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Passive Equity Strategies for the Low Carbon Investor Web...

The Investor Network on Climate Risk held the Passive Equity Strategies for the Low Carbon Investor Webinar on Thursday, November 13. This webinar featured Thomas Kuh, Executive Director for ESG Indices at MSCI Inc., Sarah Gillman, Chief Financial Officer at Natural Resources Defence Council, and Peter Solli, Parter at Aperio Group. These three panelists presented three different approaches to rules-based, index investing that are available to investors today.  Click here for a recording of the webinar. 

Read More


Boston Carbon Risk Forum a Big Success

The Boston Carbon Risk Forum at Harvard law School in Cambridge, MA on September 29, 2014 was an outstanding event attended by about 150 local and state government, senior academic, investment industry and NGO leaders.  The presentations (available on the website) were among the most informative I have seen on several issues related to aligning endowment investments with creating a healthy, just and sustainable society.   Bob Massie's keynote set the stage for a very engaging day by making the moral, political and financial case for the development of a new economy that is just and sustainable, the importance of government to take serious action climate disruption and how divestment of fossil fuels along with investing using ESG criteria is...

Read More


College & University Endowments and the Principles for Re...

We invite you to join an upcoming webinar to learn about the steps university endowments are taking to address sustainability issues in their investments, and how this fits with their roles as long-term investors.  Signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and other institutions with commitments to climate action and sustainability are increasingly confronting questions related to if and how to better align endowment investment practices with institutional mission, values, and goals. This webinar will provide an overview of the sustainable investing landscape and the spectrum of strategies available. It will highlight the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and offer insights from university representatives who have experience with PRI.  Date: September 16, 2014 Time: 8:30AM PT...

Read More


The Billion Dollar Green Challenge

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge -- an initiative of the Sustainable Endowment Institute that promotes green Revolving Funds (GRFs) on college and university campuses -- was featured on NPR's Marketplace this morning. In the interview, SEI Executive Director, Mark Orlowski, explains how endowments can invest in GRFs as part of their investment strategy without worry about donor restrictions on the funds. Done properly, these investments can help campuses avoid substantial costs by upgrading to more efficient technologies and improving design to lower demand for energy. Over the years, these savings can add up to significant returns on the original investments -- Harvard is saving $5 million a year as a result of their GRF projects.  Listen to the 2 minute interview on Marketplace's...

Read More


2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change

Endowments have a timely opportunity to express their support for strong action on climate change by signing the 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change. The Statement comes at a pivotal moment.  As part of a global effort to mobilize action and ambition on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is inviting Heads of State and Government along with business, finance, civil society and local leaders to a Climate Summit in September 2014. The 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change represents an important contribution by the global investment community to supporting the UN Climate Summit and encouraging strong domestic and international climate and clean energy policies. The Statement sets out steps that institutional investors (both asset owners and...

Read More


Why Pitzer College Said Good-bye to Fossil-Fuel Investments

Don Gould, trustee and chair of the investment committee at Pitzer College, published an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education the other day outlining their rationale for divesting from fossil fuels.  He shares their responses to some of the most common concerns regarding divestment, including those related to:  Fiduciary duty & financial performance Impact on fossil fuel companies Hypocrisy of continuing to use fossil fuels Sacrificing investment returns Commingled funds Politicizing the endowment Regardless of your views on divestment, the piece is well worth the read.  It is available here.       

Read More


The Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolio (via State Street Global A...

Chris McKnett, Head of ESG Investments at State Street Global Advisors wrote the following article: The Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolio (pdf), outlining a few of the options and scenarios investors might consider related to climate risk and fossil fuel divestment.                  This excerpt provides a review of climate policies around the world, the 'carbon budget' and stranded asset risk, and a spectrum of the carbon intensity of major energy sources.     

Read More


Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in t...

A high-level, bi-partisan group of leaders from business, finance, academia, and government released the Risky Business report today.  The group is co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and the Risk Committee membership includes University of Miami President Donna Shalala, former US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Former US Senator Olympia Snowe, among others. They are calling on American investors and business leaders to "get in the game" to minimize the risks climate change poses to our businesses, communities, the economy, and our way of life. On Sunday, Henry Paulson published an opinion piece in the New York Times ahead of the report's launch, titled "The Coming Climate Crash: Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession."...

Read More


Values and Value

The following is an op-ed piece written by Susan Gary, Professor of Law at the University of Oregon, and originally published on April 27, 2014 in the Eugene Register Guard. -- The recent University of Oregon student vote on divestment raised the question of whether the University of Oregon Foundation should remove investments in fossil fuel companies from its portfolio.  If the goal is to take action to address climate change, the vote focused on the wrong thing.  Simply screening out the stocks of certain companies is not likely to have a substantial impact on those companies, and doing so may result in negative effects on investment performance.  Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing (also called impact investing) is a better...

Read More


The Intentionally Designed Endowment – A Primer

What is an “intentionally designed endowment”?  On April 3-4, 2014 Second Nature and Hampshire College – with support from a high caliber Steering Committee – convened a group of representatives from endowed institutions and the finance industry to explore this question. We developed a primer for participants to establish a baseline understanding of key issues related to aligning investment practices with institutional values.  It provides a high-level overview of sustainability investing, including a brief history, and a select list of key resources and relevant organizations. Any non-profit administrator or trustee with fiduciary responsibility or involved with investment policies should be familiar with this rapidly evolving field: Intentionally Designed Endowment | Primer While we are all aware of the fossil fuel...

Read More


The Intentionally Designed Endowment – A Primer

What is an “intentionally designed endowment”?  On April 3-4, 2014 Second Nature and Hampshire College – with support from a high caliber Steering Committee – convened a group of representatives from endowed institutions and the finance industry to explore this question. We developed a primer for participants to establish a baseline understanding of key issues related to aligning investment practices with institutional values.  It provides a high-level overview of sustainability investing, including a brief history, and a select list of key resources and relevant organizations. Any non-profit administrator or trustee with fiduciary responsibility or involved with investment policies should be familiar with this rapidly evolving field: Intentionally Designed Endowment | Primer While we are all aware of the fossil fuel...

Read More


Values and Value

The following is an op-ed piece written by Susan Gary, Professor of Law at the University of Oregon, and originally published on April 27, 2014 in the Eugene Register Guard. -- The recent University of Oregon student vote on divestment raised the question of whether the University of Oregon Foundation should remove investments in fossil fuel companies from its portfolio.  If the goal is to take action to address climate change, the vote focused on the wrong thing.  Simply screening out the stocks of certain companies is not likely to have a substantial impact on those companies, and doing so may result in negative effects on investment performance.  Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing (also called impact investing) is a better...

Read More


Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in t...

A high-level, bi-partisan group of leaders from business, finance, academia, and government released the Risky Business report today.  The group is co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and the Risk Committee membership includes University of Miami President Donna Shalala, former US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Former US Senator Olympia Snowe, among others. They are calling on American investors and business leaders to "get in the game" to minimize the risks climate change poses to our businesses, communities, the economy, and our way of life. On Sunday, Henry Paulson published an opinion piece in the New York Times ahead of the report's launch, titled "The Coming Climate Crash: Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession."...

Read More


The Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolio (via State Street Global A...

Chris McKnett, Head of ESG Investments at State Street Global Advisors wrote the following article: The Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolio (pdf), outlining a few of the options and scenarios investors might consider related to climate risk and fossil fuel divestment.                  This excerpt provides a review of climate policies around the world, the 'carbon budget' and stranded asset risk, and a spectrum of the carbon intensity of major energy sources.     

Read More


Why Pitzer College Said Good-bye to Fossil-Fuel Investments

Don Gould, trustee and chair of the investment committee at Pitzer College, published an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education the other day outlining their rationale for divesting from fossil fuels.  He shares their responses to some of the most common concerns regarding divestment, including those related to:  Fiduciary duty & financial performance Impact on fossil fuel companies Hypocrisy of continuing to use fossil fuels Sacrificing investment returns Commingled funds Politicizing the endowment Regardless of your views on divestment, the piece is well worth the read.  It is available here.       

Read More


2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change

Endowments have a timely opportunity to express their support for strong action on climate change by signing the 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change. The Statement comes at a pivotal moment.  As part of a global effort to mobilize action and ambition on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is inviting Heads of State and Government along with business, finance, civil society and local leaders to a Climate Summit in September 2014. The 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change represents an important contribution by the global investment community to supporting the UN Climate Summit and encouraging strong domestic and international climate and clean energy policies. The Statement sets out steps that institutional investors (both asset owners and...

Read More


The Billion Dollar Green Challenge

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge -- an initiative of the Sustainable Endowment Institute that promotes green Revolving Funds (GRFs) on college and university campuses -- was featured on NPR's Marketplace this morning. In the interview, SEI Executive Director, Mark Orlowski, explains how endowments can invest in GRFs as part of their investment strategy without worry about donor restrictions on the funds. Done properly, these investments can help campuses avoid substantial costs by upgrading to more efficient technologies and improving design to lower demand for energy. Over the years, these savings can add up to significant returns on the original investments -- Harvard is saving $5 million a year as a result of their GRF projects.  Listen to the 2 minute interview on Marketplace's...

Read More


College & University Endowments and the Principles for Re...

We invite you to join an upcoming webinar to learn about the steps university endowments are taking to address sustainability issues in their investments, and how this fits with their roles as long-term investors.  Signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and other institutions with commitments to climate action and sustainability are increasingly confronting questions related to if and how to better align endowment investment practices with institutional mission, values, and goals. This webinar will provide an overview of the sustainable investing landscape and the spectrum of strategies available. It will highlight the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and offer insights from university representatives who have experience with PRI.  Date: September 16, 2014 Time: 8:30AM PT...

Read More


Boston Carbon Risk Forum a Big Success

The Boston Carbon Risk Forum at Harvard law School in Cambridge, MA on September 29, 2014 was an outstanding event attended by about 150 local and state government, senior academic, investment industry and NGO leaders.  The presentations (available on the website) were among the most informative I have seen on several issues related to aligning endowment investments with creating a healthy, just and sustainable society.   Bob Massie's keynote set the stage for a very engaging day by making the moral, political and financial case for the development of a new economy that is just and sustainable, the importance of government to take serious action climate disruption and how divestment of fossil fuels along with investing using ESG criteria is...

Read More


Passive Equity Strategies for the Low Carbon Investor Web...

The Investor Network on Climate Risk held the Passive Equity Strategies for the Low Carbon Investor Webinar on Thursday, November 13. This webinar featured Thomas Kuh, Executive Director for ESG Indices at MSCI Inc., Sarah Gillman, Chief Financial Officer at Natural Resources Defence Council, and Peter Solli, Parter at Aperio Group. These three panelists presented three different approaches to rules-based, index investing that are available to investors today.  Click here for a recording of the webinar. 

Read More


2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change

Endowments have a timely opportunity to express their support for strong action on climate change by signing the 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change. The Statement comes at a pivotal moment.  As part of a global effort to mobilize action and ambition on climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is inviting Heads of State and Government along with business, finance, civil society and local leaders to a Climate Summit in September 2014. The 2014 Global Investor Statement on Climate Change represents an important contribution by the global investment community to supporting the UN Climate Summit and encouraging strong domestic and international climate and clean energy policies. The Statement sets out steps that institutional investors (both asset owners and...

Read More


Boston Carbon Risk Forum a Big Success

The Boston Carbon Risk Forum at Harvard law School in Cambridge, MA on September 29, 2014 was an outstanding event attended by about 150 local and state government, senior academic, investment industry and NGO leaders.  The presentations (available on the website) were among the most informative I have seen on several issues related to aligning endowment investments with creating a healthy, just and sustainable society.   Bob Massie's keynote set the stage for a very engaging day by making the moral, political and financial case for the development of a new economy that is just and sustainable, the importance of government to take serious action climate disruption and how divestment of fossil fuels along with investing using ESG criteria is...

Read More


College & University Endowments and the Principles for Re...

We invite you to join an upcoming webinar to learn about the steps university endowments are taking to address sustainability issues in their investments, and how this fits with their roles as long-term investors.  Signatories of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and other institutions with commitments to climate action and sustainability are increasingly confronting questions related to if and how to better align endowment investment practices with institutional mission, values, and goals. This webinar will provide an overview of the sustainable investing landscape and the spectrum of strategies available. It will highlight the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and offer insights from university representatives who have experience with PRI.  Date: September 16, 2014 Time: 8:30AM PT...

Read More


Passive Equity Strategies for the Low Carbon Investor Web...

The Investor Network on Climate Risk held the Passive Equity Strategies for the Low Carbon Investor Webinar on Thursday, November 13. This webinar featured Thomas Kuh, Executive Director for ESG Indices at MSCI Inc., Sarah Gillman, Chief Financial Officer at Natural Resources Defence Council, and Peter Solli, Parter at Aperio Group. These three panelists presented three different approaches to rules-based, index investing that are available to investors today.  Click here for a recording of the webinar. 

Read More


Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in t...

A high-level, bi-partisan group of leaders from business, finance, academia, and government released the Risky Business report today.  The group is co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and the Risk Committee membership includes University of Miami President Donna Shalala, former US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Former US Senator Olympia Snowe, among others. They are calling on American investors and business leaders to "get in the game" to minimize the risks climate change poses to our businesses, communities, the economy, and our way of life. On Sunday, Henry Paulson published an opinion piece in the New York Times ahead of the report's launch, titled "The Coming Climate Crash: Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession."...

Read More


The Billion Dollar Green Challenge

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge -- an initiative of the Sustainable Endowment Institute that promotes green Revolving Funds (GRFs) on college and university campuses -- was featured on NPR's Marketplace this morning. In the interview, SEI Executive Director, Mark Orlowski, explains how endowments can invest in GRFs as part of their investment strategy without worry about donor restrictions on the funds. Done properly, these investments can help campuses avoid substantial costs by upgrading to more efficient technologies and improving design to lower demand for energy. Over the years, these savings can add up to significant returns on the original investments -- Harvard is saving $5 million a year as a result of their GRF projects.  Listen to the 2 minute interview on Marketplace's...

Read More


The Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolio (via State Street Global A...

Chris McKnett, Head of ESG Investments at State Street Global Advisors wrote the following article: The Fossil-Fuel-Free Portfolio (pdf), outlining a few of the options and scenarios investors might consider related to climate risk and fossil fuel divestment.                  This excerpt provides a review of climate policies around the world, the 'carbon budget' and stranded asset risk, and a spectrum of the carbon intensity of major energy sources.     

Read More


The Intentionally Designed Endowment – A Primer

What is an “intentionally designed endowment”?  On April 3-4, 2014 Second Nature and Hampshire College – with support from a high caliber Steering Committee – convened a group of representatives from endowed institutions and the finance industry to explore this question. We developed a primer for participants to establish a baseline understanding of key issues related to aligning investment practices with institutional values.  It provides a high-level overview of sustainability investing, including a brief history, and a select list of key resources and relevant organizations. Any non-profit administrator or trustee with fiduciary responsibility or involved with investment policies should be familiar with this rapidly evolving field: Intentionally Designed Endowment | Primer While we are all aware of the fossil fuel...

Read More


Values and Value

The following is an op-ed piece written by Susan Gary, Professor of Law at the University of Oregon, and originally published on April 27, 2014 in the Eugene Register Guard. -- The recent University of Oregon student vote on divestment raised the question of whether the University of Oregon Foundation should remove investments in fossil fuel companies from its portfolio.  If the goal is to take action to address climate change, the vote focused on the wrong thing.  Simply screening out the stocks of certain companies is not likely to have a substantial impact on those companies, and doing so may result in negative effects on investment performance.  Environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing (also called impact investing) is a better...

Read More


Why Pitzer College Said Good-bye to Fossil-Fuel Investments

Don Gould, trustee and chair of the investment committee at Pitzer College, published an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education the other day outlining their rationale for divesting from fossil fuels.  He shares their responses to some of the most common concerns regarding divestment, including those related to:  Fiduciary duty & financial performance Impact on fossil fuel companies Hypocrisy of continuing to use fossil fuels Sacrificing investment returns Commingled funds Politicizing the endowment Regardless of your views on divestment, the piece is well worth the read.  It is available here.       

Read More


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