Amrita Sareen, Senior Advisor at the Intentional Endowment Network in this post interviews three industry specialists to gain insight on the evolving landscape and potential opportunities of addressing net-zero strategies with a racial equity lens.
While many endowments recently announced targets towards net-zero portfolios, a growing number of market practitioners realize the strategic imperative to address net-zero strategies with a racial equity lens.
An inclusive and just approach in transitioning to net zero not only provides for positive social impact but could result in broader economic benefits and ultimate value to bottom-line returns. Further, investors who ignore the racial equity links to addressing climate change, restrict their portfolio’s access to meaningful net-zero investment opportunities, thereby constraining returns, according to some market experts.
While still in its nascent stages, advocates of addressing climate change with a racial equity overlay stress how one cannot be achieved without the other. The business models that are needed to reach net-zero carbon emissions will not be successful or sustainable unless they utilize the skills, insights, and contributions of people of color, and minimize destabilizing inequities.
As investors contemplate the idea of net-zero portfolios with a racial equity lens, the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) continues to further the conversation and educate stakeholders on this strategic intersection.
Pursuing net-zero endowments that are net-positive for racial equity is simply prudent risk management. IEN convened key market participants to accelerate corporate climate action to reduce systemic risk for all investors, through its Net Zero Endowments initiative. Moreover, given the negative impact of climate change on racial equity and the positive impact of racial equity on climate solutions, integrating racial equity strategies is a key lever to a successful net-zero portfolio. By providing a primer on investing in racial equity, IEN aims to help endowments contribute to an equitable and just transition to a low-carbon economy.
In this vein, IEN approached industry specialists to gain insight on the evolving landscape and potential opportunities. The specialists included:
This Q&A article is part of a series with expert perspectives from the IEN community; Click here to access previous interviews”