Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: September 17, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-09-17 13:56:41 -0400
We are honored and excited to announce the esteemed speakers joining us for the October Climate Action Pursuit! We hope that you are as excited as we are for this coming milestone and invite you to take a look at the live agenda to start bookmarking your sessions of interest.
In this week’s news we’d like to remind you to register for our Climate Week NYC sessions on ways endowments and other investors are using their money to meet the climate crisis. The live webinar will be on Tuesday September 21, 2021 at 11 am EDT. Register now before it’s too late!Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: September 10, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-09-10 14:16:51 -0400
Tomorrow will mark the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. A day that changed the country and our way of life forever. We invite you to commemorate this day in recognition of both the lives lost and the sacrifices made by first responders and their families.
In this week’s news, we’re thrilled to announce Cool Schools 2021 was just released and Arizona State University ranked first of the top of the 20 sustainable schools by Sierra Club standards along with several other IEN members.
In addition, we wish you a happy National 401(k) Day and encourage you to celebrate this day advocating for ESG integration in your retirement plans. Don’t know where to start? Check out IEN’s Guide to Sustainable Retirements.Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: September 3, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-09-03 13:52:59 -0400
The elevated threat from extreme weather and the latest IPCC report are stark reminders for urgent action to address climate change. Join IEN at Climate Week NYC on September 21, at 11am EDT to explore ways to make climate justice central to your decarbonization strategies.
In this week’s news, we’d like to highlight our updated Social Equity webpage featuring curated resources on social equity investing, and our State of the Field page tracking progress that university endowments have made in sustainable investing. .
On another note, the IEN virtual office will be closed Monday in observance of labor day.Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Net Zero Portfolios - Roundtable for Small and Medium Sized Endowments in Events & Webinars 2021-09-14 12:55:17 -0400
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: August 27, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-08-27 12:59:03 -0400
We’re soliciting sponsors to help remunerate our fall intern’s work. We’ve selected three exceptional candidates who are passionate about ESG investing to join our team this fall. Sponsoring their internship will allow them to get exposure and hands-on experience to sustainable investment practices while being compensated for the effort they’ll put in. Contact [email protected] to learn more about the sponsorship opportunity.
In addition, we’d like to remind you that proposal submissions for the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit ends on August 31st, 2021. Don’t forget to submit your proposal.Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: August 20, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-08-23 12:25:54 -0400
IEN solicits sponsors for our winter internship program. Interning at IEN offers students who are passionate about environmental and DEI issues the opportunity to get exposure to and hands-on experience in sustainable investment practices which often have an impact on their careers. It’s our policy that students should be compensated for the work they put in during their time with us and we are asking you to help us ensure that we can financially support our winter interns. Contact [email protected] to learn more about the sponsorship opportunity estimated at $3,000 to $5,000.
In this week’s news, we’d like to remind you that the October Climate Action Pursuit is fast approaching and proposal submissions for the 2022 Higher Ed Summit end on August 31, 2021. Submit your proposal today.Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Endowments Investing to Meet the Climate Crisis in Endowments Investing to Meet the Climate Crisis 2021-08-30 15:57:04 -0400
September 21, 2021 at 11 - 12pm EDT
In the run-up to the COP26 climate negotiations in November, and in the wake of the 6th Assessment Report from the IPCC, the urgency for investor action on climate change has never been higher. Endowments and other asset owners are increasingly committing to Net Zero Portfolios to help drive down emissions from portfolio assets and reduce climate risk both at the portfolio level and system level. Participants in this session will hear how endowments and other investors are investing to meet the climate crisis from the perspective of an asset owner, an investment consultant and an asset manager. The conversation will explore questions such as how important is a portfolio carbon footprint? How can smaller asset owners engage companies through their managers? How can investors ensure climate justice is central to decarbonization strategies? Why is it important for investors to make bold commitments on climate now?
Madeline Clark, Associate Investment Director: Sustainable & Impact Investing, Cambridge Associates
Ben McEwen, Climate Active Analyst, Sarasin Asset Management
Jeff Mindlin, Chief Investment Officer, Arizona State University Enterprise Partners
Resources highlighted during the webinar:
- IEN Net Zero Endowments Initiative
- Net Zero Endowments Briefing Paper
- As You Sow Proxy Voting Service
- Emissions 360 framework for Climate Pledges
- Net Zero - Racial Justice intersection Q&A article
- Investing for a Net-Zero World: A Guide for Investors
- Investment Consultants With $10 Trillion Make Net-Zero Pledge
- Sarasin Global Asset Managers Global Investing
Gwladys Ngatchou published Summer 2021 Newsletter in Quarterly IEN Newsletter 2021-08-18 16:42:07 -0400
As we enjoy the summer breeze and fulfill our travel plans, we remain mindful and cautious of the excessive heat and emerging virus variants. For these reasons and many more, we are determined in our efforts to achieve climate justice and racial equity.
In this summer newsletter, we share a Net Zero briefing paper to help endowments understand the concept of a net-zero portfolio, a retirement guide with a “how-to” for Plan Sponsors on adding ESG funds to retirement plans, and an invitation to gather virtually as a network in October.
We’re equally thrilled to announce that the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit will be in-person (with a virtual component) on February 6-8, 2022 at the University of Miami, Florida. Abstract submissions deadline on August 31st, submit your proposal today!
The IEN Team
IEN Q&A: How to Make a “Net Zero Endowment” Net Positive for Racial Justice Amrita Sareen, IEN’s Senior Advisor in this post interviews three industry specialists (see below) to gain insight on the evolving landscape and potential opportunities of addressing net-zero strategies with a racial equity lens.
- Tamara Larsen, Executive Director at Agility
- Jeffrey Mindlin, VP & Chief Investment Officer at ASU Enterprise Partners
- Rachel J. Robasciotti, Founder & CEO at Adasina Social Capital
While many endowments recently announced targets towards net-zero portfolios, a growing number of market practitioners realize the strategic imperative to address net-zero strategies with a racial equity lens. An inclusive and just approach in transitioning to net zero not only provides positive social impact but could result in broader economic benefits and ultimate value to bottom-line returns. Furthermore, investors who ignore the racial equity links to addressing climate change, restrict their portfolio’s access to meaningful net-zero investment opportunities, thereby constraining returns, according to some market experts.
As investors contemplate the idea of net-zero portfolios with a racial equity lens, the Intentional IEN continues to further the conversation and educate stakeholders on this strategic intersection. Read the full interview here and learn more about the Net Zero initiative here
Spotlight: Climate Action Pursuit and 2022 Higher Ed Climate Leadership Summit The October Climate Action Pursuit will be here soon! More than 700 registrants came together to dive deeper into their climate and equity conversations in the June Milestone. You can review brief summaries of all of the June sessions in the event platform here, and registered participants can log in to view recordings there as well.
You can still register! If you register between now and October 7th, you will gain access to the February and June session recordings and have full access to programming in the upcoming October, and December milestones. The October Milestone will provide you with step-by-step inclusive process tools for purchasing offset portfolios and workshops on ways to include communities in investment decisions.We’re equally excited to announce that the annual Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, co-hosted by Second Nature and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), will be on February 6-8, 2022, in Miami, Florida! Submit your session proposals before August 31st, 2021
Updates from the Network New IEN Members
We are pleased to welcome Atom Investor, Consilium Investment Management East bay Foundation, EIRIS Conflict Risk Network, GSSG Solar, SHARE, and ISS ESG to the Network! To learn more about the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN membership, click here.
IEN Team News
Last June, Hannah Bowen transitioned out of her role as Director of Event and Communications to lead a nonprofit in Beverly, MA. We’re grateful for Hannah’s continued work with the network and you’re welcome to stay in touch with Hannah here.
We welcomed Julia Parker as the new Managing Director of IEN. Julia is a native of Omaha, Nebraska and has worked in both the public and private sector in community development, impact investing and technology. Julia will be working with Georges Dyer, our co-founder on the leadership team of IEN
This summer, we had the opportunity to work with Marie Atsuko Gray, Rina Lakhlani, Siobhan Pender and Tharun Reddy Pesara. They have been a great addition and support to the team through their time with us and shared what they’ve learned in our blog. You’re welcome to learn more about their experience with IEN here.
IEN Members can access the following recent webinars through our member-only archive:
- Creating Racial Equity Standards for Investing | July 13, 2021
- Ins and Outs of Designing a Racial Equity Portfolio | May 13, 2021
- Equity Investing in Climate Solutions | May 5, 2021
- IEN SIILK Student Corporate Engagement Competition Final Presentations | April 27, 2021
Please join us for our upcoming IEN events:
- Climate Action Pursuit - October Milestone | October 7-8, 2021
- Climate Action Pursuit - December Milestone | December 9-10, 2021
- 2022 Climate Leadership Summit | February 6-8, 2022
- Phenix Digital Impact Symposium | September 14-15, 2021
- Sustainability Week: Countdown to COP26 | October 4, 2021
- GreenBiz 22 | February 15, 2022
- Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education| October 12, 2021
- Washington Oregon Higher Education Sustainability Conference (WOHESC) 2022| March 2, 2022
See our full event calendar here, and please let us know which topics you would most like to hear from members about in this year’s webinar series!
IEN's Focus Areas SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning & Knowledge) Network
- SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning & Knowledge) Network: In May, student teams from Arizona State University, Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business, University of California Haas School of Business, and University of Chicago participated in the SIILK Corporate Engagement Competition. Each team worked from February to April to produce both a written investment recommendation in a publicly-traded company listed on any major exchange, and a proposed shareholder engagement strategy that aligned with IEN’s Social Equity and Climate Goals. The student team from Arizona State University (ASU) was selected as this year’s winner. The ASU Team proposed an investment in BlackRock, Inc., chosen for its financial reliability, strong ESG performance with material topics, competitiveness as an industry leader, commitment to racial justice, and opportunity to reduce its risks. We had a quiet summer but the SIILK programming will resume when students are back on campus in September. Learn more and get involved with SIILK programming here.
- IEN is also pleased to support the ESG For Impact Conference Scholarship. Qualified students and young professionals interested in a career in sustainable investing are encouraged to apply through September 1, 2021. See here for more information on the scholarship.
Supported by Federated Hermes
Sustainable Retirements: ESG Options for Retirement Plans
- A panel of thought leaders held a session at the June milestone of the Climate Action Pursuit to discuss the “blind spot” that exists between organizations goals and the retirement investments they provide on behalf of their employees. The group also published a Guide to Sustainable Retirements with practical information for plan sponsors to address misconceptions related to the use of ESG funds in retirement plans. Learn more here about joining the Sustainable Retirements Initiative.
Supported by Natixis, Federated Hermes, and Schroders
Net Zero Endowments
- The Net Zero Endowments Steering Committee released a Net Zero Briefing Paper with an introductory, high-level overview of net zero portfolio commitments, and is currently working on a more in-depth white paper focused on taking an intersectional approach to net-zero and racial justice. Members of the committee will represent the initiative at the finance panel during NYC Climate Week and the group is planning a series of webinars and workshops on net zero in the runup to COP26 in November. Within the past months, ASU made it's Net Zero statement public, University of Waterloo committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, and UTAM joined more than 450 investors in signing a joint statement urging leaders to accelerate action to address climate change. We encourage more endowments to commit to Net Zero Portfolios and join this initiative. Visit the Net Zero Endowments webpage for details and to get involved!
Supported by Wellington Management, ISS ESG, and Adasina Social Capital
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- IEN’s DEI Initiative brought DEI focused sessions to the June milestone of the Climate Action Pursuit such as a conversation with Dr. Davarian Baldwin, a Paul E Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies at Trinity College, to discuss approaches to building equitable relationships with communities beyond the campus gates through several action areas including endowment investing. As part of our Racial Equity Investing Webinar Series, we also hosted two more workshops – one on the Ins and Outs of Designing a Racial Equity Portfolio and another one on Creating Racial Equity Standards for Investing. Many of these activities were made possible by the members of IEN’s DEI Working Group that continue to meet quarterly to facilitate learning and collaboration to help the network make progress on DEI. Learn more here about joining this community, participating in joint work, or sponsoring.
Supported by Prime Buchholz and Global Endowment Management
Fiduciary Duty & Policy
The Fiduciary duty working group submitted a comment letter to the SEC on June 14th regarding Climate Change Disclosure rules. The letter called for improved disclosure standards to help investors fulfill their fiduciary duty to consider and reduce the risks associated with climate change and other ESG issues. The group continues to share the latest developments and best practices for fiduciaries regarding mission-aligned, sustainable investing. Learn more here about participating in this working group.
- With a very successful proxy voting season and preparations underway for ongoing corporate engagement in 2021-2022, the Shareholder working group shares a member - Warren Wilson College (“WWC”)- work in partnership with IEN and As You Sow (As You Vote) in adopting a robust climate change strategy that actively promotes racial and gender equity in their businesses. As You Vote, is a new proxy voting service by shareholder engagement leader and is collaborating with As You Sow on creating a curriculum to prepare students to understand the power of and gain the skills for active corporate engagement to prepare them as leaders for the future. Learn more here about participating in this work.
Trustee Peer Group
- Members of the trustee peer group attended the Presidents & Trustee session during the June Pursuit Milestone to learn about new models for action from peers, and create recommendations for how institutions can lead action on climate, relying on unique institutional strengths. Learn more here about participation in the Trustee Peer Group.
Featured Resources Resources from IEN
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.
Other Resources from the Field
- Mindful Fiduciaries at the Wheel: Ten Ideas for Investment Committees Exploring Racial, Gender and Social Equity | Philanthropy Northwest
- The era of diversity disclosure in asset management has begun. Will actual diversity follow? | Impact Alpha
- Tideline Publishes Guide to Using the Impact Investment Label | PR News
- Building an Impactful Faith Portfolio: A Foundational Guide to Impact Investing for Faith Institutions | Calvert Impact Capital
- 2021 Annual ETF Stewardship Survey | Sage
- Sign the Due Diligence 2.0 Commitment | Adasina
In the News IEN in the News
Below is a sampling of recent news articles we've posted in our Weekly News Round-Up, ranging in topics from Sustainable, Impact and ESG Investing, Climate Risk, Science & Regulation, Sustainability in Higher Education, Divestment, Clean Energy, and more. To receive news updates directly in your inbox every Friday, manage your mailing preferences here.
IEN in the News:
- Endowments Embrace Net-Zero Portfolios: Is It the Future of Investment Management? | Chief Investment Officer, March 11, 2021
- Bringing Retirement Plans Into The ESG Revolution | Worth Magazine, March 19, 2021
- Divestment Gap Emerges | Inside Higher ED, April 28, 2021
- Leading Higher-Education Institutional Investors to Guide New Initiative for Net Zero Endowments, Targeting 50 Endowments Over Two Years | Businesswire, May, 2021
- Students Win National Sustainable Investing Competition | ASU News, June, 2021
- Investing for a Net-Zero World: A Guide for Investors | July 2021
Read more coverage of the network here
Recent Announcements About Higher Education Endowments Aligning Their Investments with Institutional Goals
Read coverage of recent announcements by higher education endowments and other asset owners about their progress aligning their investments with institutional goals:
- Arizona State University: ASU Foundation commits to transition its investment portfolio to at least Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.
- District of Columbia Retirement Board: Washington Councilmember Robert White introduced legislation requiring the District of Columbia Retirement Board to have diverse asset managers and investment consultants.
- New York State Pension Fund: The 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: Princeton 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: The federal government’s Thrift Savings 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: 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: UTAM 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: Sydney University adopts a Sustainable Investment Strategy to increase investment in sustainable solutions and exclude fossil fuel companies with inadequate transition plans from investment.
- University of Utah: The 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: The 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: The Yale University Board of Trustees recently approved a new set of ethical investing guidelines for the university’s $31.2 billion endowment.
View past issues of IEN’s weekly news summary online here.
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 Gwladys Ngatchou at [email protected].
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Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: August 13, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-08-13 13:27:39 -0400
It's bitter-sweet at IEN this week as our summer interns wrapped up with their final presentations yesterday. Our interns were a great addition to the team and showed so much passion and enthusiasm for sustainable investing in their work.
In this week’s news, the IPCC report warns that Global warming could exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius in the next 20 years without immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. We also invite you to visit our updated Corporate engagement page that provides resources on how to improve disclosure on climate risk and inequality and to submit abstract proposals for the coming 2022 Higher Summit.Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: August 6, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-08-06 13:35:48 -0400
We are pleased to support the ESG For Impact Conference Scholarship,a scholarship program bringing qualified young people to a conference where ESG/SRI investment professionals come together to share information, collaborate on projects, and network with their peers. Applications are accepted through September 1, 2021.
In this week’s news we’d like to remind you to submit a proposal for the upcoming Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit (Feb 6-8) by August 31, 2021. Preview the abstract here and submit an abstract today!Read more
Atom is an AI-driven investment platform that brings together the top alpha-generating skill-sets in the hedge fund industry to deliver significant, uncorrelated alpha to investors.
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: July 23, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-07-23 13:51:03 -0400
We’re excited to announce the release of our new Net Zero Endowments Briefing Paper that aims to provide endowment decision-makers and their service providers with an introductory, high-level overview of net zero portfolio commitments.
We’re also looking for a creative and adaptive individual with an entrepreneurial spirit to join our small but highly effective team as a Membership Manager. Learn more and apply hereRead more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: July 16, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-07-16 14:03:43 -0400
We are now accepting session proposals to develop the October 7th - 8th Climate Action Pursuit program. Share your expertise with your peers across sectors if you attended the February and or June Milestones, or want to highlight a major climate and or equity action your team accomplished this year. Proposals will be accepted until July 30th.
We’d equally like to thank all those that were able to attend our last webinar on racial equity standards with Tynesia Boyea-Robinson, CEO of CapEQ. For those that weren’t able to make it, please see the recording here.Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Sustainability Week: Countdown to COP26 in Events & Webinars 2021-07-16 10:28:07 -0400
Gwladys Ngatchou published Net Zero Endowments Briefing Paper in Resources from IEN 2021-07-14 17:36:52 -0400
This briefing paper aims to provide endowment decision-makers and their service providers with an introductory, high-level overview of net zero portfolio commitments. It provides clarity to the following questions:
• What does it mean to have a net zero commitment?
• What does it entail to make and implement such a commitment?
• What are the key resources, initiatives, and groups involved in the space?
References to detailed guides; and additional resources on the various aspects of implementing a net zero commitment will be developed as follow-up resources to this briefing.
Read the Full Paper
This document is made available through IEN’s Net Zero Endowments initiative, led by a diverse Steering Committee of endowments, investment consultants, managers, data providers, Outsourced CIOs, and nonprofit partners.
The briefing paper is made possible by the supporting partners of IEN's Endowment Initiative:
Gwladys Ngatchou published Global Conference on Sustainability in Higher Education in Events & Webinars 2021-07-14 09:44:16 -0400
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: July 9, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-07-09 13:21:20 -0400
Hoping you had a wonderful July 4th long weekend!
Soon, we will be releasing a Net Zero Endowments Briefing Paper to assist endowments and service providers with introductory, high-level overview of net-zero portfolio commitments. Stay tuned.
In this week’s news, Washington Council member Robert White introduced legislation requiring the District of Columbia Retirement Board to have diverse asset managers and investment consultants and the National Catholic Reporter Publishing Company divested its investment portfolio from the fossil fuel sector.Read more
Gwladys Ngatchou published Weekly News Round-Up: July 2, 2021 in Weekly News Round-Ups 2021-07-02 12:45:31 -0400
As a network, we would like to wish you a memorable fourth of July and inform you that our office will be closed on Monday to commemorate our country’s independence day.
After a long time away from each other we’re excited to announce that our in-person 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit will be held on February 13-15, 2022 in Miami Florida. Stay tuned for more information.
In this week’s news we invite you to take a look at Commissioner Allison Herren Lee Keynote Address at the 2021 Society for Corporate Governance National Conference, and remember to sign up for our next Racial Equity Series webinar hereRead more