Weekly News Round-Up: March 23rd, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: March 23rd, 2018

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

If you're in the Boston-area, be sure to register for IEN's Community Impact Investing Roundtable, taking place April 27th.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
IEN in the News

Investing With a Purpose l Business Officer

  • In this article, IEN Co-Founder and Principal Anthony Cortese discusses how endowment assets aligned with institution values and mission can reap positive financial and social returns.

A Cooperative Path Toward Divestment l Business Officer

  • In this case study, IEN Steering Committee member Carl Vance discusses the collaborative process among trustees, administration, faculty, staff, students, and alumni that IEN Member Lewis and Clark College implemented for a smooth transition to a fossil fuel–free campus.

Matching Investments to Mission l Business Officer

  • This case study describes IEN Member Becker College's transition to 100% impact investing in their endowment as the author shares three key insights that have emerged from their experience.
 
Sustainable Investing at  Endowments & Foundations

Nathan Cummings Foundation's Going 'All In' Was A Long Time In The Making l Forbes

  • The Nathan Cummings Foundation recently announced it’s going "all in"--redeploying its entire $443 million endowment to impact investments aligned with its mission. But as you might imagine, the decision didn’t happen overnight. It was a year in the making. Or maybe five, depending on how you look at it. Or more. This article explores the process.

Durham University to Divest its Shares in Fossil Fuels l Climate Action

  • One of Britain’s oldest and most revered universities is joining the growing movement of institutions who are divesting from companies involved in fossil fuel extraction. Durham University took the decision after a year-long consultation which reviewed the options, impacts, and views of the college.

The University of Bristol Announces Sector-Leading Fossil Free Divestment Target l University of Bristol

  • The University of Bristol has pledged to divest completely from all investments in fossil fuel companies within two years.

Mercers, Guns, and Opioids: When Should a College Divest? l Bloomberg

  • This article explores how Michigan State University has responded to various divestment campaigns and explores the process behind several college funds that have moved to shed investments related to fossil fuels, including Lewis & Clark College and Barnard College.
 
New Reports, Resources and Opportunities for Action

Investor Statement on Gun Violence: Invitation to Endorse - Deadline 3/23 l ICCR

  • In the aftermath of last month’s mass shooting in Parkland, a student-led movement has arisen that is demanding a legislative response to the epidemic of gun violence in our country. The objective of publishing this statement is to communicate the importance this issue holds for investors and to challenge companies to reflect on how they can contribute positively to resolve gun violence. 

Investment for Impact Research Prize l UC Berkeley Haas

  • Submissions Due April 3rd. The Investment for Impact Research Prize awards outstanding research pertaining to the social impact of capital. The prize was created by UC Berkeley Haas to encourage rigorous academic research on the impact of capital investments and to widely disseminate findings across both the academic and practitioner community.

Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing: Reshaping Financial Markets l The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)

  • This report assesses industry progress to date and outlines specific actions needed to exponentially enhance the scale and effectiveness of impact investing across the world.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights Facebook's privacy fiasco takes a toll on shareholders; Water and money have a $1 trillion relationship crisis; and the pipeline for green bonds and green loans is improving says ING's Leonie Schreve.

What to Do With Those Divested Billions? The Only Way is Ethics l The Guardian

  • This article, sponsored by the Skoll Foundation, discusses how SRI investment is soaring, and explores what the best options are for investors, and what potential impacts of those investments can be.

How to Invest With a Conscience (and Still Make Money) l The New York Times

  • Jean Case, the chief executive of the Case Foundation, is a leader in impact investing, a movement that aims to force social change by minimizing or eliminating investors’ exposure to companies that harm the world and achieve a solid return. In this article, she discusses some tips that even the most committed impact investor should consider.
  • This article explores how women today are taking on the challenges of this millennium with uncommon vigor and creativity by managing family, career and education in ways that are transforming how we live and work. Not surprisingly, as they begin taking a more active role in investing, the feminine footprint is making a notable impression on wealth management as a whole and on impact investing in particular.

Why ESG Investing Provides Competitive Advantage l Advisor.ca

  • Incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions is more than a niche practice for specialized funds. It’s become a “competitive advantage” for asset managers, says CIBC’s Dominique Barker. “It’s not just for SRI funds that have negative screening. It’s for all investments and [helps to make] better investment decisions for our end clients,” says Barker.

ESG Researcher Sustainalytics Buys Solaron Sustainability Services l Pensions & Investments

  • ESG research firm Sustainalytics purchased certain assets from Solaron Sustainability Services, a provider of environmental, social and governance ratings and research to global investors, confirmed Sustainalytics spokeswoman Cheryl Gustitus.

Community Foundations Go All-In on Place-Based Investing l B The Change

  • This article highlights The Baltimore Community Foundation, which is part of a growing wave of community foundations that are looking to shift part of their endowments away from Wall Street and into local businesses, affordable housing, and projects aligned with their place-based missions.
  • This article offers key questions to ask yourself if you've been considering a shift to a more ESG-friendly portfolio.

Impact Investing Basics l Investopedia

  • This article explores some of the common phrases used in impact investing and how it differs from traditional investing.
 
Shareholder Engagement

The Financial Choice Act Could Pose Obstacles to Shareholder Resolutions l Impactivate

  • Ostensibly designed to remove some of the more onerous regulations of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Financial Choice Act now working its way through Congress could also introduce much stricter rules for shareholders wanting to submit proposals for annual meetings, and in turn may hamper efforts to get ESG issues on the agenda.

How ESG Considerations Can Drive Voting at the Board Level l SWFI

  • The Council of Institutional Investor’s spring conference was packed with nearly 400 of the top investment professionals, regulators and corporate governance experts who gathered together to share their insights and engage in forward-looking discussions on how to drive a multi-stakeholder approach to responsible investment over the long-term. This article explores one panel that focused on how ESG considerations can inform board level voting.

Institutional Investor Survey Highlights Increasing Engagement l Seeking Alpha

  • A February 2018 survey by consultancy Morrow Sodali highlights the current state of engagement between global institutional investors and the companies in which they invest. According to the survey, institutional investors want more detailed disclosure from portfolio companies about their boards of directors, business strategies, and ESG.
 
Sustainable Development Goals Investment News

How Investable are the Sustainable Development Goals? l Climate Action

  • Speaking at the Sustainable Investment Forum in Paris last week, Eric Usher, head of the UN Environment’s Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI), said that the SDGs have “come forward very quickly, faster than I would have thought”. UNEP-FI’s own work estimates that the world will need to find roughly $6 trillion dollars a year from now until 2030 to achieve the goals, but that half of that is flowing already. Of that half, they think that 60 percent is already coming from the private sector.
 
Ammunition and Weapon Divestment

Massachusetts Treasurer Backs Bill to Divest Pension Fund From Gun Companies l Mass Live

  • Massachusetts Treasurer Deborah Goldberg is backing a new bill that would require the state pension fund to divest from companies that sell or manufacture guns. The bill was filed after a school shooting in Florida galvanized a nationwide movement for stricter gun control laws.

CalPERS Won't Pull its Money Out of Gun Sellers. Here's What it's Doing Instead l Sacramento Bee

  • The CalPERS Board of Administration on Monday stated they aren't ready to entirely break from companies that sell weapons and ammunition, and instead wants to continue its practice of using its clout as a $355 billion pension fund to compel changes in business practices. Its leaders believe pressure from CalPERS contributed to recent decisions by Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart to restrict gun sales.
 
Investment Manager News

Glenmede Sponsors Impactivate℠: The Impact Investing Exchange l Business Wire

  • The Glenmede Trust Company, a privately-held and independently owned investment and wealth management firm with $40 billion in assets under management (AUM), announced today the launch of Impactivate℠, a website that showcases articles from journalists and thought leaders on the environmental, social and governance continuum.

Hermes to Launch ESG Credit Fund l Portfolio Adviser

  • This article outlines how Hermes Investment Management is boosting its fixed income prowess with the launch of an unconstrained ESG credit fund later this year.

Pimco Hires Heavyweights for Advisory Board and ESG Team l City Wire

  • Former White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten will join the firm’s global advisory board and Gavin Power has been hired as chief of international affairs and sustainable development.

Building an Impact Investing Business that Makes a Real Difference l Insead Knowledge

  • This article explores how How one of the world’s largest asset managers is experimenting with a unique impact investing model in Asia.
 
Climate Risk, Science and Regulation

This College Wants To Be The First 100% Renewable Campus In The U.S. l Fast Company

  • In 2015, the Hawaii Legislature and the University of Hawaii system established a joint goal: The entire university network, which comprises 10 campuses across the islands, will be “net zero” by 2035, meaning that the system would generate as much renewable energy as it consumes. UH’s Maui College will be among the first campuses in the nation to generate 100% of its energy from an on-site solar installation, coupled with battery storage, meeting this goal in 2019.

Why Fuel Economy Standards Matter to U.S. Energy Dominance l Council on Foreign Relations

  • As the secretary of energy insists on maximizing energy exports and a more pragmatic national energy policy, the larger Trump administration stands on the precipice of making a major decision about the fate of long-standing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. This article offers a data-driven analysis of CAFE standards and explains how they are quite pivotal to enhancing the United States’ net oil exports levels.

ESG Q&A: Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment l CFA Institute

  • This article is a Q&A with  Richard Millar, one of the founders of the Oxford Martin Net Zero Carbon Investment Initiative, who explores principles he developed to help investors understand the issue of climate change, how climate change can affect the economy, and how to engage in climate-conscious investing.
 
General Higher Education Endowment News

Harvard’s Nutty Idea: Cracking Into the Almond Market l Wall Street Journal

  • In the Australian state of New South Wales, Harvard University is developing around 1,480 acres of former potato fields and other farmland, building a new dam and planting trees that will take about three years to bear their first edible crops. It is part of a growing bet on almonds by the college’s endowment, which is adding to around 1,235 acres of almond plantations it already owns near a township called Hillston.
 
Fossil Fuel Divestment

Hammersmith & Fulham Weighs up Fossil Fuel Divestment l Pensions Experts

  • The £1bn London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham Superannuation Fund is discussing whether to lower its fossil fuel exposure as part of its next investment strategy review. The fund is also looking for ways to influence companies with voting rights. According to environmental data provider CDP, only 12% of companies provide incentives to their boards for the management of climate change-related matters within their organizations.

McGill Professors Debate the Effectiveness of Fossil Fuel Divestment l McGill Tribune

  • A panel of four McGill professors debated the merits of fossil fuel divestment at an event organized by Divest McGill this week. While the topic remains contentious at McGill, 133 educational institutions worldwide have already divested their endowments from the fossil fuel industry, including Laval University, the only Canadian institution to do so.
 
Calendar of Upcoming Events

Webinar:  Measuring Effectiveness: Roadmap to Assessing System-level and SDG Investing l The Investment Integration Project, March 26, 2018, 1:00 p.m. ET

  • This webinar will provide an overview of a new report that provides investors with a breakthrough roadmap for measuring the effectiveness of system-level investing strategies, including measuring progress toward achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Impact Capitalism Summit 2018 l Big Path Capital, April 17-18, 2018, Chicago, IL

  • This conference will explore how institutional investors are finding market performance returns and better by looking at diversity as a potential source of arbitrage.

Ceres Conference 2018 l Ceres, April 24-26, 2018, Boston, MA

  • This event brings together more than 600 investor and company leaders and advocates, featuring compelling, content-rich sessions, engaging keynotes and valuable networking opportunities for attendees. 

IEN Roundtable: Community Impact Investing l Intentional Endowments Network, April 27, 2018, Boston, MA

  • The Intentional Endowments Network will host a Community Impact Investing Roundtable focused on opportunities for place-based investing. The Roundtable will convene endowment and foundation decision-makers and other stakeholders interested in enhancing their leadership on sustainable investing.

Mission Forward! MIE’s 2018 National Conference l Mission Investors Exchange, May 14-16, 2018, Chicago, IL

  • This conference offers an action-focused, collaborative, and personal space for foundations to renew and build partnerships, experience on-the-ground impact investments, share investment opportunities, meet leading voices in the field, and shape the future of the impact investing movement.

Davos on the Delta l iSelect Fund, May 15-17, 2018, Memphis, TN

  • This ag industry event will feature presentations, group discussions, and one-on-one networking, and participants will explore the changing agriculture landscape and the new opportunities it is creating across the value chain. 

The 29th Annual SRI Conference l November 1-3, 2018, Colorado Springs, CO

  • The SRI Conference is the longest running annual gathering of investors and investment professionals working to make money and direct the flow of investment capital toward a truly sustainable future.