Weekly News Round-Up: January 4th, 2019


Weekly News Round-Up: January 4th, 2019

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

If you're planning on attending the Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, taking place February 10-12, 2019 in Tempe, AZ, don't forget to register and reserve your hotel room!

Have a great weekend, and Happy New Year!


Nicole Torrico (formerly Harman)
Program Manager, The Intentional Endowments Network

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Sign-On Opportunities

Global Investor Engagement on Meat Sourcing

  • This engagement effort, launched by The FAIRR Initiative and Ceres, will focus on six of the largest global restaurant chains (McDonald’s Corporation, Yum! Brands International, Restaurant Brands International, Chipotle, The Wendy’s Company, and Domino’s Pizza Inc), and will ask these companies to set, and report on, a clear strategy for how they are managing climate and water risks. Deadline for sign-on has been extended to January 18, 2019. More information is available on the FAIRR website here.

Statement of Investor Commitment to Support a Just Transition on Climate Change

  • PRI invites investors to sign on to a statement committing to support a just transition on climate change. Investors can make an important contribution as stewards of assets, allocators of capital and as influential voices in public policy to make sure that the transition produces inclusive and sustainable development.


More information on these opportunities is available on our Sign-On Opportunities page.

Sustainable Investing by Institutional Asset Owners

More Than 70 Dutch Schemes Back Sustainable Investment Covenant l Investments & Pensions Europe

  • More than 70 large Dutch pension funds with combined assets of almost €1.2trn have signed a covenant with NGOs, trade unions and the Dutch government pledging worldwide co-operation on sustainable investment. The aim of the agreement is to exert worldwide influence on policies and outcomes related to human rights, labour conditions, and the environment through pension funds’ combined investment clout. By mapping risks and negative impacts of investments, based on the UN’s Guiding Principles for businesses and human rights and OECD guidelines, companies must provide pension funds with a better picture of where human rights violations and environmental damage occur.

Canadian Pension Steps Up Gender Board Diversity Advocacy l Chief Investment Officer

  • The C$368.3 billion ($270.6 billion) Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) is looking to improve the gender balance of public company boards with its new Global Gender Diversity Voting Practice. Under the new policy, CPPIB will vote against the chair responsible for director nominations at the public companies it invests in if the board has no women directors.
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Major Funding Pledges Won't Close the Clean Energy Investment Gap l Scientific American

  • Several major financial institutions have made massive sustainable-investment pledges surrounding COP24 including The World Bank, five of Europe’s largest banks, and several countries. Analysis from climate scientists and experts suggests that major strides in emissions reductions will not be possible without greater investment, especially towards renewable energy. 

Sustainability: What Investors Can Learn From the UN and the Nobel Prize l Pictet

  • This article highlights how a sustainable economy will only become a reality if investors get serious about protecting the environment. That's the message from the UN and the Nobel committee. 

The Year In Impact Enterprise and Investing l Forbes

  • This article takes pause to consider what took place in the world of social enterprise and impact investing, sharing five noteworthy happenings.

Investments That Make a Positive Impact l Net

  • In this article, Fairstone, one of the UK’s largest Chartered Financial Planning firms, chief operating officer Adam Smith takes a look at the ethical investing space.
Gender Lens Investing

Want To Discuss Gender Lens Investing? #MeToo l Forbes

  • This article highlights how, increasingly discussed in asset management firms and the financial press alike, gender lens investing is one of the most rapidly growing segments of sustainable investing. Specifically, gender lens investing in an investment thesis that seeks to turn the abstract idea of an investment’s benefit to women into a functional investment strategy. It integrates gender-based factors into investment decisions with goals ranging from enhancing risk-adjusted returns to driving gender equality.
Investment Firm News

Natixis Investment Managers Launches Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund l Business Wire

  • Natixis Investment Managers today announced the launch of the Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund (MRVYX), an international equity mutual fund which utilizes Mirova’s sustainable investing experience. The Mirova International Sustainable Equity Fund is an all-cap international equity fund that seeks long-term capital appreciation. The Fund also seeks to maximize exposure to companies with a positive impact on the SDGs, while avoiding companies whose activities or products have a negative impact on or create risk to achieving such goals.

Qatar Stock Exchange Launches Its ESG Platform l Mondovisione

  • Qatar Stock Exchange is pleased to announce the launch of its online ‘Qatar Stock Exchange Sustainability and ESG Platform’. This platform is designed to accelerate the objectives of the QSE Guidance on ESG reporting launched in December 2016 to support listed companies report on key ESG indicators. 

NTR Plc Announces Commitments for NTR Renewable Energy Income Fund II l Renewable Energy Magazine

  • NTR has secured commitments of 229 million euros for its second renewable energy income fund of which 145 million euros has been secured for the fund’s first close. The fund is targeting 500 million euros which will be invested in both pre-construction and operational onshore wind and solar projects across a number of European markets, together with energy storage that is associated with the wind and solar projects owned by the fund. Legal & General Capital has joined the fund as a cornerstone investor in an NTR fund for the second time.

Canterbury Consulting 2019 Investment Forum To Focus On Environmental, Social And Governance Investing l Cision

  • Canterbury Consulting, an independent investment advisory firm overseeing more than $18.3 billion, will host its 2019 Investment Forum, on January 17, 2019 in Newport Beach, Calif. The forum is an annual assembly of prominent thought leaders in investment management that Canterbury Consulting hosts each year for its endowment, foundation, healthcare organizations, and family clients.
Climate Risk, Science, and Regulation

The US Needs a New Approach to Invest in Resilient Infrastructure and Communities l Brookings

  • This article explores how another hurricane season might be over, but many communities still face a long path toward recovery. Beyond the enormous toll on individual households and businesses, overall costs have soared to billions of dollars during the immediate response. And that’s not even the scariest part: Disasters like Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael only represent a small taste of the expected rise in daily flooding and other chronic environmental threats we’re going to face in years to come.
  • The Trump administration proposed on Friday major changes to the way the federal government calculates the benefits, in human health and safety, of restricting mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants. In the proposal, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a finding declaring that federal rules imposed on mercury by the Obama administration are too costly to justify. It drastically changed the formula the government uses in its required cost-benefit analysis of the regulation by taking into account only certain effects that can be measured in dollars, while ignoring or playing down other health benefits.

2018 Climate, Energy, Environmental, & CleanTech Reflections l Green Biz

  • In this article, the executive editor of Green Biz shares some storylines that showed the promise and progress of sustainable business, after perusing the 1,248 articles, analyses, and columns published in 2018 on GreenBiz. 
General Higher Education Endowment News

Why Harvard’s Portfolio of California Vineyards is Raising Concern l The Real Deal

  • Harvard University’s endowment is making a hefty profit buying up and working prime land for wine grapes in central California, but not everyone is happy about the investment strategy. The university has leveraged its $39 billion endowment to pay top dollar for several thousand acres in central California to build its grape-growing business, now worth around $305 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. The university is fielding questions after drilling deep wells to gain greater access to water than surrounding farmers.
Fossil Fuel Divestment

The Case Against Divesting From Oil Stocks l Barron's

  • This article discusses how markets are becoming more sensitive to climate threats, and so are the traditional energy companies that traditionally get left out of the sustainable investing discussion when it comes to advances in tackling climate change. In particular, the article highlights how some large energy companies are making investments in clean energy, sharing that in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available, the oil majors spent a total of $6.2 billion on renewable energy firms, and according to a recent report, by 2035, big oil could have invested as much as $350 billion in wind and solar to retain its advantage in the energy sector. 

Why National University of Singapore Students are Pushing For Divestment From Fossil Fuels l Today

  • The special report from the IPCC contained stark warnings to drastically reduce global greenhouse gas emissions called for governments to fully decarbonize their economies as soon as possible, which necessitates transitioning from fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy. This is why a group of National University of Singapore students, have been campaigning for divestment from fossil fuels. Student efforts have been targeted towards getting NUS, who invests a small percentage of its S$3.7 billion endowment in fossil fuels, to commit to full divestment by 2024.

American University Lagging on Clean Energy (Opinion)  l The Daily Progress

  • This opinion piece discusses how American University students began calling for divestment from fossil fuels in 2007, and outlines the case for why it should be considered.
Calendar of Upcoming Events
2019 Foundation Leadership Forum l AGB, January 27-29, 2019, Fort Lauderdale, FL

2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit | February 10-12, 2019, Tempe, AZ

2019 Endowment and Debt Management Forum l NACUBO, February 13-15, 2019, New York, NY

9th Annual Practitioners Gathering - Truth and Transparency l Confluence Philanthropy, March 4-7, 2019, New York, NY

Fundamentals of the Opportunity Finance Industry/Certificate in Community Development Finance Course l  Center for Impact Finance at the University of New Hampshire & Opportunity Finance Network, April 10-12, 2019, Durham, NC

Total Impact Philadelphia 2018 l Total Impact, April 26-27, 2018, Philadelphia, PA 




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