Organizations and Initiatives in the Field of Sustainable Investing and Endowment Management

There are a number of organizations that provide tools, research, support, events, and opportunities for action in the field of sustainable investing and endowment management. Membership and participation in these various initiatives are complementary and not mutually exclusive. The field is large, and growing. Here are three ways to help navigate the space:


1. IEN's active Working Groups and Initiatives are listed here

Our working groups and initiatives provide connect peers directly and are a starting point for getting to know other key players in the field.

2. Other organizations that IEN works most closely with, including on joint events and resources, are listed under IEN's Partners.

Check our Partner page for current resources, events, and opportunities with the most directly relevant peer groups supporting IEN members.


3. In addition to IEN's working groups, initiatives, and partnerships, we have compiled a representative - but not comprehensive - list of other non-profit groups and initiatives focused on investor education and action:

International grassroots effort to raise awareness of the need to decrease carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million.
Promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.
An association of over 900 members across 48 U.S. states, 1 U.S. Territory, 9 Canadian provinces, and 20 countries, AASHE enables members to translate information into action by offering essential resources and professional development to a diverse, engaged community of sustainability leaders. Working with and for higher education, they ensure that the world’s future leaders are motivated and equipped to solve sustainability challenges.
Encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements.


A non-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states, and regions to manage their environmental impacts. 

Learn More: IEN Webinar: ESG Integration & CDP’s Investor Signatory Programs for University Endowments (June 2015)

Engages more than 130 institutional investors to build an equitable, sustainable global economy and planet.
Researches and releases information on the climate crisis and works with investors to employ low-carbon investing.
Institutional investment management firm serving the non-profit and pension investment communities, including an outsourced management practice for endowments.
A non-profit network of over 200 private, public, and community foundations, that works to enhance the ability of foundations to align the management of assets with an organizational mission to promote environmental sustainability and social justice.
An investor-led initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change.
An independent institute for advanced social and environmental research and engagement.
An effort to increase the absolute number of, and assets under management by, diverse-owned asset management firms for institutional investors, with specific focus on public, corporate, faith and labor union pension funds as well as foundation and university endowments.
A series of initiatives focused on encouraging investors to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions.
The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) is the global champion of impact investing, dedicated to increasing its scale and effectiveness around the world. By convening impact investors, the GIIN seeks to accelerate the industry's development through focused leadership and collective action.
Provides a sustainability reporting framework to help companies measure and communicate sustainability performance information, aiming to make sustainability reporting standard practice.
IEN has joined forces with the HBCU Green Fund to launch an initiative aimed at improving endowment investment decision-making in higher education to better incorporate factors related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). The central driving force of this initiative is a high-level Working Group of senior leaders from higher education, the investment industry, foundations, and nonprofit partners.
The ImPact's purpose is to improve the probability and pace of solving social and environmental problems by increasing the flow of capital to investments that generate measurable impact. It is a global membership community of families committed to aligning their assets with their values.
The Impact Capital Managers mission is to accelerate the performance of its members and promote the smart growth of the private capital impact investing marketplace. It does this through its membership association, which today includes 52 funds representing more than $11B in impact-focused capital, and through field-building initiatives and partnerships.
A coalition of over 300 global institutional investors representing more than $400 billion in managed assets that engages company management to identify and mitigate social and environmental risks resulting from operations and policies. 

Learn More: IEN Webinar: The Investor Case for Human Rights (January 2018)

Promotes integrated reporting of organizations’ financials, sustainability performance, strategy, governance, and prospects in the context of its external environment.
Free educational website that features a directory of over 300 resources and organizations, and a community discussion forum both focused on aligning money and values through local banking, community investing, sustainable & responsible investing, and impact investing.
Announced as part of the 2018 PRI in Person and the Global Climate Action Summit, this collaborative initiative seeks to support the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement by providing a way for investors to report, accelerate and scale-up their actions. With nearly 400 investors with $32 trillion in assets collectively under management, its launch demonstrates significant momentum in the transition to a low-carbon economy.
A network convened by Ceres of more than 110 institutional investors representing more than $13 trillion in assets committed to addressing the risks resulting from climate change and other sustainability challenges.
Mission Investors Exchange is the leading impact investing network for foundations dedicated to deploying capital for social and environmental change. With over 200 members, it provides resources, inspiration, and connections to help its members increase the scale and impact of their impact investing practice.
A commitment made by investors to measure and publicly disclose the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis.
The national membership association for chief financial officers and other business officers of colleges and universities.

The United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance is an international group of institutional investors delivering on a bold commitment to transition our investment portfolios to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. IEN is a Supporting Partner of the Alliance, supporting our Network in making Net Zero Portfolio commitments, and working with the Alliance to help investors implement such commitments.

Mobilizes financial markets to catalyze economic decarbonization.
An organization that engages an international network of signatories to promote adoption of its Six Principles for Responsible Investment in investment decision-making. 
Organizes students, alumni, university administrators, and the larger college community to challenge and pressure universities to invest their endowments more responsibly.
The University and College Sector’s Collective Response to the Sustainable Development Goals. The purpose of the SDG Accord is twofold: 1). to inspire, celebrate, and advance the critical role that education has in delivering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2). a commitment learning institutions are making to one another to do more to deliver the goals, to annually report on each signatory's progress, and to do so in ways that share the learning with each other both nationally and internationally.
Works to make sustainability a strategic imperative for colleges and universities; the supporting organization of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment.
Social Venture Circle (SVC) is a membership network that equips entrepreneurs, impact investors, and capacity-builders with connections, money, and expertise in order to build businesses that drive the NEXT economy: one that is regenerative, equitable and prosperous for all.
Works to establish industry-based sustainability standards for the recognition and disclosure of material ESG impacts by companies traded on US exchanges.
Works to advance institutional responses to the climate crisis, focusing on sustainable use of endowment and operations assets; leads the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, encouraging campuses to establish “green revolving funds.”
Conducts impartial research and publishes reports on organized efforts to influence corporate behavior on social and environmental issues.
Toniic is a global community of asset owners seeking deeper positive net impact across the spectrum of capital. Its members consist of more than 400 high net worth individuals, family office, and foundation asset owners who are deepening their impact across the spectrum of capital and personal resources in more than 25 countries around the world.
A global partnership between UNEP and the financial sector. Over 200 institutions, including banks, insurers and fund managers, work with UNEP to understand the impacts of environmental and social considerations on financial performance.


The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment – a US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions, and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing.
WRI’s Sustainable Investing Initiative advances sustainable investment practices in the mainstream investor marketplace through tailored data, research, and peer-to-peer learning.  

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