, and will provide guidance to fund managers on how endowments can approach this market. 
  • Student Managed Funds: This working group connects student-managed fund advisors, academics focused on sustainable investing, and students involved in student-managed funds to share best practices and resources to advance sustainable investing curriculum and strategies in each fund. This month, student members of the group that manage the Dwight Hall at Yale SRI Fund, presented on their fund's work on an IEN webinar. The recording can be viewed here. The Group is also currently developing a toolkit on How to Start a Student-Managed Fund, and working to pull information together on different student-managed funds across the country, including information on where they are in the process of establishment and how they are managed. If your school has a student-managed fund, we would greatly appreciate your assistance in entering the fund’s information in the database. Please reach out to Nicole at nicole@intentionalendowments.org to access the database.
  • Trustee Peer Group: The Trustee Peer Group is currently focused on bringing new members into the group to create more opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among college and university fiduciaries on sustainable investing. The group has been developing content for AGB’s 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum. Concurrent sessions at the Forum on January 23 will examine mission-aligned investing, and a post-conference peer learning workshop that day will take a deeper dive into all aspects of aligning ESG goals to the foundation’s mission while meeting the financial and advancement requirements of each institution. In the next few months the group will also be focusing on reaching out to more trustees to participate in the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Tony at tony@intentionalendowments.org


Crane Board Chair, Natasha Lamb, Named One of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential

Natasha Lamb, Chair of the Board of The Crane Institute of Sustainability -- the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that is home to the Intentional Endowments Network -- has been named one of 2017's Top 50 Most Influential People by Bloomberg Businessweek. Natasha is a Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital and has served as Chair of the Board of Crane since its inception.  Her shareholder activism work has covered critical business issues ranging from climate risk to gender pay equity to fake news, and has focused on ensuring that companies are taking a long view and protecting investors from risk. Congratulations to Natasha for this well-deserved recognition -- we are extremely proud and grateful for her leadership of Crane and the Intentional Endowments Network. Visit the Bloomberg Top 50 to read more about this honor and watch a video featuring Natasha and the other changemakers helping to shape our society. 

'The Intentionally Designed Endowment' Published in Trusteeship Magazine

Written by IEN Executive Committee member, David Dinerman (Hampshire College), Tony Cortese (Green Mountain College, IEN), and Georges Dyer (IEN), this piece highlights the importance and trends of aligning endowment investing with the mission and goals of higher education institutions and considering material ESG factors. It explores some of the challenges and opportunities of doing so, provides some evidence of the benefits and ideas on how to institutionalize such investing, and helps trustees learn about the peer learning opportunities through IEN. Read the full article here, as published in Trusteeship Magazine.


Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum 

Join us in Los Angeles, California, January 21 to 23, 2018 for AGB’s 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum. Concurrent sessions on January 23 will examine mission-aligned investing, and a post-conference peer learning workshop that day will take a deeper dive into all aspects of aligning ESG goals to the foundation’s mission while meeting the financial and advancement requirements of each institution. To learn more about this topic please check out this brief blog post on the AGB website, this article in Trusteeship Magazine, and join us at the 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum.

Upcoming Events

IEN Session + Workshop at the 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum l AGB, January 21-23, 2018, Los Angeles, CA

  • IEN Principal, Tony Cortese will be leading sessions examining mission-aligned investing, and a post-conference peer learning workshop going deeper into all aspects of aligning ESG goals to the foundation’s mission while meeting the financial and advancement requirements of each institution.

Webinar: The Investor Case for Human Rights | Intentional Endowments Network, January 24th, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET

  • In this webinar, participants will hear from Josh Zinner, CEO of The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), David Schilling, Senior Program Director at ICCR, and Julie Tanner, Assistant Director of Socially Responsible Investing at Christian Brothers Investment Services, and an ICCR Board Member. They will discuss the potential for investor work on human rights, where investors can have impact and where they have had success in the past, and discuss next steps for those interested in engaging more deeply on this work. The panelists will also introduce a new initiative of the ICCR, The Investor Alliance for Human Rights, which was established to provide a collective action platform to facilitate investor advocacy on a full spectrum of human rights and labor rights issues.

Winter Innovation Summit l Sorenson Impact, January 24-26, 2018, Salt Lake City, UT

  • The Winter Innovation Summit is the premier cross-industry event in social impact, innovation, and investing. This year’s Summit will bring together policymakers, funders, nonprofits, and social entrepreneurs to explore the future of social innovation across the globe. Join us for the latest breakthroughs in social impact, innovation, and investing; ski the greatest snow on Earth; and experience the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit l Second Nature & The Intentional Endowments Network, February 4-6, 2018, Phoenix, AZ

  • Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are pleased to host the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Join your peers from February 4-6, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona for the largest national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions. 

8th Annual Practitioners Gathering l Confluence Philanthropy, March 12-15, 2018, Berkeley, CA

  • The Practitioners Gathering is a four-day conference where asset owners and their advisors meet at the cutting edge of mission-related investing. The Gathering represents the most advanced foundations, investment managers, and advisors in impact investing today—and those looking to learn more. Sessions are led by funder-practitioners, investment experts, and other thought leaders.

Responsible Investment Forum New York l Private Equity International, March 20-21, 2018, New York, NY

  • Building on the success of the longest-running ESG event in Europe, the Responsible Investment Forum comes to New York for its second year to bring together the most sophisticated LPs, GPs and service providers to discuss why, when, and how your firm should be implementing an effective ESG strategy.


To view more upcoming events, click here


Featured Resources

Below are some recent resources from the Intentional Endowments Network and other organizations. To see more reports, articles, videos and other resources by topic, visit the resource page on our website.

Resources from IEN:


Other Resources:



In the News

Below is a sampling of recent news articles we've posted on our Newsfeed, ranging in topics from Sustainable Investing, Climate Risk, Science & Regulation, Sustainability in Higher Education, Divestment, Clean Energy, and more.


IEN in the News:

Other News:


If you have an original piece you would like to submit for an upcoming newsletter, or for more information about the Intentional Endowments Network and how you can support this work, please contact Nicole Harman at nicole@intentionalendowments.org.