Weekly News Round-Up: March 30th, 2018

 
Weekly News Round-Up: March 30th, 2018

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

Please note that while asset manager tickets are sold out, tickets for endowments and foundations for our Community Impact Investing Roundtable, taking place April 27th, are still available!

Also, The US SIF Foundation announced this week that the window for the 2018 Biennial Trends Survey is now open. See below for information on how to participate.

Finally, IEN is pleased to be partnering with Confluence Philanthropy to support their upcoming Advisors Forum in NYC; please save the dates, June 19-20, 2018.

Have a great weekend,

Nicole

Program Manager
The Intentional Endowments Network

 
IEN in the News

Intentionally Designed Endowment Case Studies and Article Published in Business Officer Magazine l Intentional Endowments Network Blog

  • This March The Intentional Endowments Network published an article on 'Investing With Purpose' as well as two institution case studies: 'A Cooperative Path Toward Divestment' featuring IEN Member Lewis & Clark College, and 'Matching Investments to Mission' featuring IEN Member Becker College. 
 
Sustainable Investing at  Endowments & Foundations

One Year After Divestment Decision, Barnard Shifts Focus to Sustainability Practices l Columbia Spectator

  • While Barnard has taken steps towards divestment over the course of the past year, the college has noticeably shifted its environmental focus away from conversations surrounding divestment in favor of long-term sustainability initiatives. With the help of FFI and UCS, the college’s working group is refining the six criteria and scoring methodology that it plans to use to assess companies and ultimately devise a climate action list.

Nathan Cummings No Longer Just Experimenting with Impact Investing l Non-Profit Quarterly

  • This article dives into how this month, one of the leaders in impact investing, the Nathan Cummings Foundation (NCF), based in New York City, announced it intends to invest almost all of its endowment in funds that focus on alleviating climate change and reducing social inequality.

Washington University to Consider Creation of Endowment Transparency Committee l WU Student Life

  • Chancellor Mark Wrighton met with students to discuss the creation of a transparency committee to increase accountability in the University’s investment, endowment, and socioeconomic diversity March 22. While Wrighton announced he would not divest the University’s endowment from fossil fuel companies last April, he was open to the idea of creating a transparency committee on the endowment.
 
New Reports, Resources and Opportunities for Action

US SIF Foundation Opens 2018 Survey on US Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Trends l Digital Journal

  • US SIF Foundation announced today that the window for the 2018 Biennial Trends Survey is now open. The survey will provide data for the 2018 edition of its Trends report.  For reference, please see the 2016 report and this piece showing Highlights from Educational Institutions. To request a customized link to participate, contact the US SIF research team at trends@ussif.org. All survey responses are confidential. 

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

  • The Roadmap for the Future of Impact Investing: Reshaping Financial Markets presents a  vision for more inclusive and sustainable financial markets and articulates a plan for impact investing to lead progress toward this future. Specifically, the Roadmap details six categories of action to drive progress toward the vision. For each category, the Roadmap describes specific actions needed, which stakeholders should lead on these actions, and a timeframe.

Plant-Based Profits: Investment Risks and Opportunities in Sustainable Food Systems l FAIRR

  • This report outlines drivers of demand for sustainable protein, how investors are responding, how companies are responding, and progress on FAIRR’s sustainable protein engagement with 16 global food companies.

Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2018 l Rainforest Action Network

  • The ninth annual fossil fuel finance report explores how a handful of banks have published policies restricting their financing to some of the most carbon intensive, financially risky, and environmentally destructive fossil fuels. But as these grades show, banks have a long way to go to align their businesses with climate stability.
 
Sustainable, Responsible, Impact & ESG Investing

Bloomberg Brief l Sustainable Finance

  • This week's Bloomberg Brief highlights how new green loan principles could propel issuance in the fledgling green lending market; Facebook shares turn toxic for some ESG funds; and Krystal Berrini of CamberView Partners on what's driving momentum this proxy season.

Institutional Investors Say More Data Needed for Adequate Sustainable Investing Strategies l Pensions & Investments

  • This week,  delegates heard at the World Pensions Council's annual conference how institutional investors can't fill all of the need that has been created through the efforts of the global community to introduce sustainability and climate change considerations into investment strategies because the right products and practices are not yet there.

A Closer Look at Impact Investing l McKinsey

  • Findings from McKinsey research in India— a testbed of new impact-investment ideas, where some 50 investors have poured $5.2 billion into projects since 2010 and investment is growing at a 14 percent annual clip— suggests that as more companies and larger investors become acquainted with the true state of play, in India and elsewhere, they’ll find investment opportunities that align with their social and business aims.

It's Cool to be Kind: Family Offices and Impact Investing l Camden FB

  • The term “impact investing” celebrated its 10th birthday in 2017, a year where it seemed every other investment house launched a new fund offering to tap into the trend. But what does it really take to be an impact investor? Alexandra Newlove speaks to those active in the sector. 

7 Ways to Effectively Work With Your Investor Relations Team on Sustainability l GreenBiz

  • This article outlines common barriers and tips to proactively engage your investor relations team and collaborate to plan and execute an effective SRI strategy.
 
Shareholder Engagement

ConocoPhillips Agrees to Expand Lobbying Disclosure l Walden Asset Management

  • In 2017, 21 investors joined Walden in co-filing a shareholder resolution asking ConocoPhillips to expand disclosure of its lobbying activities and expenditures. The company convened several in-depth dialogues with sponsors of the resolution. In March ConocoPhillips communicated that it will add more information on its lobbying activities to the company's website. Walden and the co-filers agreed to withdraw the resolution and continue an ongoing dialogue.

BlackRock Investment Stewardship’s Approach to Engagement on Human Capital Management l Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation

  • This article describes how BlackRock has an industry leading global investment stewardship program that promotes corporate governance best practices at the companies in which we invest. This program is part of the investment function at BlackRock, fulfilling our fiduciary duty to protect and enhance the value of our clients’ assets.
 
Sustainable Development Goals Investment News

Europe Forum Queries Investability of SDGs l IISD

  • UNEP-FI estimates that, of the US$6 trillion a year needed to achieve the SDGs, half is already flowing, with approximately 60% coming from the private sector. The EU’s new Action Plan on sustainable finance underscores the need for a "change of culture" to tackle climate change by improving transparency and accountability.

Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles May Shape Future Ocean Investment l Seafood Source

  • With the goal of preserving and increasing the value generated by the world’s oceans, corporate, environmental, non-profit and other participants in the Economist World Ocean Summit, held in Mexico from 7 to 9 March, created a new set of voluntary guidelines for institutional investors to create a path toward greater aquatic sustainability. The blue economy principles emerged out of a partnership between the European Commission, WWF, the Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit, and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
 
Ammunition and Weapon Divestment

Repeal the Second Amendment: Are Investors In? l ETF.com

  • Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens is calling for the repeal of the Second Amendment to allow for significant gun control legislation, but are investors willing to put their money in gun-free ETFs? Stevens argued the Second Amendment had been warped by gun lobbyists at the National Rifle Association to extend beyond its original intent, stating in an essay on the New York Times website that District of Columbia v. Heller, “has provided the N.R.A. with a propaganda weapon of immense power.”

Why BlackRock Is Engaging with Gun Makers and Retailers l Morningstar

  • This article explores how asset manager BlackRock released a list of questions that they were asking gun retailers and gun manufacturers in the aftermath of the Parkland, Fla., shooting.

Academe vs. U.S. Gun Culture l Inside Higher Ed

  • In this opinion piece, Rebecca Dyer highlights the growing movement to divest from gun manufacturers.
 
Investment Manager News

Natixis Unveils ESG Global Equities Fund l Financial Standard

  • Natixis Investment Managers has launched a new global equities fund aimed at Australian institutional investors, in partnership with a $14 billion socially responsible investment affiliate.

Where's The 'F' in ESG? l Wilshire Investing Consultants

  • This paper describes how Wilshire Consulting incorporates ESG considerations into their risk lens framework and, within that context, explores the link between ESG, drawdown and behavioral risks. The paper also outlines three steps to help guide this process: identifying what matters; clarify objectives and trade-offs; and integrating into investment decisions.

What is Sustainable Investing and Can it Really Make a Difference to the World? l BQ

  • In this article, Debjani Raffan, head of UBS Wealth Management Scotland, tells Bryce Wilcock why the company is committed to helping its clients make an impact as well as a profit.

Partners Group Launches $1bn Social Impact Fund to Meet Demand l Financial Times

  • Partners Group, the second largest private equity group by market capitalization, has become the latest buyout group to start such a fund, launching a global $1bn “impact” fund aimed at investing in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals, people familiar with the move said.

Architas Plans to Launch Socially Responsible Fund l FT Adviser

  • Architas is planning to create a SRI multi-asset fund later this year. Frank Potaczek, head of distribution for Architas, said there was "enormous appetite" for a fund of funds-style portfolio blending the best of the SRI, impact and ethically-managed funds available to UK investors.

Appleseed Capital Named One of ‘Best Places to Work’ for Financial Advisors; InvestmentNews Identifies Firms ‘Empowering Employees to Provide Best Possible Advice to Clients' l Business Wire

  • Appleseed Capital, an investment and financial advisory firm that provides investment and wealth management services to individuals, family offices, foundations and institutions, has been named by InvestmentNews as one of the Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors 2018.

Krawcheck's Ellevest Rolls Out Funds to Invest in Women l CNBC

  • Socially responsible and impact investing is becoming more popular with investors who want to make money while trying to achieve social and economic change. Investments in the new funds announced Tuesday could include small business loans to women business owners or sustainable housing for workforce tenants and families.

Inspire Corporate Bond Impact Fund Grows to Become Largest Socially Responsible Investing Fixed-Income ETF in the U.S. l Next Billion

  • Inspire Investing continued their ascension in the investing industry with a big day of inflows on Tuesday, propelling their Inspire Corporate Bond Impact ETF to become the largest Socially Responsible-themed fixed-income ETF by assets under management, according to data from ETF.com.
 
Climate Risk & Clean Energy

$1bn Renewable Energy Facility Launched for Sub-Saharan Africa l ESI Africa

  • The African Trade Insurance (ATI) and European Investment Bank (EIB) have launched a $1 billion Renewable Energy Facility for sub-Saharan Africa. The facility is supported by the government of Germany and the EU as part of their commitment to backing the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. The facility was launched at the Berne Union Spring Meeting hosted by ATI and supported by the government of Kenya.

Asian Companies Step Up Fight Against Climate Change l The Asset ESG Forum

  • According to this article, a greater number of Asian companies are now actively pursuing business strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We Have Built More Offshore Wind Capacity Than Any Other Company in the World l Climate Action

  • In the margins of the recent Sustainable Investment Forum Europe in Paris, Climate Action’s Editor, Adam Wentworth, caught up with Danish-based energy company Ørsted. The global leader in clean energy has a huge offshore wind pipeline of projects that will reach a total of 8.9 gigawatts installed capacity by 2022 and an ambition to install 11-12 gigawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2025, enough to power 30 million people.

Electric Cars May Be Cheaper Than Gas Guzzlers in Seven Years l Bloomberg

  • Electric cars may be cheaper than their petroleum counterparts by 2025 if the cost of lithium-ion batteries continues to fall. Some models will cost the same as combustion engines as soon as 2024 and become cheaper the following year, according to a report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
 
General Higher Education Endowment News

University of Georgia Endowment Picks New CIO l Institutional Investor

  • The University of Georgia Foundation has hired Jason Bull, a longtime managing director with Emory University's endowment, as its chief investment officer, according to a UGA Foundation spokesperson.
 
Fossil Fuel Divestment

Harvard Board Member Makes Rare Call For Fossil Fuel Divestment l WKZO

  • A member of a Harvard University oversight board made a rare public call for the school to divest itself from fossil fuel stocks, a move that shows continuing divisions on the issue as a new president takes over at the institution and its leading $37.1 billion endowment. Kat Taylor, a member of Harvard's 32-member Board of Overseers, said in an interview this week that while she was proud of Harvard's efforts to reduce its climate impact, it should also start to screen out stocks like oil companies from its investment portfolio.

NYU Divest and SLAM Occupy New Admissions Center, Demand Trustee Action l NYU News

  • NYU Divest and the Student Labor Action Movement, two prominent student activist organizations, occupied the first floor of the newly opened Bonomi Family Admissions Center for approximately eight hours on Monday. The groups have co-written a letter addressed to NYU administration and trustees detailing specific demands.
 
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.

Webinar: Water Risk Due Diligence for Private Equity: In Context of Cape Town and Future Water Disruptions Ahead l Ceres, April 4th, 2018, 12:00 pm ET

  • Join Ceres, The Columbia Water Center, Encourage Capital and Water Asset Management for an overview of the risk drivers behind the situation in Cape Town along with the importance of water risk due diligence in Private Equity.  

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.

Climate Resilient Cities Symposium l EarthX, April 21, 2018, Dallas, TX

  • This half-day program brings together 75 to 100 elected representatives, government officials, and business, foundation and non-profit leaders active in ensuring that cities are proactive in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

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. 

Confluence Philanthropy's 2018 Advisors Forum l June 19-20, 2018, New York, NY

  • The Advisors Forum will convene Confluence members and colleagues to explore how we can work together to scale the impact industry. Discussions will focus on cutting-edge themes including investing in diversity, inclusion, and equity; sustainability; and barriers to deal flow. IEN members will receive the member rate to participate.

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.