Date: January 9, 2021 1:00p.m. ET
60% of universities that have fully divested from fossil fuels or are fossil free have Board of Trustees seats reserved for students or recent alumni. As institutions seek to align their investments with their educational missions, young people with a seat at the table can add unique perspectives to their university’s investment practices and oversight.
A collaboration between the Intentional Endowments Network and The Boarding School, this event gathers former Cornell and University of North Carolina at Asheville student-elected trustees to speak on their roles in their universities’ divestment decisions, and the experience of coalition-building as a young person in the boardroom. The panel will be followed by Q&A, discussion, and networking time.
While the fossil fuel divestment movement has brought mission-related investment issues to the fore for endowments, this event does not focus or advocate for any one socially responsible investment approach, but rather explores how young perspectives can help universities better embody their missions in their investments and otherwise. This forum is for college and university students, alumni, investment professionals, trustees and senior administrators to engage in collaborative dialogue around strategies and best practices for meaningfully involving young people in board investment decision-making.
- Michael Davis, UNC Asheville Student Trustee, 2018-2019
- Alexys Gilcreast, University of New Hampshire Committee on Investor Responsibility Member, 2017-2018
- Dustin Liu, Cornell University Student-Elected Trustee, 2017-2019
- Cohosts: Hannah Bowen, Intentional Endowments Network; Julia Huesa, The Boarding School
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021
This webinar provides an overview of CDP’s Investor Signatory program and how participating asset owners and managers can leverage our disclosure database to support sustainability and climate-related investment goals.
For over two decades, CDP has been driving environmental action through its disclosure system supported by its investor signatory network. CDP requests environmental disclosure data from thousands of organizations on behalf of its global group of 550+ Investor Signatories. The disclosure process allows organizations to improve transparency, and Investor Signatories are then able to use the data disclosed by companies on climate change, deforestation, and water security to engage with corporates and inform their investment decisions. Furthermore, CDP’s climate change dataset is fully TCFD aligned, allowing investors to access standardized and comparable TCFD-aligned data to identify risks and opportunities.
Participants of this session will learn:
- What it means to be a CDP Investor Signatory
- The cutting-edge ESG data and research reports available to Signatories
- The various opportunities for Signatories to participate in our corporate engagement campaigns
- Download the slides as a PDF here
- Learn more about CDP's Non-Disclosure Campaign, including the 2020 Results report
Thomas Humphries - Account Manager, Capital Markets, CDP
Tom manages many of CDP’s relationships with North American Investor Signatories, working on data analysis, communications strategy, corporate engagement campaign support, recruiting new Signatories, and otherwise promoting CDP's work to the capital markets. Previously, he was an economist with Climate Analytics, and has worked as an economic analyst for the UN’s economic monitoring unit and the Australian Government. He holds a degree in development economics and international finance from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Conor Hartnett - Project Officer, Capital Markets, CDP
General Tools for Assessing Asset Managers
- General Resources on Investing with Diverse Asset Managers
- At PRI's "Investor Tools" tab, there are diligence tools available for each of several asset classes including listed equity, fixed income, hedge funds and private capital.
- Wespath Analytical Insights - ESG Integration: Evaluating and Monitoring External Asset Manager Performance | Wespath Investment Management, March 2017
Sample Manager Due Diligence Questionnaires
- Questions to Ask Your Investment Manager | Walden Asset Management, May 2016
- Haverford College Questions for General Partners (Private Investments)
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
- Measuring Diversity Impact Using Standardized Performance Indicators | Lenox Park
- Operational and Investment Diversity Questionnaire for Universities | Diverse Asset Manager Initiative, 2020
- Sustainability/Diversity and Inclusion Due Diligence Questionnaire | State of Illinois, April 2020
- TIFF Manager DEI Survey | TIFF, 2020
- External Manager ESG Integration Appraisal | Wespath Investment Management, 2015-2016
- ESG Integration Appraisal Reporting Form (2015/2016) l Wespath Investment Management
- ESG Questions in New York City RFPs l New York City Employee Retirement System (NYCERS)
- A Baker's Dozen: Questions on ESG Integration for Asset Managers | (pdf) Intentional Endowments Network, September 2018
What Is An Endowment, and How Does It Work?Watch an introductory webinar that describes the landscape of higher education endowments and how the size of an endowment impacts investment decisions and the decision-makers involved. Panelists cover how endowment distributions are used, the importance of balancing return expectations and volatility as they relate to both the long term investment horizon for the endowment and annual spending requirements, sources of donations and restrictions placed on the use of donations by donors, and asset allocation and its drivers. Finally, presenters discuss how sustainable investing (ESG, impact investing, divestment strategies, etc.) fits into this context and how to move the conversation about sustainable investing forward with endowment professionals on your campus.
Sustainable capitalism, as outlined in the resources below, is a re-imagined capitalism for the 21st century.
Investing in Racial Equity: A Primer for College & University Endowments | IEN, August 2020
Companies Must Take The Higher Road Toward A Sustainable Future | Ceres, February 2018
Turning Point: Corporate Progress on the Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability l Ceres, February 2018
Responding to Megatrends: Investment Institutions Trend Index 2017 | PRI, December 2017
The Transformation of Growth: How Sustainable Capitalism Can Drive a New Economic Order l Generation Foundation, June 2017
The Value of Corporate Purpose: A Guide for CEOs and Entrepreneurs| KKS Advisors & The Generation Foundation, May 2017
CFA Institute Resources - a full library of over 100 papers and presentations addressing sustainable investing topics such as CEO pay to clean energy, green bonds and board diversity.
IEN’s Endowment Snapshots are updated annually. In the past year, we’ve seen some encouraging trends in sustainable investment among higher education institutions. In 2019 and 2020, multiple schools announced their plans to fully divest from fossil fuels, including Brown University, Middlebury College, University of California, University of North Carolina Asheville, and University of Vermont.
Fifteen Canadian universities signed on to a charter committing to increased efforts to address the climate crisis. Signatories of the charter pledged to incorporate ESG (environmental, social, governance) criteria into their investment processes and regularly measure the carbon intensity of their investment portfolios. Many of the schools featured in this report were also featured in IEN’s 2020 Financial Performance of Sustainable Investing case study. The study found that endowments utilizing sustainable investing practices performed as well as or better than endowments that employed a traditional investing approach.