Bella Alvarez

  • Weekly News Round-Up: August 4, 2022

    We invite you to join the third webinar in our unconscious bias series on August 17, 2022 at 11 AM ET. This interactive workshop will foster a conversation about impediments to hiring for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and more importantly how to mitigate against our inherent biases.

    There is also still time to register for our learning café with the Southern Reconstruction Fund (SRF) on Monday, August 8! Join SRF to learn about their efforts to grow Black and brown fund managers through FundONE and their first major initiative, the FundONE Prize.

    In this week’s news, the NYC Comptroller criticizes BlackRock’s fossil fuel holdings, a Cambridge University student examines how its ties with arms and fossil fuel companies abandon the global majority, and JPMorgan Chase invests in a fund to boost Latino entrepreneurs.

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  • Weekly News Round-Up: July 28, 2022

    We invite you to join us on August 8th at 12 PM for a learning cafe with the Southern Reconstruction Fund! More details and a link to register can be found here.

    Thank you to those who were able to join us for Tuesday’s webinar on decarbonizing the maritime industry and global supply chain with EnTrust Global. Registrants and IEN Members can view the recording here.

    Sponsorship opportunities are available for our upcoming Nest Summit Roundtable on September 22nd, a part of Climate Week NYC, and for our 2023 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Please contact Georges Dyer for more information on sponsoring either of these events.

    In this week’s news, The University of Northampton divests from fossil fuels, Wellcome Trust sells shares in a number of fossil fuel companies, and Senators Chuck Schumer and Joe Manchin appear to reach a deal on a significant bill with implications for U.S. emissions targets.

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  • Workshop: Unconscious Bias in Hiring and Belonging

    October 6, 2022

    1 PM ET

    Register

    This highly interactive 90-minute workshop on unconscious bias in hiring and belonging fostered a conversation about what gets in our way when it comes to hiring for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging and more importantly how to mitigate against our inherent biases. We readily acknowledge that it would defy human nature to rid ourselves our biases because as humans are wired in that way. The Workshop was a “laboratory” in which participants learned how to:

    • Understand what unconscious is and where it stems from
    • Be mindful of the potential impact of unconscious bias
    • Understand the different types of biases that can show up in a candidate’s hiring process
    • Utilize tactics to mitigate the impact of unconscious biases
    • Ask your questions: what works, what doesn’t
    • Avoid common interviewing pitfalls
    • Apply a sense of belonging by aligning uniqueness and belonging
    • Understand what belonging is and why it’s important to foster

    The purpose of this workshop was to

    • Gain insights into the impact of inclusion and the extent to which one is inclusive (or exclusive)
    • Foster a sense of belonging where everyone can bring their authentic selves to work and thrive
    • Learn practical skills and tools for being more inclusive and identify how these can be used in one’s own work context
    • Practice the skills in a diverse and safe environment
    • Craft a plan of actionable steps based on the Inclusive Leadership Behaviors that fosters psychological safety work, and inclusive work environment

    Slide Deck

    Speaker:

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     Demetriouse Russell, CEO, Venn Diagram Partners, LLC

     Learn more about Demetriouse

     

     

     

     

     


  • published Learning Cafe with MSCI in Past Webinars 2022-07-12 09:26:32 -0400

    Learning Cafe with MSCI

    August 22, 2022

    12 PM ET

    The urgency of preventing the worst extremes of a changing climate is spurring investors, companies, financial intermediaries and policymakers across the world to sharpen their focus on efforts to drive down greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero. Investors are monitoring whether companies have credible plans to reduce their emissions and tracking the alignment of portfolios with the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius (2°C), preferably no more than 1.5°C, to prevent the worst extremes of a warming world.

     

    Reaching net-zero will demand extraordinary action. Ninety percent of listed companies are currently on an emissions pathway that would put global temperature rise above 1.5°C. It also will demand intuitive, forward-looking tools that help investors differentiate which companies in every sector will help them achieve net-zero and which will get in the way of that goal. Join us as we share some of the solutions that several of the world’s leading institutions have leveraged to both minimize climate risk while capturing solution based opportunities which are poised to provide a potential risk premia as we transition to a low carbon economy.

    Slides

    Recording:

    Speakers: 

     

      

     

     

     Ariel Nicholas, Vice President, ESG Client Coverage Group | Climate Solutions Specialist, MSCI

     Learn more about Ariel

     

     

     

     

     


  • published Endowment Progress 2021 in Endowment Progress By Year 2022-05-24 13:51:29 -0400

    Endowment Progress 2021

    Columbia University does not hold any direct investments in publicly traded oil and gas companies and has recently formalized this policy of non-investment by revising their investment policy. 

    Creighton University announced it plans to phase out all investments in fossil fuels from its $587 million endowment within the next 10 years and target new investments in sustainable energy.

    Amherst College Board of Trustees has announced it would officially divest from fossil fuel interests and phase out the remaining investments in directly held, long-term fossil fuel funds by 2030.

    Babson College Board of Trustees voted to integrate ESG factors while making investment decisions for its endowment. The board voted to incorporate DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) principles into its endowment investing as well.

    Cornell University Assembly passed a resolution calling on one of the main pension fund suppliers for Cornell faculty and staff to divest from fossil fuel companies and certain agribusiness practices associated with deforestation and human rights abuses.

    Canadian Universities Unite as Investors to Help Address the Climate Crisis

     A coalition of Canadian university endowments and pension plans is launching a new initiative through SHARE, a non-profit investor advocacy organization, to engage investee corporations on climate change risks.

    Canada’s Public Sector Pension Investment Board (PSP) pledged to fully divest from US private prison companies amidst public pressure.

    King’s College London has fully divested from all fossil fuels almost two years ahead of schedule.

    Newnham College has announced that it will divest from all meaningful exposure to fossil fuels by 2030, in line with the University’s commitment to full divestment in the same timeframe.

    Southern New Hampshire University reassigned part of its endowment to address structural racism by investing in venture funds and start-ups founded and managed by Black and brown executives.

    Trinity College commits to net zero carbon emissions before 2050, in line with the spirit of the Paris Agreement.

    University of Cape Town Council has approved the Responsible and Sustainable Investment Policy, which sets out the approach to be taken by the university regarding its financial endowments stewardship.

    University of Michigan announced a plan to achieve “net zero” carbon footprint status for its $12.5 billion endowment by 2050 through measures including shifting away from investment in fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

    University of PennsylvaniaThe Office of Investments has established the goal of reducing the net greenhouse gas emissions from Penn’s endowment investments to zero by 2050.

    University of Southern California Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee voted to halt new investments in fossil fuels, the university announced. The university will also liquidate its existing fossil fuel investments over the next several years.

    University of Victoria announced that it is transferring $80 million to a short-term bond that reduces the “carbon intensity” of its investments. That follows the approval of a policy last year to lower carbon emissions, represented in the entire $225-million portfolio, by 45 per cent by 2030.

    Arizona State University Foundation commits to transition its investment portfolio to at least Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

    District of Columbia Retirement Board saw legislation being introduced by Washington Councilmember Robert White requiring the District of Columbia Retirement Board to have diverse asset managers and investment consultants.

    New York State Pension Fund's New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced that the $246 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund completed a review of its oil sands holdings and has divested from seven tar sands companies.

    Princeton University Board of trustee has announced it will divest and disassociate from the fossil fuel industry, as well as companies currently involved in climate disinformation. The University will equally work towards making its $26.6 billion endowment carbon neutral.

    Thrift Saving Plan will begin offering ESG funds in 2022. The ESG funds will be available in a new “mutual fund window,” similar to a brokerage option, for the plan. 

    University of California has reported that 60% of the investment firms they partnered with in 2020 are Black- and/or women-owned, according to a progress report on the managers the Oakland-based university invests with.

    University of Toronto joined more than 450 investors, representing US$41 trillion in assets, in signing a joint statement to world governments, urging leaders to accelerate action to address climate change.

    University of Sydney adopted a Sustainable Investment  Strategy to increase investment in sustainable solutions and exclude fossil fuel companies with inadequate transition plans from investment. 

    University of Utah's Academic Senate has approved an ad hoc committee’s proposal to realign the university’s endowment “toward positive sustainability investment”.

    University of Waterloo has committed to reducing the carbon footprint of its pension and endowment investment portfolios by 50 per cent by the year 2030 and is committing to achieving full carbon neutrality by 2040.

    Yale University Board of Trustees recently approved a new set of ethical investing guidelines for the university’s $31.2 billion endowment.

    Aberdeen University: Aberdeen became the 90th university in the UK to commit to complete divestment from fossil fuels.

    Boston University: The University’s Board of Trustees voted to immediately end all direct investment in fossil fuels.

    Cal State System: CSU Chancellor announced that no future investments in fossil fuels will be made by any of the system’s three investment portfolios.

    California State University Monterey Bay: The University’s investment committee is in the process of analyzing how a potential full divestment from fossil fuels would impact their returns.

    Dartmouth: The Trustees of Dartmouth have pledged to end all holdings in fossil fuels in addition to making new investments in the clean energy industry.

    Ford Foundation: Announced no future investment in assets related to the fossil fuel industry.

    Grand Valley State University: The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at GVSU started an equity endowment for small Michigan-based nonprofits.

    Harvard University: The Harvard Management Company built on its previous termination of direct investment in fossil fuels, adding that it will not make new investments in the fossil fuel industry in the future. It also pledged to ensure its own operations are “greenhouse gas neutral” by June 30, 2022.

    Lancaster University: The University has transferred all of its investment portfolios to new ESG-aligned funds.

    Loyola University Chicago: Loyola has released a new sustainable investment policy, which includes divestment from fossil fuels and integration of ESG considerations.

    Macalester College: The College pledged to divest all dedicated, publicly traded oil and gas assets, including all shares of Enbridge, Inc. It also adopted a college investment policy that prohibits any new direct investment in oil and gas assets.

    McKnight Foundation: The Foundation has pledged to convert its $3B endowment to a net-zero portfolio by 2050.

    Mount Holyoke: Mount Holyoke shared updates on their fossil fuel divestment strategy and carbon neutrality pledge established in March 2021.

    Selwyn College: The College will divest from all “meaningful” investments in fossil fuels by the end of this year.

    Trinity College: Trinity’s Investment Committee will be moving its shares out of the MSCI World ex-Fossil Fuel, ex-Tobacco Index and into the ILIM Climate Conscious Fund Index.

    University of Minnesota: The University will divest all of its funds currently supporting fossil fuel-related companies over the next 5-7 years, largely to the credit of its students’ activism.

    University of San Diego: Alongside other Catholic universities, University of San Diego is seeking to eliminate its endowment’s exposure to fossil fuels in alignment with Laudato Si’. Laudato Si’, or “Praised Be To You” is a line from The Canticle of the Sun by St. Francis.

    University of St. Thomas: Over the next five years, the University will divest from public securities of companies involved in the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels. In the next 10 years, it will do the same for private investments alongside a pledge to not create any new investments in fossil fuel companies.

    University of Toronto: In addition to an announcement of divestment from fossil fuel, the University communicated a goal of a net zero portfolio by 2050. It will also allocate 10 percent of the endowment portfolio to sustainable and low-carbon assets by 2025 – an estimated $400 million worth of investments.

    University of Virginia: A new Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility has been established at the University to supplement the addition of ESG criteria into the management of their endowment.

    Vassar College: The Board of Trustees announced the explicit addition of environmental and sustainability concerns to their endowment management guidelines.

    Virginia Union University: The University’s new endowment policy makes them the first HBCU to have the majority of its portfolio managed by firms with minority owners.

    Worcester Polytechnic Institute: WPI has signed the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment.

    Sewanee: The University of the South: The Board of Regents has committed to investing $10 million dollars of the University endowment in the Sewanee Village development plan.


  • Leading with Justice: Net Zero Investing & Conversations on Climate Justice


    Download the full report

    Roadmaps to net-zero have often been ill-defined and miss the importance of justice in mitigating climate change and reversing the harm it has had on communities, especially communities of color. The Intentional Endowments Network's Net Zero Endowments Initiative has recognized the tendency to silo these issues and has created a subcommittee that focuses on the intersectionality of climate and racial justice. This paper is a result of that subcommittee's efforts to explore climate justice and aims to do three things: provide a background and working definition of climate justice; argue that climate justice is central to reaching net-zero goals; and provide practical methods to implementing climate justice. 

    Author: 

    Pedro Henriques da Silva, GEM

    Contributors: 

    Georges Dyer, IEN
    Renee Morgan, Adasina
    Tracy Gray, The 22 Fund
    Paul Rissman, Rights CoLab
                                                                  Kaede Kawauchi, Ceres
                                                                  Lindsey White, Ceres
                                                                  Kelly Major Green, Graystone
                                                                  Madeline Clark, Cambridge
                                                                  Carol Jeppesen, UNPRI

     

    This paper was supported by: 

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    IEN's Net Zero Endowments Initiative is supported by:

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    With special thanks to the sponsors of the IEN Net Zero Endowments Initiative:

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    Read the Full Report


  • Leading with Justice: Net Zero Investing & Conversations on Climate Justice

    In partnership with The 22 Fund (The 22) Adasina Social Capital, and Global Endowment Management (GEM)

    Join us on the “The 22 Fund Day", 2/22/22 at 12:30 PM PT for a conversation around climate justice with the release of the report:


    "Leading with Justice: Net Zero Investing & Conversations on Climate Justice"

    Sessions Recording

    In partnership with The 22 Fund (The 22), Adasina Social Capital, Global Endowment Management (GEM) and Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), please join us on the “The 22 Fund Day," 2/22/22, at 12:30 PM PT for a conversation around climate justice with the the release of the paper Leading with Justice: Net Zero Investing & Conversations on Climate Justice.

    Climate Justice IS Social and Economic Justice
    Today, there is extensive evidence demonstrating how climate change disproportionately affects low-income people and populations of color who are at the frontlines of higher risks of heatwaves, extreme weather events, environmental degradation and subsequent labor market dislocations. For investors, our choices of where to invest and how to invest have meaningful ramifications for these communities. Frontline communities, who are hit first and hardest, are the best positioned to effectuate change, but are consistently overlooked as a source of solutions.


    Hear from a panel of experts on the impact and interdependence of climate, social and economic justice.

    The Panel:
    Taj Ahmad Eldridge, General Partner, Include Ventures 
    Tracy Gray, Managing Partner, The 22 Fund
    Pedro Henriques da Silva, Associate, Global Endowment Management
    Renee Morgan, Social Justice Strategist, Adasina Social Capital
    Vanessa Roanhorse, Co-Founder, Roanhorse Consulting, LLC 

    Sessions Recording


    About The 22 Fund
    The number 2 is auspicious in numerological circles and we believe that 2/22/22 is an auspicious day for The 22 Fund. The 22 was named after The 22 pobladores, the men and women of color who founded and built Los Angeles to become a vibrant and prosperous city of multi-diversity embracing technology and leading climate justice.

    The 22 invests in women and people of color who are typically overlooked by traditional sources of capital, yet who are leading companies at the forefront of climate solutions and social and economic justice. By investing in clean tech, high growth manufacturing, we are not only providing climate solutions in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods most directly damaged by the climate crisis, but we are also providing high paying jobs in these communities. Our holistic approach to impact investing embraces Climate Justice, as well as Social and Economic justice, while providing high returns to our investors.

    About Adasina Social Capital
    At Adasina Social Capital, we're committed to making large-scale, systemic change through investments in public markets. Our diverse team of people from non-traditional backgrounds works closely with the communities we intend to impact – aligning investors with social justice movements. Beyond creating our own investment criteria, Adasina mobilizes investors to drive long-term impact through industry campaigns and education.

    We believe in bold, decisive action. Adasina’s commitment to social justice movements centers the voices of communities most impacted by injustice as we leverage investments to pursue racial, gender, economic, and climate justice.

    About Global Endowment Management
    Founded in 2007 by former executives from the Duke University Management Company and The Duke Endowment, Global Endowment Management (GEM) is a leading endowment-style investment office, providing institutional investment capability and comprehensive impact investment solutions for mission-driven clients. After more than a decade of investing for mission-driven clients, we know that "one-size" does not fit all. We meet clients where they are, and design portfolios to meet their needs. By doing our job effectively, we empower our client investors to further advance their organizational missions.


  • Community Conversation for New Members: February 17, 2022

     

    We invite you to join us on Thursday, February 17, 2022 at 1pm ET for a special Community Conversation for new members of the Intentional Endowments Network. We are pleased to have you as a new leader in this network and want you and your team to have space to connect with other new members, share your priorities for engagement with the network, and hear more from the staff about upcoming opportunities.

    IEN Community Conversations are designed as an opportunity for informal, open online conversations amongst leaders in our field, to build community, and strengthen connections within our peer network. As with many of our events, Chatham House rules apply. 

    Please register and share this invitation with other staff at your organization who are interested in participating in network activities.

    We hope that you can join us and look forward to hearing your goals for co-building the field of sustainable investing together!

     


  • Weekly News Round-Up: January 14, 2022

    We’re excited to announce that sponsorship opportunities for our Virtual 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit are now available here. Contact Georges at [email protected] to become a partner or sponsor. 

    We also invite you to join us for an informative webinar next Tuesday January 18th at 12pm ET on The DOL’s New Approach to ESG in Relation to the Investment Community to get a deeper understanding of the DOL's rules impact on ESG investment opportunities. Learn more and register here.

    In addition, IEN's Communications and Media Associate, Gwladys Ngatchou will from now on go by her middle name Sorelle Ngatchou. Do not be surprised if our weekly news roundup is signed by Sorelle Ngatchou going forward. Lastly, our office will be closed on Monday January 17th, 2022 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr day. 

    Read more

  • Weekly News Round-Up: January 7, 2022

    We hope you’ve all had a safe and enjoyable break and are feeling energized for 2022!

    We will be holding a webinar on January 18th to explore an exciting topic: the DOL’s latest ESG guidance for retirement plans. More details will follow, so stay tuned!

    And save the date for our virtual 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit on April 5-8, 2022, registration will open soon.

    We’re saddened to announce that Julia Parker, Managing Director at IEN, will be moving on from the IEN team this week and returning to the community investing space. We look forward to keeping in contact with her.

    Read more

  • Former Executive Committee Members

     

    Tom Mitchell, Managing Director, Cambridge Associates

    Term: 2018 - 2022

     

     

    Lisa Hayles, Investment Manager, Trillium Asset Management

    Term: 2016-2021

     

     

    Ken Locklin, Managing Director, Impax Asset Management

    Term: 2018-2021

     


  • published Melissa Platner in Executive Committee 2022-01-03 16:08:29 -0500

    Melissa Platner

    Melissa Platner, CAIA®

    Head of Institutional and Consultant Relations, North America

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  • published Monique Aiken in Steering Committee 2021-12-09 12:05:59 -0500

    Monique Aiken

    Monique Aiken, Managing Director, The Investment Integration Project (TIIP)

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  • Weekly News Round-Up: November 24, 2021

    This year, we're joining the global generosity movement, #GivingTuesday. We want to raise $5,000 to get more endowments investing for systemic change. Learn more about our campaign and donate to kick us off strong.

    We’re also excited to inform you that our final Climate Action Pursuit milestone is in exactly TWO WEEKS! You can now see the live agenda and start bookmarking your sessions of interest.

    Read more

  • Weekly News Round-Up: November 19, 2021

    We'd like to remind you that our 2021 IEN Member Survey closes on Nov 30th. We always want to hear from our members to assess what's working, what's not, and to set priorities for 2022. There is still time to share your feedback with the network and thank you for always supporting us.

    This week, we’re excited to announce that IEN will be participating in the global generosity day, #GivingTuesday, for the first time on November 30th. Keep an eye out for more details and send in a donation here.

    We also want to announce that we re-evaluated our organizational needs and are hiring for the revamped position of Membership and Events Director. If you or someone in your network is interested in joining the IEN team please apply.

    Lastly, we’ll share an abbreviated roundup on Wednesday next week for a quicker read, so you can focus on spending time with friends and family.

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  • 2021 Divestment Survey Results

    The Intentional Endowments Network polled endowments and consultants in October 2021 regarding their positions on divestment. 

    This information is intended to provide a high level overview of endowments’ and consultants’ stance on divestment; their progress to date; their thoughts on best practices; and, if they had not divested, information on how their institution would approach these issues.

    You can find a PDF copy of the results below.

    Divestment Survey Results

    This survey was conducted in response to IEN member institutions who were interested in better understanding how their peers are thinking about divestment at this time.

    Many endowments are evaluating two distinct -- but related -- approaches to addressing climate risk in their portfolios: fossil fuel divestment and net zero portfolios. Please visit our Net Zero Endowments Initiative page to learn more about making a net zero commitment.

     


  • published Chuck O'Reilly in Steering Committee 2021-12-09 12:13:39 -0500

    Chuck O'Reilly

    Chuck O’ReillyPresident & Chief Investment Officer, University of Toronto Asset Management Corporation (UTAM)

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  • published Melissa Platner in Steering Committee 2021-12-09 12:13:56 -0500

    Melissa Platner

    Melissa Platner, Director, Consultant Relations, Impax Asset Management

    Read more

  • published Laura Morley in Steering Committee 2021-12-09 12:12:56 -0500

    Laura Morley

    Laura Morley, Associate, The Raben Group

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  • Weekly News Round-Up: October 15, 2021

    We’d like to inform you that the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit will be transitioning to a virtual Summit, and we will reconvene in-person at the University of Miami in 2023. The exact dates and approved submitted proposals for the virtual Summit will be confirmed shortly. 

    We also want to show our gratitude to all that were able to attend our Carbon Footprint 101 webinar this week. Your attendance was very much appreciated. For those that couldn’t make it you can see this week’s webinar and past webinar recordings here. We encourage you to join our upcoming webinar on Investor Case for Addressing Human Rights by registering here.

    In this week’s news, we share the recent indigenous activists rally in Washington requesting President Biden to declare a national climate emergency. 

    Read more

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