Weekly News Round-Up: September 28th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: September 28th, 2018

Please find this week's news round-up below.  

Starting next week, full access to this round-up will become a members-only resource. If you would like to continue to receive the full round-up, please sign-up to become an IEN Member today!

Reference this message when joining IEN through the end of October to receive 20% off your first year of membership dues. 

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

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New IEN Members
 
Sustainable Investing by Institutional Asset Owners

World's Biggest Wealth Fund Sticks to Oil Divestment Push l Bloomberg

  • The battle over plans by the world’s largest wealth fund to give up oil is far from over. Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global wants to divest from oil and gas stocks, a proposal that was recently rebuffed by a government-appointed committee. The set-back leaves the man in charge of overseeing the fund at the central bank unfazed.

New Jersey Adopts ESG Policy, Reports 9.06% Gain in Fiscal Year l Pensions & Investments

  • The New Jersey Pension Fund, Trenton, will operate under a new formal policy for evaluating ESG practices for its investments. The new ESG policy was approved Thursday by an 8-0 vote by the State Investment Council. Separately, the pension fund returned a net 9.06% for the fiscal year ended June 30, topping the benchmark of 8.65%.

Standard Chartered Bank Quits Coal l Eco Business

  • Standard Chartered Bank is to stop funding coal-fired power plants. The bank, which has loaned US$1.8 billion to coal power projects since 2010, published a new power policy revealing the news on Tuesday, and becomes the first Asia-focused bank to rule out new coal development in the world’s biggest region for extraction and burning of the fossil fuel for energy.

GPIF Chooses Two Indices for Its ESG Benchmark l Chief Investment Officer

  • Japan’s $1.4 trillion Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) has selected two of its carbon-friendly indices as the benchmark for its ESG strategy as it continues to cut pollutants from its portfolio. GPIF will utilize the S&P Global Ex-Japan LargeMidCap Carbon Efficient Index and the S&P/JPX Carbon Efficient Index for the passive investment tracking of its green stocks.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

ESG Strategy Varies by Region, Disclosure Still Needs Progress l Chief Investment Officer

  • Although more than 60% of investors and nearly 50% of issuers worldwide have an ESG plan in place, these rates vary widely based on region, according to a report from HSBC, which also found that disclosure of ESG strategy and policy still has a long way to go.

Climate Change, Paris Accords Driving ESG Strategies: Report l Think Advisor

  • A new report from Newsweek Media Group says ESG investing has gone mainstream, having gotten a boost from the Paris Climate Accord and adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2015. At the same time, it says, a significant gap exists between investors’ good intentions and action. The report was based on findings from a survey of 281 asset owners and managers from across the world, 37% of which were based in the Americas, as well as a dozen in-depth interviews with leading investors and practitioners in ESG investing.

ESG Investing May Not Protect Portfolios From Climate Change Losses, Warns Bloomberg-Led Report l Forbes

  • ESG strategies may not protect investors from climate change losses, warns a report released this week by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). Much of the climate change impact in the future will come through weaker growth and lower returns on businesses across the board, says the study. “Investors may not be able to avoid climate-related risks by moving out of certain asset classes as a wide range of asset types could be affected,” cautions the study by the group created by the Financial Stability Board, a global regulatory coordinating council.

Giving the Green Light to Impact Investing in Environmental Projects l Financial Times

  • This article discusses a growing number of financial mechanisms, from green bonds to insurance products, that bring private sector capital into the business of environmental conservation. Investors’ goals vary; some look to make a direct impact, such as the avoidance of carbon emissions, the restoration of ecosystems or the conservation of water supplies.

Rich Americans Are Last In Sustainable Investing, UBS Says l Financial Advisor

  • American millionaires are lagging behind wealthy counterparts elsewhere when it comes to sustainable investing. U.S. investors ranked last among those surveyed in 10 countries with at least $1 million of investable assets, with only 12 percent claiming to have put money into environmental, social and corporate governance-related holdings, according to UBS Group AG. That compares with 60 percent of respondents in China and 53 percent in Brazil.

CFA Society of the UK to Launch ESG Investment Certificate l Insurance Asset Risk

  • CFA Society of the UK will launch an ESG investment certificate next year, Insurance Asset Risk has learned. As sustainability makes its way into mainstream finance, the UK Society of the CFA Institute is hoping the new certificate will further bridge the knowledge and skills gap between the financial and social sectors.

Observations on the Latest Shifts in Sustainable Investing l Triple Pundit

  • In this article, the author reflects on the state of the sustainable investing industry and the challenges it faces.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: September 21st, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: September 21st, 2018

Please find this week's news round-up below.  

We are thrilled to share that IEN Co-Founder Tony Cortese has been recognized for his leadership role in the formation of many key organizations that have guided the evolution sustainability in higher education by being honored with AASHE’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. Please join us in congratulating Tony on this extremely well deserved award!

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

As a reminder, starting in October, full access to this round-up will become a members-only resource. Reference this message when joining IEN this month to receive 20% off your first year of membership dues. 

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

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IEN in the News

2018 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner: Anthony Cortese l Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

  • We are thrilled to share that IEN Co-Founder Tony Cortese has been recognized for his leadership role in the formation of many of the key organizations and frameworks that have guided the evolution of the movement for sustainability in higher education by being honored with the AASHE’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018.
 
New Resources and Reports

2020 Vision: Why You Should See the Fossil Fuel Peak Coming l Carbon Tracker

  • This report highlights how the global energy system is transitioning from a system mainly based on fossil fuels to one mainly based on renewable energy sources. The shift will involve near-term peaking of fossil fuel demand, an S curve of renewable growth, and the endgame for fossil fuel demand.

Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story if the 21st Century: Accelerating Climate Action in Urgent Times l The New Climate Economy

  • This report explores how we are on the cusp of a new economic era: one where growth is driven by the interaction between rapid technological innovation, sustainable infrastructure investment, and increased resource productivity, and argues that this is the only growth story of the 21st century.

Inequality as a Systemic Risk: The Threat it Causes and Potential Solutions l Green Alpha Advisors

  • This report discusses how extreme levels on inequality in the US pose clear threats to society and the economy, and solutions that create a more equitable society can provide enormous opportunity.
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments, Foundations & Pensions

Treasurer Kurt Summers Announces Chicago has Joined United Nations-Supported Responsible Investing Initiative l Chicago City Treasurer

  • Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers announced that Chicago has become the first city to join the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). He made the announcement as the closing speaker at an annual conference held for PRI signatories.

Seattle University Will Become First College in State to Divest of Fossil Fuels l Seattle Times

  • Seattle University will become the first university in Washington state to divest its endowment of fossil fuels over the next five years. The action means that by 2023, Seattle University will no longer invest any of its $230 million endowment in the funds and securities of fossil-fuel companies. The university estimates that 6.7 percent, or $13.6 million, of its endowment has “exposure to securities of fossil-fuel companies, as defined by ownership of fossil-fuel reserves.”

NYC Pension Funds to Double Green Investments l Wall Street Journal

  • The $195 billion New York City Pension Funds will double its green investments over the next three years. The multi-year initiative will see the five-fund pension system increase its holdings in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and other climate-change solutions to $4 billion, or 2% of the mega-fund’s portfolio. These allocations will occur across all asset classes.

Calpers Ups Pressure on Companies Over Executive Pay, Harassment l Bloomberg

  • The largest U.S. public pension fund is taking a tougher line over executive compensation. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System voted against pay programs this year at 43 percent of the 2,145 U.S. public firms it owns stakes in, up from 18 percent in 2017, the system said Monday. One reason is closer scrutiny, said Simiso Nzima, investment director for corporate governance. In past years some firms may have received a passing grade despite a degree of misalignment between pay and company results, he said.

Montreal Sisters Divest From Fossil Fuel Industry  l Catholic Registry

  • Another Canadian Catholic institution has joined in the movement to sell off all carbon-based energy stocks and forbid portfolio managers from buying any more. The Sisters of Institute Notre-Dame de Bon Conseil de Montreal have added their names to the Catherine Donnelly Foundation (a legacy foundation of the Sisters of Service), the Canadian Jesuits, Scarboro Missions and the Canadian Ursuline Sisters which have all divested from companies that find, process and sell oil, gas and coal.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Global ESG Disclosure Advances Rapidly as Investors Require Risk Assessment l Environmental Leader

  • The levels of ESG disclosures among real estate funds, companies and developers in Asia advanced rapidly in 2018, indicating that the market is responding to the increased amount of attention being placed on sustainability by institutional investors, according to the recently-released Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). The global average GRESB Score increased again, reaching 68 (out of 100), with listed entities retaining their lead over the private sector. In addition to Asia, increases were seen across Europe, North America and Australia/NZ.

Socially Responsible Investing: A 25-Year Overview l Triple Pundit

  • This article highlights how, to mark its quarter century of pioneering financial reporting, GreenMoney Journal is re-publishing 15 of its features in a “Best Articles” issue.

Women in Silicon Valley Face a Massive Equity Gap l Bloomberg

  • This article highlights a first-of-its-kind that study shows that women hold only 47¢ for every dollar of equity men do.

Why Foundations Should Step Up Their Game In Impact Investing l Forbes

  • This article highlights a recent gathering of impact investors, researchers and others to focus on the role of philanthropy and foundations  in creating what organizers Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors and Impact Entrepreneur term an “impact  economy," as well as their conclusions, which were recently published in a report called Philanthropy Transforming Finance: Building an Impact Economy.

Who Cares (About ESG) Wins: Asset Owners Step Up l CFA Institute

  • This article highlights recent developments that demonstrate that the world’s largest asset owners have accepted the value of ESG considerations and are integrating them into their investment strategies. 

How to Spark Excitement in Lifeless ESG ETFs l Bloomberg

  • This article utilizes hard and anecdotal data from an ETF perspective to come up with five things that issuers of these funds could do to spark the kind of excitement that could lead to big flows, including lower management fees and looking at other target audiences.

Institutional Investors Attack Climate Change by Responsible Investing l Chief Investment Officer

  • This article discusses how representatives of pension plans and asset managers described effort to Invest in ESG strategies at the annual Principles of Responsible Investing conference.

ESG Roundtable: ‘It’s Becoming Part of the DNA’ l Funds Europe

  • Participants in this Q&A article discuss the rise of ESG investing post-financial crisis and the right level of scrutiny and developments in an ever-changing landscape. 

ESG Confusion Holds Investors Back, Survey Suggests l Marketwatch

  • Widespread adoption of sustainable investment practices is being held back by confusion about it, according to UBS' latest Investor Watch survey. The private bank's research unit stated that seven out of every 10 investors (72%) surveyed found the language used in sustainable investing confusing, and less than half were familiar with the term.

Emerging Managers and ESG Rank High on European Investors' Wish List: Hedge Fund News l Opalesque

  • A recent study showed that 75% of European investors prefer to allocate additional capital to new or emerging managers, defined as those with fewer than $300 million in assets or less than a three-year track record. 52% of investors said they are looking for a fund with a 1 to 3-year track record.

Insurers Look to Boost Profits With Riskier Investments l Financial Times

  • Insurers are now hoping to add more risky assets to their portfolios, according to BlackRock, which surveyed more than 350 executives at insurance companies around the world managing between them $7.8tn. 47% of respondents said they planned to increase risk in the next year or two. That is a big increase on the 9 per cent who were planning to increase risk this time last year.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: September 14th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: September 14th, 2018

Please find this week's news round-up below.  

There are a lot of exciting new announcements, commitments and resources coming out of the big climate and responsible investing events in San Francisco this week. Georges and Tony are there connecting with many IEN members and report that the there is a great sense of both optimism around accelerating climate solutions, and urgent concern as climate impacts intensify -- as exemplified by the threat of Hurricane Florence this week. Our thoughts and best wishes go to those impacted by the storm. 

Thank you for engagement with this important work. 

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

As a reminder, starting in October, full access to this round-up will become a members-only resource. Reference this message when joining IEN this month to receive 20% off your first year of membership dues. Learn more

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

twitter  facebook  linkedin

 
New IEN Member
 
New Initiatives

The Investor Agenda: 400 Investors With $32 trillion in Assets Step up Climate Action l Financial Express

  • The Investor Agenda, launched this week, will support investors in accelerating and scaling-up the actions that are critical to tackling climate change and achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement. Its launch also demonstrates the significant momentum already evident, with 392 investors with $32 trillion in assets collectively under management, using The Investor Agenda to highlight climate action they are already taking and making new commitments.
  • The Luxemburg Green Exchange (LGX) joins the U.S. State Treasurers of California, New Mexico and Rhode Island, the Cities of Asheville and San Francisco – California, King County – Washington, Australian pension fund Local Government Super (LGS) and financial firms Global New Energy Finance and R3 Returns, as founding signatories to the Green Bond Pledge. Launched earlier this year, the Green Bond Pledge is a declaration that all bonds financing long-term infrastructure and capital projects need to address environmental impacts and climate risk. 

C40 Divest/Invest Forum Launched to Encourage Fossil Fuel Divestment l Intelligent Transport

  • As major cities around the world make pledges to abandon millions in fossil fuel stocks and bonds, C40 Cities, in partnership with London and New York City, have launched the C40 Divest/Invest Forum, a first-of-its-kind initiative to help urban leaders make the leap to effective and efficient divestment and accelerate green investment. The C40 Divest/Invest Forum is based on C40’s model of peer-to-peer learning and will connect cities inside and outside the C40 network, enabling leaders to share best practices, knowledge and tools proven to accelerate divestment.
 
New Resources and Reports

Fossil Fuel Divestment Funds Rise to $6tn l The Guardian

  • The funds committed to fossil fuel divestment now total more than $6tn, with almost 1,000 institutional investors having made the pledge, according to a new report. The sell-off of coal, oil and gas investments is led by the insurance industry, with $3tn of funds. But it also now includes the first nation to divest, Ireland, major cities including New York and key medical organizations. Major oil companies such as Shell have this year cited divestment as a material risk to its business.

2020: A Clear Vision For Paris Compliant Shareholder Engagement l As You Sow

  • This report highlights the fact that the rise in global greenhouse gas emissions, and oil & gas company capital expenditures on exploration and production, signals a fundamental limitation of the current shareholder engagement strategy. Shareholders must grapple head-on with the implications of an oil & gas business model that continues to invest unabated in products which, when used, run counter to science-based targets and the Paris Agreement.

Sustainable Financing and ESG Investing Report l EuroMoney

  • In its latest report, the Global Sustainable Investment Association said that global assets under management incorporating ESG had risen 25% over the previous two years. They also estimated that 30% of investable assets globally – or over $20 trillion – included sustainability in their investment analysis according to their 2016 Global Sustainable Investment Review.

Results Announced for 2018 Dow Jones Sustainability Indices Review l Business Insider

  • S&P Dow Jones Indices, one of the world's leading index providers, and RobecoSAM, the investment specialist that has focused exclusively on Sustainability Investing for over 23 years, today announced the results of the annual Dow Jones Sustainability Indices review. The three largest additions and deletions (by free-float market capitalization) to the DJSI World this year include: Additions: Salesforce.com, Schlumberger Ltd, Diageo PLC ; Deletions: Samsung Electronics Co, Bayer AG, Commonwealth Bank Australia.

Internal Carbon Pricing in Higher Education Toolkit l Second Nature

  • Colleges and universities are important leaders in preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Pricing carbon is one instrument schools can use to advance climate solutions. This toolkit provides recommendations, examples, and tools to guide schools through the process of exploring, designing, and implementing a carbon price on campus.

ESG Integration in the Americas: Markets, Practices, and Data l CFA Institute & PRI

  • This report is intended to help investors better understand how professional investors are integrating ESG factors into their analyses and investment processes. This understanding, in turn, can help investors determine how to integrate ESG analysis into their own investment processes, and how to do so in a manner that makes sense for them.
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments, Foundations & Pensions

19 More Catholic Institutions Announce Fossil Fuel Divestment l Sight

  • A group of 19 Catholic organizations have announced a commitment to divest from fossil fuels, taking to more than 120 the number of Catholic institutions which have done so worldwide.

NYC Pension Funds to Double Green Investments l Wall Street Journal

  • New York City will invest $4 billion of its pension funds into climate-change solutions like renewable energy and clean water over the next three years, more than doubling its current investment, according to city officials. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer, who oversees the city’s more than $195 billion pension fund, are set to announce the reinvestment plan on Thursday.

Australian Communities Foundation Divests $90 Million From Fossil Fuels l ProBono

  • Australian Communities Foundation has transitioned its portfolio to an ethical investment approach over the past three years, and on Wednesday pledged to fully divest from fossil fuel investments.  ACF CEO Maree Sidey told Pro Bono News the change was driven by their donors. “We made that move because our donors have very strong values around social justice and taking a sustainable approach to the environment,” Sidey said.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Most Investors Are Going Green to Make Money, HSBC Says l Bloomberg

  • Financial returns were cited as the biggest reason to have a strategy focused on the environment, social issues and governance, known as ESG, according to a survey of 868 institutional investors by the U.K.’s largest bank, HSBC Holdings Plc. Nearly three quarters of companies with this focus said that this was their number one driver, followed by tax incentives.

Impact Investing: Advisors Need To Build The Case For Imagining Big Capital l Forbes

  • This article aims to reframe and consider how impact investing--in its many forms--can deliver competitive, if not enhanced returns, for the savvy institutional investor.

A Fixed-Income Investor's Guide to Impact Investing l CNBC

  • This article highlights how the first step for impact investors is to think about issues or causes important to them so that they can craft an investment strategy in line with their values. There's significant research that shows sustainable investing doesn't mean sacrificing returns. Last year 85% of companies published a sustainability or corporate responsibility report — up from just 20% of companies who did so in 2011.

Ethical Investing, Nike and the NFL l Aljazeera

  • This article highlights how, as big brands continue their push to expand global markets, companies like Nike are tailoring their ads to themes of ethics and corporate and social responsibility. Nike's most recent "Just Do It" campaign features a close-up of the NFL quarterback and activist, Colin Kaepernick, known for his refusal to stand for the American national anthem before the start of a handful of NFL games in 2016, and what such campaigns mean for the SRI field.

The Financial Sector Can Do More To Tackle Climate Change. It's Time To Step Up l Forbes

  • In the fight against climate change, the focus is mostly – and rightly – on heavy emitters of greenhouse gases. But none of these sectors can operate without financial backing, and investors and other parts of the financial services sector are taking action, too – with consequences that are starting to be felt in high-carbon sectors and companies.

Newsweek Vantage Report Concludes That Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Investing Is Going Mainstream l Cision

  • Newsweek Media Group, the family of digital-first media brands that start and shape global conversations that matter, today released the results of a new report from their Vantage Thought Leadership division investigating the rise of ESG investing. The study finds that while the Paris Climate Accord, and the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015 have boosted growth in ESG investing, with three out of four investors now taking account of ESG information in the investment process, ESG has clearly become mainstream.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: September 7th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: September 7th, 2018

Please find this week's news round-up below. 

As a reminder, starting in October, full access to this round-up will become a members-only resource. During the month of September, reference this message when joining IEN to receive 20% off your first year of membership dues. Learn more about the membership rates and benefits on our website.

Georges and Tony will be in San Francisco for the GCAS next week, please join them for the Higher Education Leadership on Carbon Pricing Event on Thursday, September 13, if you are in town.

Finally, please join our webinar on Green Bonds taking place on September 12, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

twitter  facebook  linkedin

 
New Resources and Reports

The Strategic Investor Initiative Reorienting Capital Markets Toward the Long-Term l CECP

  • CECP is a CEO-led organization that works with over 200 of the world’s leading companies to advance business as a Force for Good in society. This white paper discusses long-term value creation, how to reduce short-term pressures, and the time horizon, metrics, and focus needed to make long-term plans.

New Report Disproves Financial Argument Against Divestment l Global News Wire

  • Genus Capital today released a report on its five-year fossil free investment data, entitled 2018 Divestment Report. The returns of Genus Capital’s Fossil Free CanGlobe Equity Fund, detailed in the report, show investors who divested from fossil fuels from May 2013 to July 2018 did not sacrifice returns, instead yielding financial benefits without contributing to climate change. The fund outperformed the returns of its benchmark* and the overall Canadian stock market index, both of which include coal and major carbon-producing industries.

The Race of Our Lives Revisited l GMO

  • This white paper, written by Jeremy Grantham, highlights the current state of climate change, how it relates to investment risk and opportunity, and what the ultimate ramifications will be if more leadership does not emerge in the space.
 
Sign-On Opportunities

SEC Petition Seeking Consistent ESG Disclosure Framework Regarding Material Company Long-Term Risks and Performance Factors - Deadline of September 10th

  • Potential participants are invited to sign by contacting Rachel Curley at Public Citizen by September 10th, 2018 at rcurley@citizen.org.
 
Sustainable Investing by Endowments and Other Institutional Investors

Learning by Doing: Lessons from WRI’s Sustainable Investing Journey l World Resources Institute

  • This case study details the World Resources Institute journey toward sustainable investing, which started in 2014 when the WRI board committed to align the $40 million endowment's investments with WRI's vision for a sustainable future. Since then, WRI has set out to systematically integrate sustainability across their entire endowment portfolio as part of their long-term investment strategy.

Sustainable Investment Not Core Investment Consideration for Institutional Investors l Institutional Asset Manager

  • Investing sustainably remains a minor factor in the investment decision-making process despite institutional investors’ expectations it will grow in importance, according to Schroders' Institutional Investor Study 2018. The study – which surveyed 650 investors encompassing approximately USD24 trillion in assets – has identified a mismatch between institutions’ perceptions of the importance of sustainability and what is still happening at the coalface of their investment process.  
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Want To Tackle Global Challenges? Think -- And Invest -- Differently l Forbes

  • This article highlights how impact investing is reshaping financial markets. Hundreds of billions of investment dollars now focus on social and environment challenges. Philanthropies have increased impact investing to address issues like climate change, and private equity firms like TPGBain and KKR have created impact funds. While there is a long way still to close the estimated $2.4 trillion annual funding gap to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the tide is turning.

The New Capitalism: Has Wealth Found a New Conscience? l Spear's

  • The author of this article interviews London’s wealth management firms to ask if capitalism and the investment decisions underpinning it are changing.

ESG Investing Rarely Underperforms the Market, Study Finds  l Lexology

  • A recent report by Axioma, provider of enterprise market risk and portfolio analytics solutions, found that companies with better ESH standards “…often outperform the market” and exceed their financial benchmarks. The report also found that investment portfolios with high-scoring ESG companies outperformed their benchmarks by between 81 to 243 basis points over a four-year period (between 2014-2018).

How the Dominant Business Paradigm Turns Nice People into Psychopaths l Naked Capitalism

  • This article was adapted from The Shareholder Value Myth: How Putting Shareholders First Harms Investors, Corporations, and the Public, by Lynn Stout, Distinguished Professor of Corporate and Business Law at Cornell Law School.

UK's Ethical Investment Market to Reach £48bn by 2027 l edie.net

  • An increased focus on sustainability within the UK's investment community will result in the national socially responsible investing (SRI) market growing by 173% by 2027 to reach £48bn. That is the key finding of a new survey from sustainable investment firm Triodos Bank, which recently asked 2,020 UK investors about the role that sustainability and ethics would play in their future investment choices.

Why TCFD Matters: Bridging the Sustainable Investment Chasm l Business Green

  • Ahead of BusinessGreen's inaugural half day conference on navigating the guidelines from the FSB's Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, the author of this article explores why the guidelines are so significant.

Going Mainstream: The Future of ESG Investing l Newsweek

  • This article highlights how  data on investments and index performance show that taking account of ESG information can actually boost returns and reduce volatility; and Newsweek survey respondents and investors agree that integrating ESG information can improve the risk-return profile of investments, providing a “new set of eyes” for investors.

Impact Investors Should Use U.N. Targets as Investing Guide l Barron's

  • The Global Impact Investing Network is urging investors to do more than seek positive social and environmental impact from their investments by asking them to specifically tackle the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. The reason: a “massive capital gap” of about US$5 trillion to US$7 trillion a year is needed to meet the 17 goals—such as “zero hunger,” “climate action,” and “gender equality”—by the U.N.’s target date of 2030, according to Amit Bouri, CEO of the GIIN, a U.S.-based global nonprofit.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: August 31st, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: August 31st, 2018

Please find this week's news round-up below. 

Registration is open for our 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit (Feb. 10-12 in Tempe, AZ), and the latest information is available on our new Summit website. Please register soon to join us for this exciting event!

And don't forget, in September if you sign up to be a member of IEN, you will receive 20% off the first year of membership dues. If you are unsure if you are a member, have further questions, or are potentially eligible for an exemption based on individual circumstances, please contact us.

If you will be in San Francisco for the GCAS next month, please join us for the Higher Education Leadership on Carbon Pricing Event on Thursday, September 13th. At this side event, leaders from colleges and universities spearheading carbon pricing action will showcase their solutions and impacts to-date through panels, presentations, and audience discussion.

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

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New Resources and Reports

The ESG Integration Paradox l Michael Cappucci, Harvard Management Company

  • Today, most investment managers have something to say about ESG issues, and written ESG policies are ubiquitous. Yet, actual ESG incorporation practices vary greatly, with most investment managers falling well short of full integration. Only a few firms seem to be using ESG factors to deliver alpha, hence, the paradox. This report outlines a paradox, where a “valley” of lower returns exists when portfolios first absorb the costs of ESG integration before the promised benefits materialize. 
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments and Pensions

Yale Pledges Not to Invest in Assault Weapon Retailers l Yale Daily News

  • This article discusses how Yale will not invest in any retail outlet that sells assault weapons to the general public, a move that was announced last week.

Ireland’s Taking $380 Million Out of Fossil Fuels. Where Should it Go? l Nation of Change

  • This summer, Ireland pledged to become the world’s first country to divest from fossil fuels. Should the divestment bill pass the Irish Senate in the fall, which it is expected to do, Ireland will sell off its nearly $380 million in investments in the fossil fuel industry. This article discusses where will the revenue from this divested money go.

Irish Bishops Announce Divestment From Fossil Fuels Ahead of The Pope’s Visit l Religion News Service

  • Hours before the arrival of Pope Francis, the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference announced it would divest from fossil fuels. The move comes in response to Francis’ 2015 environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si,” (or “On Care for Our Common Home”), and follows the introduction of a bill in the Irish Parliament requiring the country’s sovereign wealth fund to divest from all fossil fuels.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Switzerland Tops Alternatives Allocation in Six Key Pension Markets l Investments & Pensions Europe

  • This article discusses a report on pensions done by UBS Asset Management, which highlights that sustainable investing is now at an inflection point. “It has moved from a niche investment strategy to a new standard for investment management,” UBS said, “enabled by the increased availability of material, non-financial data commonly referred to under the umbrella of ESG, or environmental, social and governance criteria”.

Should Impact Investors Aim for Market Returns? l Portfolio Adviser

  • This article discusses how ESG’s recent outperformance is likely to have shifted the perception of impact investing. Research from risk and performance analytics provider Axioma released earlier this month said the majority of portfolios weighted in favor of companies with better ESG scores outperformed their benchmarks by between 81 and 243 basis points in the four years to March 2018. This may help convince more traditional investors of the benefits of ESG, and in turn the benefits of impact as a viable alternative to a traditional fund.

Why We're All Impact Investors Now l Chicago Booth Review

  • This article highlights Larry Fink's letter to companies, and discusses how society is increasingly turning to the private sector and asking that companies respond to broader societal challenges. 

Private Equity: Where Does it Stand in Terms of Sustainability? l FI News

  • Private equity investments are becoming increasingly attractive in light of low interest rates and high stock market valuations. But for investors, the level of sustainability in the industry is also important. 
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: August 24th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: August 24th, 2018

Please find this week's news round-up below. 

Registration is open for our 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit (Feb. 10-12 in Tempe, AZ), and the latest information is available on our new Summit website. Please register soon to join us for this exciting event!

Also, please join us for our webinar next Wednesday, August 29 at 1pm ET on Animal Welfare as an Investment Risk

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

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If your organization is not already a member of IEN, and you find this Weekly News Round-Up valuable, please learn more about the rates and benefits, and contact us to join. 
 
New Resources & Reports

Climate Change Considerations Up Five-Fold Over Two Years In Money Manager Decisions, Says Report l Forbes

  • Climate change considerations soared more than five-fold over two years in money managers decisions, a new report by US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment revealed. The factor entered into $1.42 trillion of investments by the professionals in 2016, over a 500 percent gain, according to the researchers.
 
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments, Foundations, and Pensions

Yale Statement Regarding Endowment Investment Policy l Yale News

  • For nearly 50 years, Yale University has considered various ethical investment issues related to its Endowment. From time to time, the University has adopted specific policies to address social and ethical issues, including through proxy voting guidelines and divestment policies. The University recently adopted a policy regarding investment in assault weapon retailers, based on the recommendation of the Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility and the work of the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility.

Yale’s Endowment Won’t Invest in Outlets That Sell Assault Weapons l Bloomberg

  • Yale University’s $27.2 billion endowment won’t invest in retail outlets that market and sell assault weapons to the public. Yale’s advisory committee on investor responsibility recommended the ban to a committee of the board of trustees, which adopted the policy recently. The New Haven, Connecticut-based school, the second-richest in the U.S., announced the change in a statement Aug. 21.

Chicago Teachers Pension Fund Divesting From Private Prisons l Reuters

  • The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund’s board of trustees voted on Friday to phase out investments in companies that run private prisons or immigrant detention centers, saying the businesses have an outsized negative impact on minorities and the poor.

Pension Funds Want ESG Guidelines l Top 1000 Funds

  • This article was written by the President of The International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), an independent international body representing entities involved in the supervision of private pension systems all over the world. The IOPS's main goal is to improve the quality and effectiveness of the supervision of private pension systems throughout the world. The author outlines pension funds increasing interest in ESG matters, and how because of this, the IOPS is now developing draft guidelines on the application of ESG factors in the supervision of pension fund investment. 
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Impact Investing: The Intersection Of Funding Founders Of Color l Forbes

  • This article explores how, in the past couple of years, lots of capital has poured into social impact businesses, taking pages out of the original black investors playbook. Since venture capital funds have long sought out high growth companies with strong bottom lines, factoring in a new level of consciousness can be tricky. Now with impact investing on the rise are we likely to see more black venture capitalists as the old becomes new again?

Women on Bank Boards Lift Performance But Only If There Are Enough l Bloomberg

  • Increasing the number of women on the boards of U.S. banks improves performance, according to a new study -- but only if there are enough of them. While a greater gender mix has a positive impact on measures of performance, including revenue/expense ratio, return on assets and stock price growth, that only applies once a threshold level of diversity is achieved, research summarized in a post published on the Bank of England staff blog found.

How Fund Investors Use Sustainability Ratings l Think Advisor

  • Morningstar analysts studied investor flows into and out of funds based on three metrics:  fund sustainability ratings, ESG controversy scores and ESG factors, over the period from March 2016 to June 2018, to test the impact of these ratings on investors’ choices.

Why Socially Responsible Investing Skepticism Is Healthy l Forbes

  • In this piece, the author describes how it’s increasingly important to hear from SRI and ESG skeptics. He outlines two reasons: First, because it requires proponents to mount evidence-based, quantitative financial arguments in response. And second, because it disciplines the thinking of those who would advance the SRI, impact, and ESG fields in the future, and so drives innovation.

Trump Ignites Wall Street Debate With His Tweet on Earnings l Bloomberg

  • President Donald Trump brought a long-simmering debate on Wall Street to the surface Friday when he prodded regulators to look into scaling back how often publicly traded companies report financial results. Trump’s proposal, released via Twitter, would do away with the decades-old tradition of obligating companies to file quarterly reports and move to a semi-annual system.

Why 'Good Guy' Stocks Can Help You Beat the Market l Fortune

  • This article discusses the growing body of evidence showing that companies that put social responsibility first can also finish first in the market. The question is no longer whether you can do well while doing good, but how best to distinguish the do-gooders from the also-rans. 

CFANY & Climate Week NYC Converge with Inimitable Climate and ESG Asset Owner Summit Event l CFA Society New York

  • Through the Asset Owner Series, now more than ever, CFA Society New York (CFANY) is shaping the conversation of the investment management industry. The series’ most imminent program, Climate and ESG Asset Owner Summit, will occur September 24 at CFANY’s headquarters in Time Square, and as part of Climate Week NYC, now celebrating its 10th year running.

 
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Weekly News Round-Up: August 17th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: August 17th, 2018

Dear {{ recipient.first_name_or_friend }}, 

Please find this week's news round-up below. 

Registration is open for our 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit (Feb. 10-12 in Tempe, AZ), and the latest information is available on our new Summit website. Please register soon to join us for this exciting event! 

If your organization is not already a member of IEN, and you find this Weekly News Round-Up valuable, please learn more about the rates and benefits, and contact us to join. 

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

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New Resources

US SIF Foundation Releases 2018 Money Manager Roadmap: "Moving Forward with Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing: A Roadmap for Money Managers"  l Digital Journal

  • This week the US SIF Foundation today released a comprehensive guide for money managers on how to incorporate sustainable, responsible and impact investing at their firms. The Money Manager Roadmap provides best practices and practical steps asset managers can take to develop and enhance sustainable investing strategies.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Adoption of ESG Investment Criteria Accelerates With Asset Owners l Global Custodian

 
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Weekly News Round-Up: August 10th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: August 10th, 2018

Below please find this week's news round-up. 

As we shared last week, starting in October, this Weekly News Round-Up will transition to a member-only resource.  If your organization is not already a member of IEN, please consider joining as a Contributing Member -- you can learn more about the rates and benefits on our website.

For the next two months, if you sign up to be a member of IEN, you will receive 20% off the first year of membership dues. If you are unsure if you are a member, have further questions, or are potentially eligible for an exemption based on individual circumstances, please contact us

In case you missed it, last week IEN released a new resource titled Hiring an Investment Consultant: Making Your ESG Intention Actionable. 

We are also now accepting proposals from college and university stakeholders for next-level conversations, workshops, and concurrent sessions for the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Submit a proposal here.

 Additionally, if your institution has plans to announce a fossil fuel divestment commitment, please look into this opportunity to participate in a global press event being organized by the Divest-Invest Network around the Global Climate Action Summit in September.

Have a great weekend,
Nicole

 

Nicole Harman 
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network
www.intentionalendowments.org

twitter  facebook  linkedin

 
New Resources

Hiring an Investment Consultant: Making Your ESG Intention Actionable l The Intentional Endowments Network

  • This resource provides guidance for investors looking for an investment consultant who will help them align their portfolio with their mission throughout the investment process including (1) exploring investment beliefs, (2) defining objectives, setting strategic asset allocation and (3) risk budgeting, manager selection, and ongoing monitoring and reporting.
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments & Pensions

UK Churches Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies l Financial Times

  • This article highlights the work of Rev Hugh Lee, who has spent years campaigning to convince the Church of England to get rid of its holdings in fossil fuel companies in its £12bn investment pot. Last month, the Church's parliament voted 347 to 4 in favor of removing its holdings in fossil fuel companies that had not aligned their businesses with the Paris climate accord by 2023.

ESG Adoption Gaining Among U.S. Asset Owners – Callan Survey l Pensions & Investments

  • More than 40% of U.S. asset owners have incorporated environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions, up from 37% in 2017 and 22% in 2013, said Callan's annual ESG survey report, released Wednesday. The 43% of respondents reporting they have incorporated ESG factors is the highest level in the survey's six-year history. On the flip side, 54% of respondents said they do not incorporate ESG factors and 3% said they were unsure, the 2018 survey found.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: August 3rd, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: August 3rd, 2018

Below please find this week's news round-up.

Over the past four years, IEN has experienced exciting growth in our team, events, webinars, peer networking opportunities, and other activities to support intentionally designed endowments. This would not be possible without the essential support of Contributing MembersAs we work to continue to grow the Network and engage more endowment stakeholders, member support is more important than ever.  

Starting in October, this Weekly News Round-Up will transition to a member-only resource.  If your organization is not already a member please consider joining IEN as a Contributing Member -- you can learn more about the rates and benefits on our website. If you are unsure if you are a member, have further questions, or are potentially eligible for an exemption based on individual circumstances, please contact us

Additionally, if your institution has plans to announce a fossil fuel divestment commitment, please look into this opportunity to participate in a global press event being organized by the Divest-Invest Network around the Global Climate Action Summit in September.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

 

Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network

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IEN in the News

Leadership at Forefront of 2018 Appalachian Energy Summit l Appalachian Today

  • This article discusses this week's Appalachian Energy Summit, which took place at Appalachian State University, and where IEN held a plenary panel and workshop on endowment investing. At its core, the summit was created to support all UNC System campuses in being more sustainable, reduce the System’s energy costs and jumpstart a national transformative effort across energy policies and practices in higher education.

Divestment Stories: Durham and Trinity College Dublin l NUS

  • This article highlights the main points in last month's IEN webinar of fossil fuel divestment in the UK featuring speakers from Trinity College Dublin and Durham University.
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments & Pensions

Royal College of GPs to Divest From Fossil Fuels l Climate Action Programe

  • The UK’s professional body for GPs is to divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies. The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) made the decision last month at a meeting of the body’s Trustee Board. The RCGP is the UK’s largest medical royal college, representing over 52,000 members active as doctors and physicians across the country.

CalPERS on the Hunt for Renewable Investments l Chief Investment Officer

  • The new investment sustainability director for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) is bullish on renewable energy power generation, signaling in comments that the largest US pension plan is continuing to look at expanding such investments.

Opinion: More Cities and States Should Divest From Private Prisons l The New York Times

  • In this opinion piece, Scott Stringer, the comptroller of New York City, and Javier Valdés, a community organizer, outline how pension funds have a fiduciary duty to make sound investments that grow their portfolios and help fund retirement benefits for their members. That means constantly evaluating the long-term viability and risk of investments across the pension funds’ portfolios, and this article argues how private prisons fail that basic risk assessment.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Winners of the 2018 Investment for Impact Research Prize l Berkeley Haas

  • This article discusses the work of Christopher Geczy, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Jessica S. Jeffers, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, David K. Musto, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Anne M. Tucker, Georgia State University College of Law for their paper “Contracts with Benefits: The Implementation of Impact Investing”.

A Timely Facebook Exit Has One Nordea Money Manager Cheering l Bloomberg

  • This article builds off of a tweet shared by Sasja Beslik, the head of sustainable investing at Nordea Bank, highlighting how ESG analysis factored into the Bank's decision to sell Facebook Inc. stock.

A Tech-Heavy ESG ETF That Didn’t Fall with Facebook l Wealth Management

  • This article highlights one example of how indexes based on ESG factors can hold an edge over the broader market, sighting how the TIAA ESG USA Large-Cap Growth Index, which allocates nearly 35% of its weight to technology sectors, owns no Facebook stock, having screened out the company based on an ESG analysis focused on data privacy policies.

Lack of Market ‘Plumbing’ Holds Back Sustainable Investing l Financial Times

  • This article explores howWe need standards, benchmarks and derivatives are needed to make this sustainable investing sector take off.

How Investors Are Abolishing ICE — in Their Portfolios l MarketWatch

  • This article highlights how many retirement savers and investors opposed to the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border are pulling their money out of the companies that help U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement carry out its mission.

The Rise of ESG & Sustainable Governance in Blockchain l NASDAQ

  • This article highlights the growing trend among Millennial investors-- a greater focus on verifiable and robust ESG practices by the companies they invest in. 

Ratings That Don't Rate: The Subjective World of ESG Rating Agencies l Real Clear Policy

  • According to this article, ESG ratings, on which investors increasingly rely, are flawed. They lack standardization and disclosure requirements as well as suffer from company size, geographic, and industry biases. To be a more useful and accurate guide for investors, ESG rating agencies must standardize analyses of disclosed information, adjust for biases, increase transparency, and disclose their success rates.

18 Impact Investing Trends You Haven't Seen Before And 1 You Have l Forbes

  • This article highlights 19 trends in the impact investing world that are most likely unknown to you, because they are developing in pockets and corners of the arena where most people don’t have visibility. 
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: July 27th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: July 27th, 2018

Below please find this week's news round-up.

Be sure to review IEN's new Briefing Paper on Options for Endowment Investment in Solar Energy, which focuses on how to most effectively enable endowments to make investments in solar projects and the solar energy market as a whole.

In case you missed it, a recording of yesterday's webinar on Barnard College's Divestment from Climate Science Deniers is available on our website.

Additionally, if your institution has plans to announce a fossil fuel divestment commitment, please look into this opportunity to participate in a global press event being organized by the Divest-Invest Network around the Global Climate Action Summit in September.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

 

Program Manager

The Intentional Endowments Network

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New Resources 

Briefing Paper: Options for Endowment Investment in Solar Energy l The Intentional Endowments Network

  • This briefing paper focuses on solar energy and how to most effectively enable endowments to make investments in solar projects, and the solar energy market as a whole. It provides guidance on three main approaches endowments can utilize to invest in solar: allocating capital across traditional asset classes in the investment portfolio, sponsoring a project by investing funds for its development, and allocating capital to a campus green revolving fund. 

Update on Barnard College's Approach to Divestment l Barnard College

  • This updated page includes overviews of the 30 companies evaluated in Barnard's assessment of companies that deny climate science, FFI’s divestment and climate action executive summary and fossil fuel divestment and climate action methodology, and case studies showing how three anonymized fossil fuel companies scored against criteria.
 
Opportunities for Action

Scholarship Opportunity to Attend Global Climate Action Summit l Youth Step Up

  • This contest, organized by Our Climate, invites young people from across the U.S. to submit their ideas for bold solutions to combat climate change via a creative project and essay. Winners will receive prizes of up to $5,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the summit in San Francisco on September 12-14, 2018. The goal of the contest is to engage young people from across the U.S. in international climate discussions and accelerate even greater levels of youth action on climate solutions. Submissions are due August 3.
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments 

University of Manchester Signs up to UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment l Manchester Newsroom

  • The University of Manchester has signed up for PRI, becoming the first English Russell Group University to join the organization. Stephen Dauncey, Director of Finance, said: “Our Revised Policy for Socially Responsible Investment has been in place for just over 12 months now and during that time we have made significant progress with our Investment Managers to allow us to pursue a sustainable approach to investment without compromising our investment returns. Subscribing to the PRI’s principles is the next step for us to show our commitment to our third goal of social responsibility.”

Northwest School Moving Toward Socially Responsible Investing l Capitol Hill Times

  • This article discusses how the Northwest School has recently announced plans to fully transition its $10.4 million endowment to socially and environmentally responsible funds.

Queens’ College, Cambridge Launches ETF Portfolio as Part of Carbon Divestment Strategy l ETF Strategy

  • Queens’ College, Cambridge has allocated part of its £55m global equity investment exposure to a self-managed portfolio constructed using equity sector ETFs, specifically to exclude extractive and carbon-intensive industries. The move is part of a package of measures developed by specialist consultant ElstonETF to enable Queens’ to respond to the concerns of the carbon divestment lobby without losing sight of primary investment objectives.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Investing

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how market regulators around the world are increasingly providing incentives to grow the green bond market; City climate change suits against fossil fuel companies get another blow and spark a warning to companies; Trump administration targets California's tailpipe rules; and the poor don't deserve toxic dumps in their backyard, writes Bloomberg Opinion's Noah Smith. 

The New NAACP Fund Shows ESG ETFs Are Evolving l benzinga

  • As more investors consider ESG strategies, fund issuers are bringing new spins on responsible investing to market. The Impact Shares NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF, was launched in partnership between Impact Shares, the first ETF provider structured as a non-profit entity; and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The new ETF follows the Morningstar Minority Empowerment Index, which provides exposure to U.S. companies that stand out for their commitment to racial and ethnic diversity.

The Next Step in Impact Investing: Breaking the Shackles of Extractive Thinking l Stanford Social Innovation Review

  • This article argues that as impact investing matures, it’s worth asking: Can we finance mission-driven enterprises in a way that shifts the core emphasis to regenerative environmental and social benefits?

5 ESG ETFs Outperforming the Broader Market l NASDAQ

  • In past three months, several ESG ETFs beat the S&P 500 (up about 5.6%). Investors should note that past three months were all about trade war tensions, mainly between the United States and China and between the United States and several of its key trading partners on a broader sense. This article highlights some of the outperforming ESG funds in the three-month period.
 
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