Weekly News Round-Up: February 23rd, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: February 23rd, 2018

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

We are pleased to welcome two new members to the Network: Virginia Wesleyan University and Greentech Capital Advisors! To learn more about the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN membership, click here.

Also, be sure to register for the next IEN Webinar exploring the topic of Long Short ESG Strategies for Endowments, taking place on March 6th.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
New IEN Members
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg brief highlights how the EU can boost the share of renewables to 34% of its energy mix by 2030, but would require investments of about $77 billion a year; BP raised its forecast for electric cars; and Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism, discusses the sustainability lessons in Cape Town's drought.

Sustainable Investment, Show Me the Evidence l Willis Towers Watson

  • In this paper, “Sustainable Investment, Show me the Evidence“, Willis Towers Watson provides a sample of the academic evidence which demonstrates the value of doing so. The studies and meta-studies referenced at the end of the paper show reduced cost of equity, better stock performance, and lower fixed-income spreads as examples of how appropriate management of ESG factors can lead to improved risk and return outcomes.

Institutions Are Hungry for Dependable ESG Investing Data l Plan Sponsor

  • A new cut of data shared by Natixis Investment Managers is based on a broad survey of 500 institutional investors, including managers of corporate and public pension funds, foundations, endowments, insurance funds and sovereign wealth funds. Some investors cite the concern that publicly owned companies may be “greenwashing” reported data to enhance their image from the ESG investing perspective, cited by 37% of survey respondents.

Engagement and Divestment are Not Mutually Exclusive l Pensions Expert

  • The role and responsibility of fiduciary investors in accelerating low-carbon global prosperity has recently entered the public debate in a big way. Much of this success is due to the fossil fuel divestment movement. In only six years, 837 institutions with more than $6tn of assets have made a fossil fuel divestment commitment of some sort. The divestment movement, which has undoubtedly put pressure on both fossil fuel companies and their major investors, has opened the space for more ambitious and forceful investor engagement with companies about their approach to climate risks.

Want Strong Stocks That Also Have a Positive Impact on the World? Morgan Stanley Has 30 Candidates l Market Watch

  • Morgan Stanley analysts put together a list of 30 stocks that in their view “offer a strong fundamental investment case at the same time as creating a positive social or environmental impact.” The 30 were selected by the investment bank’s sustainability team, which evaluates securities through the lens of ESG investing.

ESG and Impact Investing: Do You Know the Difference? l Investment News

  • As investors increasingly rally behind the concept that their investment choices yield the ability to positively impact social or environmental issues, interest in impact investing has skyrocketed. This article takes a closer look at two terms we hear frequently — ESG and impact investing — and how they differ.

‘Green’ Investing Helps Shield Investors From Correction l Barron's

  • Investing in ‘green’ funds benefits more than just the environment; this type of investing can also be healthy for investors’ bottom line, recent data says. In the first nine days of February—during which the S&P slid 7.2%—two-thirds of all sustainable funds available in the U.S. finished in the top half of their respective categories—MarketWatch reports, citing Morningstar data.

Where Are The ESG Flows? l ETF.com

  • Despite the superstar-level hype around ESG ETFs the past few years, JUST A handful have become bona fide hits. Of the 65 ETFs classified as “socially responsible,” only one has broken $1 billion in assets under management: the iShares MSCI KLD 400 Social ETF (DSI). Fourteen others have topped $100 million in assets, a common liquidity threshold that many investors use to gauge a fund’s seaworthiness.

Kapor Capital’s New Partner Talks Health Startups, African-Americans in Venture Capital l Mercury News

  • The Mercury News talked recently with Onovakpuri about her new position at Kapor Capital. The Oakland-based venture firm has diversity at its core, focuses on funding underrepresented entrepreneurs and recently announced it has invested in more than 100 companies. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: February 16th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: February 16th, 2018

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

Highlights include Lewis & Clark College's decision this week to divest from fossil fuels, and a warm welcome to Grinnell College-- the latest IEN Member.To learn more about the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN membership, click here.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
New IEN Members
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments

Lewis and Clark College Board of Trustees Votes to Divest From Fossil Fuels l Lewis & Clark

  • The Lewis & Clark College Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to divest from all fossil fuel holdings in the endowment, approving the recommended policy changes prepared by a subcommittee formed to study the matter. “When national politics are aggressively undermining U.S. commitments to fight climate change, it is up to local jurisdictions and institutions like ours to lead,” said Lewis & Clark President Wim Wiewel. “I applaud the trustees for their action today. We must be more than pioneers by name, we must be pioneers by nature.”

University Of Edinburgh Will Fully Divest From Fossil Fuels Within 3 Years l Clean Technica

  • The University of Edinburgh in Scotland has announced that it will completely divest from all investments in fossil fuels within three years in a move that goes a long way toward achieving the University’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2040. The move to divest is a big deal in more ways than one. Not only does the University of Edinburgh have the largest endowment fund of any university in Scotland but this will make the University’s endowment the largest to be free of fossil fuel investments in the UK.

AP2 Creates ESG-led Multi-Factor Equity Indices for €10bn Portfolio l Investments & Pensions Europe

  • AP2, the second of Sweden’s national pensions buffer funds, has created a pair of multi-factor indices to guide its internally-managed global equities investment, in a bid to improve returns and take more account of ESG.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: February 9th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: February 9th, 2018

Our Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit hosted in partnership with Second Nature earlier this week in Tempe was a great success. We had an engaging and action-oriented meeting with over 275 senior administrators from colleges and universities and leaders from government, business, finance, and civil society. Thank those of you that could make it -- videos and materials from the sessions will be up on our website soon!

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

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
New IEN Members
 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments

The University of Edinburgh Announces Full Divestment From Fossil Fuels l The Student Newspaper

  • The University of Edinburgh announced today that it will complete the move of its investment portfolio out of fossil fuels over the next three years. This follows on from a similar decision in May 2015, where the University committed to moving out of investment in the heaviest polluting fossil fuel companies. The University of Edinburgh has a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040.
 
Climate Change Action on College and University Campuses

Harvard's Climate Change Efforts l Harvard University

  • In this letter from Harvard President Drew Faust, he discusses Harvard's action on climate, progress so far, and goals for the future. According to the letter, Harvard will seek to become fossil fuel free by 2050 by meeting energy needs with sustainable sources and by setting targets for purchasing externally provided services that rely as little as possible on fossil fuels. As The University works toward this target, it will strive to become fossil fuel neutral by 2026, continuing to pursue aggressive reductions in fossil fuel emissions and, where feasible, to invest in high-quality, off-campus projects that displace comparable amounts of emissions for any emissions that remain. 

World-Class Research Universities Announce University Climate Change Coalition l Environment America

  • This week, at the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit hosted by Second Nature and The Intentional Endowments Network, a coalition of 13 world-class North American research universities launched the University Climate Change Coalition (UC3). The coalition is committed to using collaboration, research, and their collective resources to help communities accelerate action on climate change. The UC3 members include research universities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Making a Big Impact, Small Footprint at Duke l Duke Today

  • This week, Duke University and Delta Airlines announced the purchase of 5,000 carbon credits. With help from Greensboro-based Urban Offsets, the program also backs efforts to create a more equitable distribution of urban forests in Durham with tree plantings that will further remove carbon emissions as they grow.

The University of Maryland Secures $18.3 Million for Energy Conservation Projects l UMD Right Now

  • The University of Maryland has successfully secured $18.3 million from the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC) for the development of a $21.5 million energy efficiency project to support the implementation of various energy conservation measures. The project will impact eight on-campus buildings, such as J.M. Patterson Hall and  Hornbake Library.

100% Renewable Campuses Campaign l Environment America

  • By shifting to 100% renewable energy, colleges and universities can play a crucial leadership role in moving our communities and our country to a healthier, cleaner future. This week, Environment America launched their Campus 100% Renewable Energy website -- furthering their work to join forces with motivated and active students. 
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: February 2nd, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: February 2nd, 2018

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

We are pleased to welcome three new members to the Network this week: TIAA, Glenmede, and Jarislowsky Fraser. For more information on the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN Membership, click here.

We're looking forward to seeing many of you next week in Tempe, AZ for the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit!

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
New IEN Members
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

N.Y. State Common to Double Low-Carbon Equity Index Investment to $4 Billion l Pensions and Investments

  • The New York State Common Retirement Fund is increasing its investment in a low-emissions equities index by $2 billion, doubling the size of an investment vehicle that excludes or reduces holdings of high-polluting companies while investing in more environmentally friendly companies.

Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how green bond issuance rose 67% last year and could be headed for another record; Anne Sheehan, director of corporate governance for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, on a decade in ESG; Companies seen learning to love unions.

Why it's Time to Align Retirement Funds With Sustainability Goals l Green Biz

  • A new wave of environmentally focused retirement funds aims to advance corporate sustainability goals while enabling employees to save for their own financial future. At its winter forum in Phoenix next week, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development plans to set an aspirational goal to move $10 billion in assets under management to ESG-themed retirement benefit accounts by 2020.

February Green Money Journal: Millenials and Money l Green Money Journal

  • The new “Millennials and Money” issue of GreenMoney Journal is now online. The Feb 2018 issue features articles by Millennials who making a Difference including 4x Olympian Lauryn Williams of Worth Winning;  Kelly Coyne of Impax Asset Mgmt/Pax World Funds;  Megan Buchter of AIM2Flourish;  Will deHoo of the FoolProof Foundation;  and a podcast interview with Impact investor Liesel Pritzker Simmons of Blue Haven Initiative.

2018 ESG Trends to Watch l MSCI

  • According to this article, in 2018 the major trends that will shape how investors approach the risks and opportunities on the horizon will be sifting for management quality in emerging markets, first steps in scenario testing climate change, acceleration of ESG into fixed income investing, and looking beyond sustainability disclosure.

ESG’s Failed U.S. Invasion l Institutional Investor

  • ESG factors play significant roles in the investment decisions of 45% of European institutional investors, a Royal Bank of Canada survey found in October 2017. Among American investors, just 12% consider ESG meaningful, as do 16% of investors in Canada. The same survey found that 40% of Europeans believe ESG-oriented investments would likely outperform non-ESG assets, whereas only 5% of U.S. investors say the same. 

Sustainable Finance: High-Level Expert Group Delivers Roadmap for Greener and Cleaner Economy l European Commission

  • The European Commission welcomes the final report by its High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, which sets out strategic recommendations for a financial system that supports sustainable investments. The Commission will now move to finalize its strategy on sustainable finance on the basis of these recommendations. 

World’s Asset Owners Discuss ESG Investment Plans at United Nations l Chief Investment Officer

  • Discussing everything from divesting from fossil fuels to calling for companies to provide carbon footprint data, 450 investors with $30 trillion in assets under management convened at the United Nations on Wednesday to discuss the next steps investors must take during the eighth Investor Summit on Climate Risk. The day featured a panel where some of the world’s top investors detailed their “Next Steps on Climate Change.”

Women Leaders In Sustainable Finance: Modeling The Future—Part 3 l Financial Advisor

  • This is the third in a series of articles sharing interviews with 12 women who are trendsetters and innovators in the impact and sustainable finance sector. To read other articles in the series, click here: article 1, article 2.

ESG Dialogue Turning to Action l Pensions & Investments

  • In this article, Keith Dixson, head of international development at Candriam Investors Group, Stephen Harvey, chief operating officer at Institutional Shareholder Services and Vivek Tanneeru, portfolio manager at Matthews Asia, discuss the costs and challenges of building an ESG-compliant culture, the critical importance of engagement, the need for standardized reporting metrics, and where and how Asia leads the world in ESG.
  • Investors have more choices than ever to invest in open-end and exchange-traded funds that practice sustainable investing. That's the main takeaway from a new report titled “Sustainable Funds U.S. Landscape Report." 

The 3 Biggest Questions About Sustainable Investing l NASDAQ

  • In this article, Blackrock's Brian Deese discusses the most common questions he gets about sustainable investing, and how he answers them-- including an emphasis on the potential linkages between sustainable investing and long-term financial performance.

Scientists Develop Sustainable Investing Framework l phys.com

  • Scientists at The City University of New York and Harvard University, in partnership with UBS Asset Management, have developed a scientific framework to inform investment decisions that make positive contributions to sustainable environmental stewardship and human well-being. Among the beneficiaries are the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals that promote access to clean water, maintaining human health, food security and biodiversity protection.

Performance Need Not be Sacrificed to Responsibility l Financial Times

  • This letter to the editor, written by Linda-Eling Lee, The Global Head of ESG Research at MSCI, acts as a rebuttal to Terry Smith’s article “ESG? SRI? Is your green portfolio really green?, and discusses the differences in SRI and ESG Portfolio construction and historical performance.
 
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Weekly News Round-Up: January 26th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: January 26th, 2018

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

We are pleased to welcome four new members to the Network this week: iSelect Fund Management, Flat World Partners, Clean Energy Venture Group, and Fossil Free Indexes. For more information on the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN Membership, click here.

We're looking forward to seeing many of you from February 4-6 in Tempe, AZ for the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit! If you haven't already, there's still time to register.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
New IEN Members
 
New Reports & Resources

Participate in GIIN's Annual Impact Investor Survey l The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

  • The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is now inviting participants to contribute to its 8th Annual Impact Investor Survey. The report generated by this survey provides critical data to help grow and strengthen the impact investing market. If your organization makes investments with the intention to generate positive social or environmental impact alongside a financial return, please consider contributing to this important and widely cited resource. For more information, contact Rachel Bass, GIIN Research Senior Associate, at rbass@thegiin.org.

Racial Justice Investing Launches Online Group

  • In December 2017, a coalition called Racial Justice Investing launched an online presence with a newsletter for the impact investing community. Racial Justice Investing is a group of socially responsible investors and others in the business community who are taking action for racial justice within their own organizations, as well as in engagements with portfolio companies. Among other aims, the group's purpose is to identify the role of socially responsible investors in working for racial justice, and holding companies accountable for how their policies and practices impact people of color. They are seeking to work in alignment with racial justice organizers, while centering the expertise of people of color. To join and receive updates, contact hlucal@openmic.org. 

The Global Risks Report 2018 l World Economic Forum

  • Each year the Global Risks Report works with experts and decision-makers across the world to identify and analyze the most pressing risks that we face. As the pace of change accelerates, and as risk interconnections deepen, this year’s report highlights the growing strain we are placing on many of the global systems we rely on.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how bond rating agencies are looking more closely at disaster forecasting; Trump's tariffs shake up the solar industry; and Tesla tops up its bet on founder Elon Musk.

Why Larry Fink Isn't Waiting on Washington l Green Biz

  • Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential." With these words, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink last week pushed further open the door to a new era of capitalism in his annual letter to CEOs. This article explores why that new era may be the best chance we have left to solve a number of intertwined strategic challenges, such as climate change and how to welcome 3 billion people into the global middle class over the next 20 years.

ESG Roundup: More UK Consultancies Pledge ESG Trustee Push l Investments & Pensions Europe

  • Four more investment consultants have pledged to ensure UK pension scheme trustees are aware of investment guidance on ESG issues from the country’s pensions regulator. Sixteen investment consultancies have now signed up to an initiative of the Association of Member Nominated Trustees (AMNT) and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association.

ESG Moves From the Margins to the Mainstream l Green Biz

  • There’s a growing recognition by companies and investors that this view is mistaken — that ESG matters are fundamental to business performance and should be disclosed in financial reports. Businesses are also coming to realize that integrating ESG concerns into core business and financial decisions will generate new streams of data that can be used to enhance growth and sustainability. This article was adapted from State of Green Business 2018, published by GreenBiz in partnership with Trucost.

Intel and Nike use this Investor Engagement Tactic Most Companies Overlook l Green Biz

  • This article outlines the steps to include in a proactive strategy to engage investors around your ESG performance to protect and create value for your firm. Engagement provides opportunities to increase investor understanding of your company's actions and efforts. It also can help develop more positive relationships with investors, open lines of communication and increase goodwill. Participating in the conversation can protect your brand, reputation, access to capital, and diversify your investor base.

Wanted: Private Capital to Tackle U.N. Sustainable Development Goals l Barron's

  • The $5 trillion to $7 trillion annual cost of addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, can only be met with a huge boost in private capital. Public monies are meeting only a fraction of this need. Many wealthy investors have already taken up the challenge as the concept of investing to reach social and environmental goals while earning a market rate-of-return increasingly gains traction. The size of the impact investing market to date is unclear, although the Global Impact Investing Network, or GIIN, says $114 billion is a “reasonable floor” based on its 2016 survey of 209 leading impact investors.

How to Drive Competitive Returns with Impact Investing l Wharton

  • In this podcast, two social-impact investors discuss their quest for competitive returns.

Lauren Compere: Socially responsible companies are proving good investments in Asia l Asian Review

  • Interest in the stocks of markets such as China and India and in ESG have reecntly boomed, with more than $70 trillion of assets now managed in line with the U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. It is time for investors in Asia to consider ESG principles and identify those companies robust enough to provide long-term growth opportunities.

‘We Have to Change Capitalism’ to Beat Climate Change, Says Blackrock Vice-Chair l Climate Home News

  • Capitalism must change to avert climate change, according to the vice-chair of the world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock. Two weeks ago, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink shook the corporate world with a letter demanding social responsibility in return for the support of his company, which manages around $6 trillion in assets. On Wednesday, at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, vice-chair Philipp Hildebrand expanded on that theme.

Socially Responsible Investing Gets a Trump Bump l Chicago Tribune

After Trump's election, though, the expectation was that a Republican-led Washington would enact policies at odds with ESG funds. It would favor the coal and oil industries, for example, which would undercut profits for the renewable energy companies at the heart of many environmentally focused funds. Instead, dollars continued to flow into socially responsible investments, and the industry launched 39 mutual funds and ETFs last year, a record. More and more products are out there now, and everything is poised to see ongoing growth, according to this article.

 

 

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Weekly News Round-Up: January 19th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: January 19th, 2018

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

Making headlines this week and explored in several stories below was BlackRock's Annual Letter to CEOs, calling on corporations to find a purpose in society or risk losing support from shareholders. 

The 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership is only two weeks away (Feb. 4-6 in Tempe, AZ), and if you haven't already, there is still time to register!

Also be sure to register for our webinar with ICCR leaders on The Investor Case for Human Rights next week, on January 24th.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
New Reports

The State of Green Business, 2018 l Green Biz

The Business of Planting Trees l The Nature Conservancy & The World Resources Institute

  • A new report launched this week finds that restoring degraded land is not only good for the planet, it’s also a good investment opportunity as well. Through the analysis of 140 restoration-focused businesses in eight countries and four continents, The Business of Planting Trees shows that the economic benefits of restoring land are estimated at $84 billion per year and deliver a range of financial returns.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

BlackRock’s Message: Contribute to Society, or Risk Losing Our Support l The New York Times

  • This week, the chief executives of the world’s largest public companies received a letter from one of the most influential investors in the world. Laurence D. Fink, founder and chief executive of the investment firm BlackRock, is going to inform business leaders that their companies need to do more than make profits — they need to contribute to society as well if they want to receive the support of BlackRock.

From BlackRock With Love to Aimless CEOs l Barron's

  • Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, called on corporations to find a purpose in society or risk losing support from shareholders. In Fink's annual letter to CEOs, he wrote: "Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders. It will succumb to short-term pressures to distribute earnings, and, in the process, sacrifice investments in employee development, innovation, and capital expenditures that are necessary for long-term growth."

CalSTRS’ Ailman Gives BlackRock’s Fink an “Ovation” l Chief Investment Officer

  • BlackRock CEO Fink’s annual letter to CEO's rang true to Christopher J. Ailman, CIO of the $221 billion CalSTRS. “As always, Larry is a thoughtful leader and [I applaud with a standing ovation] his focus on corporate governance engagement and board diversity,” Ailman told CIO.  “It is very much in line with CalSTRS’ own philosophy as patient, long-term capital investors with a large passive equity portfolio.”

Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how BlackRock CEO Larry Fink offered a new model of shareholder engagement; Global clean energy investment in 2017 topped $333.5 billion; and impact investing in Native American communities.

CFP Board's New Gender Diversity Maven Takes Aim at Gender Gap l Financial Planning

  • More women are earning official financial planning credentials, but they still make up less than one-in-four CFP professionals. That’s a ratio Kathleen McQuiggan, an industry veteran, wants to nudge quite a bit higher. The CFP Board announced it has appointed McQuiggan to serve as a special advisor on gender diversity, a leadership role overseeing the board's Women's Initiative.

The Convergence of Digitalization and Sustainability l MIT Sloan Management Review

  • Digitalization and sustainability are two of the most powerful market influences in today’s corporate landscape. This article explores examples of these two trends converging within the organization abound, from clean technologies to greening production processes to transforming a company’s brand equity as a sustainable company. 
 

 

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Weekly News Round-Up: January 12th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: January 12th, 2018

Below find this week's news round-up.

Be sure to check out the stories highlighting the New York City Mayor's announcement this week that city pension funds have set a goal to divest about $5 billion from companies involved in the fossil fuel business, as well as the Mayor's announcement of a lawsuit against five major oil companies, seeking to collect billions of dollars in damages to pay for city efforts to cope with the effects of climate change.

Please note, with our new format for the round-up, we have moved the "Upcoming Events" section to the bottom of the email.

Be sure to register for our webinar on The Investor Case for Human Rights on January 24th, and if you haven't already, don't forget to register for the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, Feb. 4-6 in Tempe, AZ! 

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
IEN in the News

Executive Perspective: Educational Endowments and Sustainable Investing l Thomson Reuters Blog

The US SIF Foundation identified more than 80 educational institutions at the start of 2016 that were applying various ESG criteria to assets that collectively totaled $293 billion. In this article, Lisa Woll of US SIF describes some of the challenges and barriers endowments may face when approaching sustainable investing and highlights some examples of leaders in the space, including IEN and several member schools.

 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments and Foundations

Mission, Money and Markets: SIP Team Reflects on Favorite Deals of 2017 l Kresge Foundation

  • As 2017 comes to an end, the Social Investment Practice team members at the Kresge Foundation look back at what deals or impact investment advancements they saw launch into the market – both from Kresge and in the field beyond – that had them excited about seeing capital deployed in new, innovative ways toward social issues from the environment to neighborhood revitalization.

Episcopal Pension Invests in Socially Responsible Fund l Chief Investment Officer

  • The $13 billion Church Pension Fund (CPF), a financial services organization that serves the Episcopal Church, has invested $17 million in the Social Investment Managers & Advisors (SIMA) Off-Grid Solar and Financial Access Senior Debt Fund I. The $75 million fund will provide loans to microfinance institutions, distribution companies, and manufacturers in the off-grid solar sector located in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in South Asia.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Blomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how New York City's pension funds are to announce plans to divest fossil fuels; a segment with TIAA-CREF's Stephen Liberatore on defining impact in municipal bonds; and how companies are starting to backpedal on virtual meetings.

Number of Institutional Investors Using ESG Factors in Decisions Holds Steady l Plan Adviser

  • Adoption rates of ESG factors into the investment decision-making process among institutional investors has leveled off, according to the Callan 2017 ESG survey. 

This New Blockchain Protocol Wants To Create Accountability For Social Impact l Fast Company

  • The Ixo Foundation’s “proof of impact” protocol wants to give investors knowledge that their money is working–and save organizations time and money in evaluating if their programs are working.

Apple Urged to Curb Smartphone Addiction by Jana Partners and CalSTRS l The Street

  • Jana Partners, Barry Rosenstein, and public pension fund California State Teachers' Retirement System, which together own $2 billion of Apple Inc. stock, launched a new kind of activist campaign over the weekend, urging the iPhone maker to take action to curb growing smartphone and iPad addiction among children.

What's The Value Where ESG Meets Emerging Markets? l Forbes

  • In this Q&A, Liz Su, a member of the Emerging Markets Portfolio Construction team at Boston Common Asset Management, discusses the significance of ESG factors in emerging markets.

MSCI Links ESG With Stronger Asset Growth l Pensions & Investments

 
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Weekly News Round-Up: January 5th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: January 5th, 2018

Dear {{ recipient.first_name_or_friend }}, 

Happy New Year! Below please find news highlights from the past few weeks.

You may notice the new format for the news round-up, as we are now using our email system instead of the listserv for these weekly updates. We hope you like it; please send any feedback you may have.  (The listserv is still active for asking questions and interactive dialogue amongst the IEN community).

And, if you haven't already, don't forget to register for the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, Feb. 4-6 in Tempe, AZ! 

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
Sustainable Investing at Endowments & Foundations 

UNC Asheville Looks For Help With Sustainable Investing l Pensions & Investments

  • University of North Carolina, Asheville, is requesting information from investment managers about how to reinvest part of its endowment in sustainable investment options. UNC Asheville's $40.5 million endowment is managed by UNC Management Co., which handles the pooled assets within the UNC system. 

Future Ford Foundation Director Weighs in on Role, Impact Investing l Chief Investment Officer

  • While he wraps up 2017 as managing director and co-head of Morgan Stanley’s Global Sustainable Finance team, Roy Swan will open the new year at the Ford Foundation as director of its Mission Investments team.CIO caught up with Swan to talk about his accomplishments, his thoughts on where the most potential future impact investments appear, and more.

The Church Pension Fund Invests in $75 Million Off-Grid Solar and Financial Access Senior Debt Fund l Business Wire

  • The Church Pension Fund (CPF), a financial services organization that serves the Episcopal Church, announced this week that it invested $17 million in the Social Investment Managers & Advisors (SIMA) Off-Grid Solar and Financial Access Senior Debt Fund I, B.V. The $75 million fund will provide loans to microfinance institutions, distribution companies, and manufacturers in the off-grid solar sector located in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

CalPERS Calls ESG Criticism ‘Laughable’ l Chief Investment Officer

  • The $344 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has scoffed at a report from the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) that is highly critical of the systems’ ESG investments. CalPERS shot back at the accusations, saying that the CalPERS Investment Office’s investment decisions are based on its fiduciary responsibility to sustain the fund and pay the benefits public employees have earned.

 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Bloomberg Briefs l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights what trends to watch in the year ahead, from electric cars to carbon pricing; How SunEdison has emerged from bankruptcy; and that China's carbon market shows how far the U.S. is lagging behind, according to CDP's Paula DiPerna.

Women Leaders In Sustainable Finance: Modeling The Future l Financial Advisor

  • This is the first article is a series that highlights women leaders in sustainable finance and how they are using their industry experience to incorporate two trends into their roles as investment advisors, asset managers, research analysts and financial services executives. 

Break The Sustainable Investing Bottleneck l Investment News

  • This article outlines the various bottlenecks and barriers to adopting sustainable investing, including how Integrating sustainable investing requires understanding a new set of products, having deeper conversations with clients about personal values, and altering your own story about how you can deliver for the new investor.

2018 Sneak Peek: What to Expect of Impact Investing l Barron's

  • Impact investing—the strategy of investing in companies with the intent of bettering the environment and society while still earning a market rate-of-return—gained momentum in 2017 amid rising investor interest and high-profile opportunities from the likes of alternative-investment firms TPG and Bain Capital Management. This article shares the thoughts of executives at four leading institutions on what's in store for 2018.

2017 Was The Year That ... l Green Biz

  • As 2018 begins, there’s a renewed sense of commitment and forward movement on a range of fronts. In that spirit, this article, in no particular order, outlines some of the storylines that were covered at GreenBiz during 2017 that showed the promise and progress of sustainable business.

ESG, SRI & Impact Investing: Explaining the Difference to Clients l Investopedia

  • ESG, SRI and impact investing are industry terms often used interchangeably by clients and professionals alike, with the assumption that they all match in meaning and approach. This article describes the distinct differences between each term that will affect how client portfolios should be structured and which investments are suitable for meeting social impact goals.

Impact Investing: Conservation Gets Finance Boost l Euro Money

  • Conservation finance got a boost in December when the Global Environmental Facility (made up of 18 agencies) allocated over $8 million to the Coalition for Private Investment in Conservation (CPIC). CPIC brings together non-profits in the conservation area, including the Nature Conservancy, Rainforest Alliance and WWF, with consultants, impact investment managers and development agencies. Since coming together, the stakeholders have been forming working groups and sourcing projects suitable to be put into conservation investments for private investors. 

Impact Investing is Going Mainstream (Opinion) l CTech

  • According to this author, impact investing is no longer just a niche-- it’s going mainstream. That’s the message the Ford Foundation communicated earlier this year when it announced that $1 billion of its $12 billion portfolio would be devoted to mission-related investing. A significant chunk of the Foundation’s existing investment portfolio will be deployed over time into funds seeking to earn not only attractive financial returns but also concrete social returns. By doing so, the Ford Foundation seeks to align its investments with its mission to reduce poverty and injustice.

5 Impact Investing Trends That Emerged From 2017 l Iris

  • Impact investing drives social and environmental progress through investments, while screening for risk and creating competitive returns. This article outlines five impact investing trends that have emerged in 2017.

 
Green Bonds

Bonds Could Spur ESG ETF Growth l Investopedia

  • Bond funds represent a small percentage of the overall universe of ESG funds. When it comes to ESG exchange-traded funds (ETFs), fixed income is also a small, but growing part of that space. Importantly, the potential for ESG fixed income growth could be widespread across corporate bonds, sovereign debt and other parts of the bond market.

ESG & Bonds: A Compelling Combination l ETF Trends

  • With the universe of exchange traded funds following ESG poised to expand, investors should also expect to see more fixed income funds dedicated to virtuous investing. Some ESG bond ETFs came to market last year, according to iShares.

 
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Weekly News Round-Up: December 22nd, 2017

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.
 
 
 
New Report
 
  • In this paper, Walden explains what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are, why they are important to our clients and to our role as an investment manager, and where opportunities exist for us to advance their mission. There are two primary focus areas for the SDGs in Walden's work: (1) investment decision-making, and (2) active ownership. 
 
 
 

Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Bloomberg Briefs l Sustainable Finance
  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how China unveiled plans for a national carbon trading system focused on the power sector; New York pension funds look at divesting fossil fuel holdings; and socially responsible quantitative investors deal with some data challenges, says Acadian Asset Management's Asha Mehta.
Impact Investing: A $250 Billion Game-Changer For Finance l CNN Money
  • Making money is the lifeblood of Wall Street. Making the world a better place not so much. Now that's starting to change, as some of the biggest names in finance adjust their businesses to reflect growing demand for impact investments. "It's a $250 billion market and it's growing fast," said Michael Baldinger, a 30-year industry veteran who joined UBS (UBS) Asset Management as head of sustainable and impact investing -- a new role -- just over a year ago. "It might really be a game-changer for the finance industry."
ESG Investing: Assessing the 'E,' 'S' and 'G' l Investment News
  • "There are two premises to ESG screens," said Steve Janachowski, CEO of Brouwer & Janachoski. The first one is that we shouldn't be supporting bad companies, however we define that. But that's a philosophical point of view; it's not an investment thesis. The other is that a company should perform better because its costs are lower or because people will support it."The best argument, then, for ESG is the G: Governance. Companies with consistently good governance tend not to be hit by disaster, such as the Equifax data breach and the Wells Fargo scandals.
Why Financial Performance Affects ESG Metrics l Forbes
  • Keir Gumbs is a partner in Washington, D.C. and vice chair of the Securities and Capital Markets Practice Group. Before Covington, Gumbs spent six years at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) where he held numerous positions, including as counsel to an SEC Commissioner. Gumbs is recognized as a leading authority on securities regulation and corporate governance who represents a cross-section of constituencies, including Fortune 500 companies, venture-backed firms, public pension funds, hedge funds, faith-based investors and trade associations. In this Q&A, he discusses how the development of ESG rating analytics can come to fruition so that there are common metrics across the playing field, and how ESG metrics can show the value in an ESG investment strategy as a hard proposal.
5 Big Things About Sustainable Investing in 2017 l Morningstar
  • This article outlines five big things that happening in the sustainable investing space in 2017 including the Tump effect, The Fearless Girl, BlackRock, SSGA, and Vanguard ramping up their engagement activity, climate risk disclosure, and a focus on impact investing.
Divest or Engage? or Both? l Real Impact Tracker
  • In this opinion piece, Yale Alumni Gabe Rissman discusses his student leadership days at Yale, exploring fossil fuel divestment vs. shareholder engagement, and how both can be effective strategies.
Liontrust ESG Head Says Sustainable Investment Doesn't Mean Low Return l Wealth Manager
  • Sustainable investment is much more than a trend with all available startegies have shown growth in excess of 20% over the last three years, says Peter Michaelis, head of sustainable investement at Liontrust. Talking about the shift of ESG from a marginal part of the industry to a prominent consideration for investors, he cites his team's stock and sector preferences, and plans for 2018.
Shareholder Engagement
 
Exxon Faces Climate Change l Barron's
  • Last Monday, in a four-sentence filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Exxon Mobil's board acceded to a proxy request—one it had previously fought—to disclose more about what tightening climate-change regulations might do to the long-term value of its hydrocarbon assets in the ground. The brevity of its statement belies the potential for change, not only for the supertanker that is Exxon, but also for the energy industry as a whole and even further afield, since the company is so influential around the world.

Four Mutual Fund Giants Begin to Address Climate Change Risks in Proxy Votes: How About Your Funds? l Ceres

  • Each year, Ceres partners with Fund Votes to rank the largest mutual fund companies based on how strongly they support climate-related shareholder proposals. (See methodology note at the end of the blog for more details.) The results for 2016 and 2017 are shared in this article, and the big news is that four of the top ten largest asset managers, together accounting for $12.8 trillion in assets under management, voted for a climate proposal for the first time ever. This has important implications.
  • BlackRock Inc., the world’s biggest asset manager, is telling companies that now is the time to start reporting clear information on climate risk to their businesses. The firm, which oversees almost $6 trillion in assets, sent letters from its corporate-governance team to about 120 companies this week, urging them to report climate dangers in line with the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, set up by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney.
  • Since the $2.6 trillion asset manager installed a bronze statue of a girl staring down the Wall Street bull, the firm has actually stared down companies lacking gender diversity on their boards. The Boston-based firm has voted against the re-election of the chair or other senior members of male-only boards 400 times so far in 2017, reportsBloomberg. “In some cases we had to agree to disagree and in some cases we got commitments to enhance board quality by increasing diversity,” said State Street’s Rakhi Kumar. “We will work with companies, but of course not forever.”
Investment Manager and Finance News
 
Amalgamated Bank Announces Agreement to Acquire New Resource Bank l Amalgamated Bank
  • Amalgamated Bank (“Amalgamated”) and New Resource Bancorp, the parent company of New Resource Bank (OTC: NRBC; together, “New Resource”) today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement by which Amalgamated will acquire New Resource for a total consideration of approximately $58.5 million, in a 100% stock consideration transaction for New Resource shareholders and the cash out of existing New Resource stock options. Under the terms of the agreement, New Resource shareholders will receive 0.0315 shares of Amalgamated common stock for each share of New Resource, or a purchase price of $9.67 per share. The acquisition of New Resource represents the opportunity to expand Amalgamated’s geographic presence to the San Francisco Bay Area as well as deepen its model of impact banking.

Climate Risk, Science & Regulation
 
Trump Drops Climate Change From US National Security Strategy l The Guardian
  • The Trump administration has dropped climate change from a list of global threats in a new national security strategy the president unveiled on Monday. Instead, Trump’s NSS paper emphasised the need for the US to regain its economic competitiveness in the world. That stance represents a sharp change from the Obama administration’s NSS, which placed climate change as one of the main dangers facing the nation and made building international consensus on containing global warming a national security priority.
Six SWFs Unite to Address Climate Change Issues l Investments and Pensions Europe
  • Six sovereign wealth funds governing $2trn (€1.7trn) have formed an alliance to address climate change issues. The group includes the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Kuwait Investment Authority, the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), the Public Investment Fund of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Qatar Investment Authority. Together they have formed the One Planet Sovereign Wealth Fund Working Group to integrate financial risks and opportunities related to climate change in the management of large, long-term asset pools.
Let it Go: The Arctic Will Never be Frozen Again l Grist
  • Last week, at a New Orleans conference center that once doubled as a storm shelter for thousands during Hurricane Katrina, a group of polar scientists made a startling declaration: The Arctic as we once knew it is no more. The region is now definitively trending toward an ice-free state, the scientists said, with wide-ranging ramifications for ecosystems, national security, and the stability of the global climate system. It was a fitting venue for an eye-opening reminder that, on its current path, civilization is engaged in an existential gamble with the planet’s life-support system. In an accompanying annual report on the Arctic’s health — titled “Arctic shows no sign of returning to reliably frozen region of recent past decades” — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees all official U.S. research in the region, coined a term: “New Arctic.”
B.H.P. Billiton, Acknowledging Climate Change, to Quit Coal Group l The New York Times
  • One of the world’s largest coal companies, acknowledging the growing momentum toward addressing climate change, said it planned to pull out of a major industry group over its environmental stances. B.H.P. Billiton, the British-Australian mining company, said in a reportTuesday that it planned to withdraw from the World Coal Association, an international lobbying group, because of differences in climate and energy policies. The report also noted that B.H.P. would review its relationship with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in light of the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
Jakarta Is Sinking So Fast, It Could End Up Underwater l The New York Times
  • A tsunami of human-made troubles in the Indonesian capital poses an imminent threat to the city’s survival. And it has to deal with mounting threats from climate change. This article covers how it got so bad and potential solutions.
General Endowment News
 
Final GOP Deal Would Tax Large Endowments l Inside Higher Ed
  • A proposal to tax some large private college endowments made it into the final version of a tax reform bill agreed to by House and Senate negotiators last week. The provision matches the more modest proposal included in the Senate tax bill passed this month, rather than a House proposal that would have affected many more institutions. But many college leaders have said the tax is bad policy and sets a dangerous precedent. At the same time, many provisions in the tax legislation that alarmed colleges and students were left out of the final bill.
  • Berea College in Kentucky uses a $1 billion endowment to cover tuition for all of its roughly 1,600 students. Because of that mission, Senate Republicans exempted the school from a proposal to tax the endowments of dozens of private schools. But that exemption was one of three provisions removed Tuesday from the federal tax overhaul because they violated congressional rules. So, Berea will once again join the list of schools seeing their tax burden rise under the GOP plan.
Wall Street Is Making Even More Billionaires of U.S. Colleges l Bloomberg
  • American universities are the richest they’ve ever been, with more schools than ever sitting on endowments valued at $1 billion. Endowments are riding the bull market to riches, but some question whether students should get more help.
 
 
 
Fossil Fuel Divestment
Coal Divestment isn’t Enough, Says CarbonTracker l Triple Pundit
  • By 2030, the coal industry will effectively be operating in the red. That’s the latest analysis from the CarbonTracker Initiative, an independent think tank that looks at the economic implications of today’s coal energy and other markets. But what analysts were really looking at in its study Lignite of the Walking Dead, which was released this week, was what the scenario would look like economically if the 28 countries that comprise the European Union were to actually limit global warming to below 2℃ by 2050.
The Movement to Divest from Fossil Fuels Gains Momentum l The New Yorker
  • This week, a news release went out from Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office, saying that New York was going to divest its vast pension-fund investments in fossil fuels. The state, Cuomo said, would be “ceasing all new investments in entities with significant fossil-fuel-related activities,” and he would set up a committee with Thomas DiNapoli, the state comptroller, to figure out how to “decarbonize” the existing portfolio. Cuomo’s office even provided a handy little Twitter meme of the type that activists often create: it showed three smoke-belching stacks and the legend “New York Is Divesting from Fossil Fuels.” The pension fund under Albany’s control totals two hundred billion dollars, making it one of the twenty largest pools of money on Earth. It would make the most sense, of course, to have a concerted global battle against climate change—it is, after all, the first truly global problem we’ve ever faced. But this Administration will not fight it, as Trump’s recent pullout from the Paris climate accords showed. So if the battle, instead, is going to be local, three hundred and ninety billion dollars is a pretty good haul for one day. New York may be an empire in name only, but on Tuesday it demonstrated a global reach.
  • Norway’s main municipal pensions provider KLP has decided to exclude companies from its investments that have more than 30% of their revenue stemming from oil sands activities, and use the proceeds of these asset sales for new renewable energy investments in the developing world. The NOK641bn (€64.9bn) pension provider made the decision after commissioning research that showed the consequences of oil sands production — also known as tar sands — were just as harmful to the environment as those of coal.
  • New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said this week his office would propose to the trustees of the NYC pension funds to explore stopping additional investments in fossil fuels and increasing investments in clean energy. The proposals in the coming weeks will also include divesting current holdings in fossil fuel companies as part of efforts to reduce carbon footprint in various portfolios, Stringer said in a statement.
Cuomo Wants To End Fossil Fuel Investment By Pension Fund l State of Politics
  • The state should stop making new investments from its $200 billion public pension fund in fossil fuel companies, Gov. Andrew Cuomo annonuced this week. The push, part of the 2018 State of the State agenda, will also lead to the creation of an advisory panel to develop a “de-carbonization roadmap” for new investments that bolster fighting climate change and green technology.
After Months of Student Protest, Reed Declines to Divest From Wells Fargo l The Oregonian
  • After nearly three months of a student occupation of administrative offices, Reed College announced today it will continue to work with Wells Fargo, against the protesters' wishes. The student group Reedies Against Racism pitched tents in the offices and hallways of Eliot Hall in October, after demanding that Reed divest immediately from Wells Fargo, listing concerns such as investment in "private prisons," as well as "the Dakota Access Pipeline, the fossil fuel industry, and companies that profit from the Israeli Occupation Crimes."

 

 

 

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Weekly News Round-Up: December 15th, 2017

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.
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.
 
New Resources
 
Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century Progress Report l  Principles for Responsible Investment, United Nations Environment Program Finance Initiative and The Generation Foundation, December 2017
 

Disclosing the Facts 2017 l  As You Sow, Boston Common Asset Management, and The Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) 

  • This week, As You Sow, Boston Common Asset Management, and The Investor Environmental Health Network (IEHN) released a 2017 special edition of the Disclosing the Facts (DTF) scorecard. While the annual DTF scorecard has historically addressed oil and gas company management of environmental and community risks from hydraulic fracturing operations, this year’s special edition focuses on the critical risk of methane emissions – a potent contributor to global climate change -- and how companies are managing methane reductions.
Investor Water Toolkit l Ceres
  • The Investor Water Toolkit is the first-ever comprehensive resource to evaluate and act on water risks in investment portfolios. This ‘how-to’ guide includes links to resources, databases, case studies and other tools for all investors to use, from pension funds to endowments to asset managers. The Toolkit was developed in collaboration with more than 40 institutional investors from across the globe and is the ultimate resource on water integration written for investors by investors.
PRI: Investment Consultants Not Taking ESG Issues Into Account l Pensions & Investments
  • Many investment consultants are failing to consider environmental, social and governance issues in their investment advice, warns a report by the Principles for Responsible Investment. The organization said in its report, "Working towards a sustainable financial system: investment consultant services review," that despite consultants advising on the investment practices of trillions of dollars across the globe, many are not taking ESG issues into account. Based on interviews with 22 investment consulting firms and industry experts primarily in the U.K., U.S. and Australia, as well as other data sources, the PRI found three barriers to taking ESG into consideration among consultants: market structure, industry practice, and policy and regulation.

Sustainable Investing at Endowments & Foundations
 
Johns Hopkins University to Divest Holdings in Major Coal Producers l JHU Hub
  • Johns Hopkins University will divest from its separately managed holdings in thermal coal, following a vote from the board of trustees Friday. The board's vote directs the university to stop buying the stocks and bonds of companies that produce coal for electric power as a major part of their business, and to sell from its endowment or other investments any securities it directly owns from those companies, on a schedule that minimizes financial loss. The board decision responds to a student group's divestment proposal and more than two years of campus debate on whether Johns Hopkins should hold securities related to fossil fuels. Scientists have determined that burning those fuels contributes to global climate change.

$16M Invested in Loans Through Kresge Community Finance to Support Community Development Work at CDFIs, DFAs l Kresge News

  • The Kresge Foundation announced today $16 million in impact investments to nine Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and Development Finance Agencies (DFAs) working to expand opportunity for low-income people in America’s cities through an initiative called Kresge Community Finance (KCF). More than 130 organizations submitted proposals for funding, representing more than $280 million in capital requests. The resulting investments from Kresge’s Social Investment Practice pair standardized loans, available for up to 10 years, with equity grants equivalent to 5 percent of the amount of each loan. The grants were made to highlight the need, and difficulty, of these community lenders to raise sufficient equity to grow their lending programs.
  • Barnard College has decided on a set of criteria it will use as it attempts to divest its endowment from companies that dispute climate science and climate change, it said Tuesday. The announcement comes about a year after a Barnard task force recommended the college divest from fossil fuel companies that deny climate science or that try to undermine efforts to mitigate climate change.
 
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing
 
Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance
  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how a group of 225 global investors with $26.3 trillion in assets are ready to name and shame top carbon emitters; Macron's One Planet Summit draws climate pledges; and solar companies ditch public markets.
Callan: More U.S. Asset Owners Incorporating ESG Factors Into Investment Decisions l Pensions & Investments
  • A growing number of U.S. asset owners have incorporated environmental, social and governance factors into their investment decisions since 2013, said Callan Associates' fifth annual ESG survey, released Thursday. Across all plan types, 37% of survey respondents reported incorporating ESG factors into their investment decision-making, up from 22% in 2013, the year the survey was first conducted. On the flip side, 60% of funds said they did not incorporate ESG factors in 2017 and 3% said they were unsure. Since the survey's inception, large plans with $20 billion or more in assets have been the highest adopters of ESG investing. In 2017, 78% of the largest plans reported incorporating ESG factors, up from 71% in 2016 and 33% in 2013. By comparison, 30% of funds with $500 million or less in assets said they incorporated ESG factors, compared to 39% in 2015 and 20% in 2013.
2018 SRI Outlook l Green Money Journal
  • Every December Green Money Journal likes to do an 'Outlook on the Year Ahead' issue. Sure to be on many SRI investor's minds are the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). John Adams of the Arbor Group at UBS recently told  Cliff Feigenbaum, founder of GreenMoney Journal, that they have been expanding their traditional ESG screens to include reviewing companies in comparison to the 17 SDGs. He is finding that an increasing number of large corporations are reporting their actions in reference to the SDGs, which can provide valuable insight into their performance and impact.
Can Index Funds Be a Force for Sustainable Capitalism? l Harvard Busines Review
  • The investment management industry has been highly commoditized. Technology has put pressure on management fees, and this will only continue. Moreover, industry consolidation and scale have led to most funds quasi-indexing, if not explicitly indexing. According to my estimates for every dollar actively managed, either through high turnover diversified portfolios or through low turnover concentrated portfolios, there are three dollars in indexing or quasi-indexing. In such a market there will be tremendous rewards for market participants that can provide a differentiated service. Engaging with companies to promote positive environmental and social outcomes and being able to document the impact of those engagements may well prove to be one of those differentiators.
  • Two hundred thirty-seven companies with a combined market capitalization of over $6.3 trillion have publicly committed to support the Task Force on Climaterelated Financial Disclosures (TCFD). This includes over 150 financial firms, responsible for assets of over $81.7 trillion. The TCFD announced the growing support at the One Planet Summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron celebrating the two year anniversary of the Paris Agreement. The Task Force, led by Michael R. Bloomberg and established by the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which is chaired by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, developed voluntary recommendations on climate-related information that companies should disclose to help investors, lenders, and others make sound financial decisions.
  • Arabesque Asset Management is a relative newcomer to sustainable investing, but the young firm has made a big splash. Steered by Omar Selim, 54, who led the European firm’s 2013 buyout from Barclays(where he was a top banker), Arabesque manages $150 million, including two European quantitative funds that have outperformed their benchmarks. The board is a who’s who of the sustainable universe, including chairman Georg Kell, the founder of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, and Barbara Krumsiek, the former CEO of socially responsible powerhouse Calvert Investments, as well as academics with specialties including finance, neuroscience, and computing. Arabesque’s products include a tool called S-Ray, an intelligent database that monitors the sustainability of 7,000 companies around the world, combining some 200 ESG metrics, with news from more than 50,000 sources. (Arabesque charges clients for the product, but makes it free on its website with a three-month delay on the data.)
Passive Fund Providers are Taking an Active Role in ESG l Morningstar
  • In this interview, Morningstar's Jose Garcia Zarate talks with Emma Wall about how passive fund providers have bowed to pressures to engage with ESG issues.
What is Powering the ESG Investing Surge? l Goldman Sachs
  • ESG investing, once a sideline practice, has gone decisively mainstream — and this is creating real opportunities for investors. These opportunities meet the interests of a wide spectrum of clients, from fiduciaries aligning their portfolios with the realities of a rapidly changing world to clients who are increasingly looking to have their investments express their values. In this interview, the World Resources Institute’s President Andrew Steer and Fromer Head of Sustainable Investing Elizabeth Lewis discuss WRI’s objectives and investing approach with Goldman Sachs’ John Goldstein.
UN PRI Toughens Code on Global Members l Reuters
  • The requirements described in recent interviews by leaders of the UK-based Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) include that signatories adopt policies that describe their approach to responsible investing and that top executives oversee the work. Laggards could be delisted starting in 2020. The new rules pose a test for U.S. asset managers led by BlackRock Inc, Vanguard Group and State Street Corp. These firms lately have emphasized ESG factors but some responsible investment activists want them to push for further changes at companies whose shares they hold.
Sustainable Practices Lead to Corporate Profits l Global Finance
  • In this Q&A, Tensie Whelan, director of the Center for Sustainable Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business, talks about the growing bottom-line case for sustainable practices.
Sustainability Is Imperative In Investment Process l ArkETS Media
  • Andrew Parry, head of sustainable investing at Hermes Investment Management, which has £30.8bn ($41bn) in assets, said incorporating sustainability has moved from being an option to becoming an imperative. The comments come from an interview with Jake Moeller, head of Lipper UK and Ireland research at Thomson Reuters, in London last week for the Lipper Alpha Insight podcast.
  • BNP Paribas Securities Services will launch a new platform bringing together investors and organizations committed to offsetting carbon emissions, in its latest environmentally-minded project. The French bank will launch ClimateSeed, which will act as a centralized platform where investors and companies looking to invest in voluntary carbon offsetting projects will be able to connect easily to other projects looking for funding.
  • WA Super has relaunched its Sustainable Future investment option which will focus on investments promoting global change through impact investing. The new investment vehicle would offer a diversified portfolio of high-potential, publicly traded companies whose products and services would be “geared towards solving the world’s biggest social and environmental problems.”
Investment Manager News
 
Hermes Expands ESG Range With Impact Fund l Portfolio Adviser
  • Hermes Investment Management is launching the Hermes Impact Opportunities Strategy to expand its ESG range and increase sustainable investing. The impact fund will be a concentrated, high-conviction global equity portfolio of 25 to 50 securities, typically held over five to 10 years. Hermes’ main objective is to increase prosperity in society through sustainable investing, particularly in companies linked to at least one UN Sustainable Development Goal.
  • This article is a Q&A with Hiromichi Mizuno, chief investment officer of Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund, the world’s biggest manager of retirement savings, in 2014. He has since led a push to increase equity holdings and advocated for incorporating ESG factors into investing.

Shareholder Engagement
 
Why it Makes No Sense to Simply Sell Out of All Fossil Fuels l Financial News
  • A growing number of investors are responding to climate concerns by selling shares in fossil fuel producers. At $5.4tn, the value of portfolios that exclude fossil fuels has doubled in two years, and even voices in the EU Parliament are recommending divestment. The author of this article outlines why they think divesting is not the answer, and describes the benefits of shareholder advocacy.
Give Mutual Fund Investors a Voice in Shareholder Proxy Voting (Opinion) l Market Watch
  • The growth in individual shareholder ownership ironically has created a huge gap in corporate governance and accountability. The ownership of Corporate America lies largely with employees through 401(k) plans and other retirement vehicles, except these same employee-owners cannot and do not have proxy voting rights — these are exercised by the fund providers. Given the size of retail assets that fund managers control — collectively close to $10 trillion — there is a valid concern about their voting practices not reflecting the preferences of the millions of investors in their funds. A typical fund has to vote on hundreds of proxies each year, most of them routine. The voting process is centralized and fairly automated, with default guidelines regarding how the shares are voted. The fund manager conducts analysis only on issues that materially impact a company’s financial or operating performance, and then casts a vote. This article makes the case for increased transparency and ability of shareholders to vote proxies through their managers.
Exxon Agrees to Disclose Climate Risks Under Pressure from Investors l Inside Climate News
  • Under pressure from investors, prosecutors and global regulators, ExxonMobil Corp. agreed on Monday to strengthen its analysis and disclosure of the risks its core oil business faces from climate change and from government efforts to rein in carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels. That will require Exxon to face squarely the implications of reduced oil demand if the world makes good on the pledges of the Paris climate agreement to cut carbon emissions practically to zero fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming. In a one-paragraph filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission, the oil giant said it would stop resisting motions filed by dissident shareholders seeking this kind of risk disclosure.
Exxon Deal Aside, Tough Proxy Season Looms at U.S. Energy Firms l Reuters
  • Climate activists said on Tuesday they would take a tough shareholder resolution off the table at Exxon Mobil Corp after the company agreed to provide new details about how climate change could affect its business. But top U.S. oil and gas producers may still face dissension at their springtime shareholder meetings as investors look for more of them to provide additional details on a range of climate topics such as greenhouse gas reduction plans.
ESG: The Stewardship Revolution l EuroMoney
  • The 2017 US proxy voting season was historic: the world’s two largest asset managers backed shareholder resolutions on climate-risk disclosure. BlackRock and Vanguard, with $10 trillion in AuM between them, are becoming more transparent about their voting. They will play a crucial role in the future of ESG.

 
 
 
Green Bonds
 
Green Bonds: How to Fund Climate Change Initiatives l The McGill International Review
  • As the OECD’s fourth Green Investment Financing Forum convened in Paris on the 24th and 25th of October 2017, much of the discussion centred around expanding investment in green bonds. Green bonds are financial instruments that account for a growing investment market. With the same risks and returns as regular bonds, they offer a good opportunity to invest in pro-environment projects. In the past couple of years, demand for green investment opportunities has skyrocketed. Forums, similar to that of the OECD, bring public and private banks together to discuss how to bring more investors into green banking. Green bonds provide an opportunity for investors to support climate change initiatives, as well as provide more opportunities for green projects to get off the ground given sufficient financial resources. The advent of green bonds are becoming increasingly important upon the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement, and as deadlines to reduce carbon emissions loom closer.
Climate Risk, Science & Regulation
 
Ceres Joins Forces with Investors and Partner Organizations Worldwide to Launch Climate Action 100+ l Ceres
  • The sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres joined forces with investors and partner organizations worldwide today to help launch a new five-year global initiative led by investors to engage with the largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters in North America and around the world to act on climate change. The effort is backed by more than 225 global investors, including nearly 70 North American investors, with USD $26.3trillion in assets under management at the time of launch.
  • The World Bank will end it’s financial support for oil and gas exploration and production after 2019. In response to the growing threat posed by climate change, the World Bank announced that it “will no longer finance upstream oil and gas” after 2019. The world bank has been lending $1 billion a year for oil and gas projects in developing countries (about 1-2% of the company’s $280 billion portfolio), but was under increasing pressure from lobby groups to divest. In addition to ending financial support for upstream oil and gas, the bank announced that 28% of its lending will be allocated to climate action by 2020, as outlined in its Climate Action Plan, developed after the Paris accord. The announcement was made on Tuesday at the international One Planet Summit in France to mark the 2 year anniversary of the Paris Agreement.
Investor Pledges, Demands and Criticism as Paris Agreement Turns Two l Investments & Pensions Europe
  • Two years ago today, French foreign minister Laurent Fabius banged a gavel at the COP-21 climate change conference in Paris, signaling a consensus between 196 parties from around the world on addressing climate change. More than 200 global institutional investors have pledged to engage with 100 of the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters to get them to curb emissions. The investors will ask companies to take action to reduce emissions across their value chain, consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global average temperature increases to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • An analysis of enforcement data by The New York Times shows that the administration has adopted a more lenient approach than the previous two administrations — Democratic and Republican — toward polluters like those in East Liverpool. The Times built a database of civil cases filed at the E.P.A. during the Trump, Obama and Bush administrations. During the first nine months under Mr. Pruitt’s leadership, the E.P.A. started about 1,900 cases, about one-third fewer than the number under President Barack Obama’s first E.P.A. director and about one-quarter fewer than under President George W. Bush’s over the same time period.
Climate Risk Disclosure Comes of Age l The Fifth Estate 
  • According to this article, Companies’ disclosure of business risks from climate change could become mandatory in a few years as pressure from investors gathers pace.
  • House and Senate negotiators have agreed to spare the electric-vehicle tax credit and wind production tax credit in their compromise package, according to a Republican familiar with the process. As part of the $1.5 trillion House tax bill, the $7,500 electric-vehicle tax credit would have been eliminated and a the wind production tax credit would have been curtailed. The Senate bill didn’t do either, and that is part of the package set for release, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing the details before the bill is unveiled.
  • Lawrence Linden and Robert Litterman have supported many AAAS initiatives through their personal giving. They recently talked with Juli Staiano, AAAS’s Chief Philanthropy Officer, and Caitlin Jennings, the Web Content Manager for AAAS MemberCentral, about why they give back to science. This transcript has been edited for clarity and concision.
Boston University Trustees Approve Aggressive Climate Action Plan l BU Today
  • The Boston University Board of Trustees approved a Climate Action Plan on Thursday that will dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions across both the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus and fund broad infrastructure improvements in preparation for flooding or heat surges in the coming decades. The board voted overwhelmingly to adopt the plan, which includes capital improvements estimated to cost about $141 million over 10 years. The plan is the result of a yearlong analysis by the University’s Climate Action Task Force, an 18-member group of faculty, staff, and students.
To Save Climate, Stop Investing in Fossil Fuels: Economists l Manila Bulletin
  • The development of oil, gas, and coal energy must stop in order to avoid the worst ravages of global warming, 80 top economists said Thursday ahead of a climate summit in Paris. “We call for an immediate end to investments in new fossil fuel production and infrastructure, and encourage a dramatic increase in investments in renewable energy,” they wrote in a declaration. The December 12 One Planet Summit organized by French President Emmanuel Macron – with 100 countries and more than 50 heads of state attending – will focus on marshaling public and private money to speed the transition toward a low-carbon economy, especially in developing countries. But boosting renewable energy such as solar and wind is not enough, the economists warned. “President Macron and world leaders have already spoken out about the need for an increase in finance for climate solutions,” they wrote. “But they have remained largely silent about the other, dirtier side of the equation: the ongoing finance of new coal, oil and gas production.” Many new fossil fuel projects already in the pipeline “will need to be phased out faster than their natural decline,” they added.
Industry Opposition Leads ALEC to Withdraw Anti-Climate Resolution l Think Progress
  • A secretive right-wing lobbying group failed to pass a resolution this week that called upon the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to withdraw its 2009 finding that greenhouse gases are endangering the planet. Members of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Energy, Environment and Agriculture task force discussed the resolution at a summit in Nashville on Wednesday. Its backers wanted to send a strong message that they oppose the EPA’s so-called Endangerment Finding, which essentially compels the agency to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as dangerous pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
Credit Ratings Giant: Coal Still in Jeopardy Even After Trump's Exit From Paris Deal l Washington Examiner
  • Credit-rating giant Moody's is not convinced that President Trump's exit from the Paris climate change agreement and his rollback of Obama-era climate regulations will completely insulate coal power plants and coal mines from efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Moody's released the results of a new climate risk assessment for power plants on Tuesday that shows coal assets are at particular risk of closing, despite changes in U.S. policy under Trump.
 
 
 
General Endowment News
 
From a Record Endowment to Funding Threats, Here's What Happened to Penn's Finances in 2017 l The Daily Pennsylvanian
  • In 2017, the University’s endowment reached an all-time high, making it one of the best years for investment returns in Penn’s history. While experts say this spike in returns will have little impact on University spending, the controversy that erupted over a series of leaked documents known as "The Paradise Papers" in November placed the financial maneuvering of various elite universities in the spotlight — Penn included.  Now in December, the University continues to face many unanswered questions about its investments and how they will hold up against shifting federal guidelines. To understand how Penn is moving into 2018 as a financial entity, this article provides a guide to the year’s most important milestones in University finances.
How the GOP Tax Plan Could Hurt Private Universities l Houston Chronicle
  • This article discusses how, for higher education, there is virtually nothing good in this tax legislation, but that doesn't mean that everything that adversely affects us is wrong or an inappropriate part of a larger bill. It outlines at least two distasteful provisions that our representatives and senators should remove before the bill becomes law.
Harvard Endowment Chief Pushed for Steeper Devaluation of Assets l Wall Street Journal
  • The new chief of Harvard University’s endowment pushed to slash the value of some investments last year, dragging down returns, and people familiar with the matter said he would have cut deeper except for pushback from other board members.
 
 
 
Fossil Fuel Divestment
How Bill McKibben’s Radical Idea of Fossil-Fuel Divestment Transformed the Climate Debate l The Conversation
  • Exhibiting a phenomenon in the social sciences called the “radical flank effect,” McKibben and 350.org have dramatically altered the climate change debate in the United States. The authors of this article used text analytics software to sift through 42,000 news articles about climate change between 2011 and 2015 and map the influence of the radical flank. They found that the divestment campaign expanded rapidly as a topic in worldwide media. In the process, it disrupted what had become a polarized debate and reframed the conflict by redrawing moral lines around acceptable behavior. The researcher's evidence suggests this shift enabled previously marginal policy ideas such as a carbon tax and carbon budget to gain greater traction in the debate. It also helped translate McKibben’s radical position into new issues like “stranded assets” and “unburnable carbon,” the idea that existing fossil fuel resources should remain in the ground.
  • This article discusses the findings of a group of researchers at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. They recently conducted an analysis that suggests divestment announcements have a statistically significant negative impact on the price of fossil fuel shares. The study aggregates the impact of more than 20 announcements across 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The results suggest that share prices dropped on the days that institutional investors announced they were divesting of fossil fuels.
Calls for Greater Fossil Fuel Divestment at Anniversary of Paris Climate Deal l The Guardian
  • Campaigners call for an end to fossil fuel finance and subsidies to avoid dangerous global warming at a meeting to mark two years since the signing of the landmark agreement.
  • The divestment of all petroleum companies would be a momentous change for Norway’s $1tn investment fund, itself fuelled by the country’s oil and gas revenues. But the recommendation last month from the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund that it sell its oil and gas stocks is forcing top Norwegian policymakers to grapple with the question of what the fund and the country wants to stand for.The oil fund’s advice for it to be allowed to sell out of petroleum stocks was grounded not in climate change arguments but financial ones. The fund’s own research found it could reduce Norway’s sensitivity to oil prices by selling petroleum stocks, without reducing returns. 
  • A group of 100 MPS, including Labour's Jeremy Corbyn and the the Green Party's Caroline Lucas, have called for a £612m pension fund to divest from fossil fuels, while leading chief financial officers have endorsed the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
  • In this opinion a piece, a current AU student discusses how, if the U.S. won’t make climate change a priority, it is even more important and immediate for American University to invest in the environment., and understand how our small activities affect the overall picture.
Fossil Free Yale, Local 33 rally outside Woodbridge l Yale News
  • Forty members of Fossil Free Yale and graduate student union Local 33 demanded that Yale disclose its fossil fuel investments and divest from fossil fuel at a protest outside Woodbridge Hall Friday afternoon. Representatives from the two groups delivered signatures from more than 1,000 Yale community members to University President Peter Salovey’s office. In addition to demanding that the University disclose investments and divest from fossil fuels, FFY and Local 33 called on Yale to make environmentally sustainable investments and sign the “We are Still In” declaration. Signatories of the declaration commit to the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement and denounce President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the accord.
Insurance Giant Axa Dumps Investments in Tar Sands Pipelines l The Guardian
  • One of the world’s biggest financial services companies is both dumping investments and ending insurance for controversial US oil pipelines, taking fossil fuel divestment to a new level. Axa is also quadrupling its divestment from coal businesses and increasing its green investments fivefold by 2020. The moves were announced at the One Planet Summit in Paris, called by the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to accelerate the use of global finance in fighting climate change.
Pacific North West College Divestment Update 2017 l 350 PDX
  • This article outlines fossil fuel divestment updates in the Portland, Oregon area.
Twenty Companies Join Nations Planning Coal Phase Out l Euro News
  • About 20 companies including Unilever, EDF and Iberdrola joined an international alliance of 26 nations on Tuesday pledging to phase out coal to combat global warming. At a climate summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, new members of the “Powering Past Coal Alliance” agreed that traditional coal power should be phased out by 2030 in rich nations and by 2050 in other parts of the world.

 

 

 

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