Happy Halloween! In this issue of IEN's newsletter, we feature an article recently published in The Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Trusteeship Magazine, written by Tony Cortese, Georges Dyer, and David Dinerman.
The School Spotlight highlights Warren Wilson College and their Responsible Investment Policy.
Please be sure to register and read more about the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit that is taking place this coming February 4-6, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. We are pleased to announce that Paul Hawken, the Executive Director of Drawdown and author of seven books including four national bestsellers, and Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, environmentalist and human rights activist, will be among the keynote speakers at the Summit.
As always, your contributions to the conversation are welcome and needed. Please be in touch with any questions, news or ideas for the IEN.
Georges, Tony, Nicole & The IEN Team
Feature Article: The Intentionally Designed Endowment
Challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, human rights, and water shortages are driving public purpose institutions to mobilize private sector capital to have positive health, social, and environmental impacts. Many colleges and universities are now pursuing sustainable investment strategies. This piece highlights the importance and trends of aligning endowment investing with the mission and goals of higher education institutions and considering material ESG factors. It explores some of the challenges and opportunities of doing so, provides some evidence of the benefits and ideas on how to institutionalize such investing, and helps trustees learn about the peer learning opportunities through IEN. Read the full article on AGB's website, here.
School Spotlight: Warren Wilson College
Warren Wilson College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously in 2015 to divest endowment funds from fossil fuels over the next five years. The Board further adopted a Responsible Investment Policy that includes environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations and management strategies. In addition, no new endowment funds will be invested in fossil fuel companies. To see the full policy, click here, and to read more about sustainability initiatives at Warren Wilson, click here.
Featured Event: 2018 Higher Education Summit
Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network are pleased to host the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. Join your peers from February 4-6, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona for the largest national gathering of higher education presidents, chancellors, trustees, and other senior leaders committed to accelerating climate solutions. Working together with business, state and local leaders, the higher education sector can and will shape the future of America’s global climate leadership.
We are pleased to announce that Paul Hawken, the Executive Director of Drawdown and author of seven books including four national bestsellers, and Dianne Dillon-Ridgley, environmentalist and human rights activist, will be among the keynote speakers at the Summit. For more information follow this link, and to register, click here.
Updates from the Network
In the past few months, IEN has hosted the following webinars. Follow the links below for more information and to view recordings of each:
- Investing Intentionally at the Systems Level l August 23, 2017
Student Managed Fund Story - Dwight Hall at Yale SRI Fund l October 6, 2017
IEN Working Groups meet regularly to advance key strategies in support of the network's goals. Below is a brief update of what current Working Groups have accomplished.
Fiduciary Duty & Policy: This group is now focusing on a briefing paper for trustees summarizing the latest thinking on fiduciary duty and sustainable / ESG investing to be published in early fall. Group members are also contributing to the development of a Roadmap that lays out the key steps investors can take to create intentionally designed endowments, and the Group if also identifying opportunities for educating others on fiduciary duty topics at conferences and within other networks.
Clean Energy: This working group is currently developing a resource on how to most effectively enable endowments to make impact investments in solar PV projects. This framework will build off of the Clean Energy White Paper that was released last fall, and will provide guidance to fund managers on how endowments can approach this market. The Clean Energy White Paper was also featured in two sessions at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) Conference this month, titled 'Innovative Financing Options and the University Solar Deployment Process' and 'Aligning Endowment Investments with the Paris Climate Agreement & the Sustainable Development Goals.' Click each link to view the presentations.
Student Managed Funds: This working group connects student-managed fund advisors, academics focused on sustainable investing, and students involved in student-managed funds to share best practices and resources to advance sustainable investing curriculum and strategies in each fund. This month, student members of the group that manage the Dwight Hall at Yale SRI Fund, presented on their fund's work on an IEN webinar. The recording can be viewed here. The Group is also currently developing a toolkit on How to Start a Student-Managed Fund, and working to pull information together on different student-managed funds across the country, including information on where they are in the process of establishment and how they are managed. If your school has a student-managed fund, we would greatly appreciate your assistance in entering the fund’s information in the database. Please reach out to Nicole at [email protected] to access the database.
- Trustee Peer Group: The Trustee Peer Group is currently focused on bringing new members into the group to create more opportunities for peer-to-peer learning among college and university fiduciaries on sustainable investing. In the next few months the group will be focusing on reaching out to more trustees to participate in the 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Tony at [email protected].
Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum
Join us in Los Angeles, California, January 21 to 23, 2018 for AGB’s 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum. Concurrent sessions on January 23 will examine mission-aligned investing, and a post-conference peer learning workshop that day will take a deeper dive into all aspects of aligning ESG goals to the foundation’s mission while meeting the financial and advancement requirements of each institution. To learn more about this topic please check out this brief blog post on the AGB website, this article in Trusteeship Magazine, and join us at the 2018 Foundation Leadership Forum.
- The SRI Conference l November 1-3, 2017, San Diego, CA
- Endowment and Foundation Forum 2017 l Opal Group, November 6-7, 2017, Boston, MA
- Sustainable Investing Seminar l CFA Society Boston, November 13th, Boston, MA
- Investing for Impact Symposium l High Water Women, November 30, 2017, New York, NY
2018 Foundation Leadership Forum l Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, January 21-23, 2018, Los Angeles, CA
- 2018 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit l Second Nature & The Intentional Endowments Network, February 4-6, 2018, Phoenix, AZ
To view more upcoming events, click here.
Below are some recent resources from the Intentional Endowments Network and other organizations. To see more reports, articles, videos and other resources by topic, visit the resource page on our website.
Resources from IEN:
- The Intentionally Designed Endowment l Trusteeship Magazine
- Countdown on Health and Climate Change: From 25 Years of Inaction to a Global Transformation for Public Health l The Lancet
The Climate Change Mitigation Opportunities Index | Morgan Stanley & The Economist
- Investors as Stewards of the Commons? | George Serafeim, Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper
- New Report Highlights Leading Corporate Practices For Sustainability-Competent Boards l Ceres
- EDF Releases Guidebook to Accelerate Investment in Sustainable Infrastructure l Business Inside
- Lead From the Top: Building Sustainability Competence On Corporate Boards l Ceres
- UNH Pathway to Platinum Report l University of New Hampshire
- The Rise of ESG Investing l Calvert Research & Management
- Morgan Stanley Releases New Report Finding Sustainability Communication Disconnect between Companies and Investors l Business Wire
- Risk Reporting & Global ESG Framework Critical for Investor Interest l Environmental Leader
- Beyond the Right Thing to Do: The Value of Sustainability in Higher Education l AASHE
- oekom Impact Study 2017: The Impact of Responsible Investment on Companies Is Increasing l CSR Newswire
- Embracing Sustainability l Appleseed Capital
In the News
Below is a sampling of recent news articles we've posted on our Newsfeed, ranging in topics from Sustainable Investing, Climate Risk, Science & Regulation, Sustainability in Higher Education, Divestment, Clean Energy, and more.
IEN in the News:
- In Depth: ESG Investing Is Here to Stay l Chief Investment Officer
- Smith College Investing in Environmental Sustainability l Grecourt Gat
- SUNY New Paltz Foundation to Divest Endowment Funds From Fossil Fuel Companies l Daily Freeman
- Pitzer College and BlackRock Launch First Ever ESG-Focused, Fossil Fuel-Free Global Equity Index Fund l Business Wire
- Vanguard Defies Companies to Back Climate Change Resolutions l Financial Times
- 'Our Responsibility for the Long Game': An Excerpt from ‘The Clean Money Revolution’ l Sustainable Brands
- The Top-Performing Sustainable Funds l Barron's
- When Greenies Go to Business School l Sierra Club
- US SIF Foundation Releases Enhanced "Fundamentals of Sustainable and Impact Investment" Online Training Course l Digital Journal
- Big (Passive) Voices on Gender Diversity and Climate Risk | MorningStar
- Systems Thinking: The Secret to Sustainable Innovation? | KKS Strategies
- How Institutional Investors are Responding to Climate Change l MSCI
- We Are Still In Website Launch l We Are Still In
- As Wildfires Scorch U.S. Forests, Forest Resilience Bond Blazes a New Trail l World Resources Institute
- Climate Shocks May Cost U.S. $1 Billion a Day l Bloomberg
- Commentary: CHOICE Act Gives Investors No Voice l Pensions & Investments
- Steve Schueth on Dollars and Change l Wharton Business Radio
- Investing In The Age Of Climate Change l Forbes
- California Fires Lay Waste to 140,000 Acres and Rage On l New York Times
- The Impact Investment Strategies That Helped Make These Funds Among the ‘Best for the World’ l Impact Alpha
- CalPERS, CPPIB Named Among World's Most Responsible Allocators l Institutional Investor
- Asset Owners Push to Satisfy U.N. Goals l Pensions & Investments
If you have an original piece you would like to submit for an upcoming newsletter, or for more information about the Intentional Endowments Network and how you can support this work, please contact Nicole Harman at [email protected].