In this Earth Day issue of our newsletter, we continue our deep-dive series on how asset owners and managers are seeking and measuring impact in specific asset classes with an exclusive Q&A article on public market fixed-income ESG strategies.
We also share several updates from the network, including a spotlight on Middlebury College, the release of our 2018 Impact Report, a recap of the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, the progress being driven by our working groups, and key resources like the Gender Lens Investing Primer for College and University Endowments.
As always, please be in touch with any questions, news or ideas for IEN.
The IEN Team
Feature School: Middlebury College
Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college, based in Vermont and known for its global reach and focus. In late January 2019, Middlebury announced an ambitious, whole-institution approach to combating climate change that includes sustainable, fossil fuel-free investing.
Middlebury’s new Energy2028 plan builds on a history of thinking holistically about sustainability. In 2007, then-President Ron Liebowitz signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, and the campus achieved carbon neutrality within ten years - a story shared in this video. The college has won numerous awards for its integrated approach to sustainability, including campus operations and curriculum. The new integrated plan also includes ambitious targets for using the college endowment’s investment strategy to fight climate change.
Read the full school spotlight here.
Q&A Article: Making An Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Impact through Public Fixed-Income
Equities have largely been the darling asset class when it comes to public ESG dollars. Of the nearly 1,900 ESG funds tracked by Bloomberg, about 62% invest in public equities versus 15% that focus on public fixed-income assets, according to reports in late 2018. This greater focus on equities supports the notion that the potential investment opportunities and value add within fixed-income ESG investments have yet to be fully tapped.
Given the benefits in investing in public FI with an ESG lens, Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) approached industry experts to gain insight on opportunities and trends within the sector and how managers and asset owners measure the impact of their investments. Read the full Q&A article here.
The specialists included:
|Erik Gross, Treasurer, University of New Hampshire Foundation, $387 million in AUM||Mary Gregory, Sustainable Investing Specialist, Brown Advisory, $71.6 billion in client assets|
Sarah Wilson, Senior Director, Responsible Investing, Nuveen, a TIAA company, $977 billion in AUM
Tim Coffin, Senior Vice President, Breckinridge Capital Advisors, $37 billion in AUM
Additional Updates from the Network
New IEN Members
We are pleased to welcome Ecotrust Forest Management, WAVE Equity Partners, North Carolina State University, Russell Goldstein, Agnes Scott College, HBCU Green Fund, University of the Virgin Islands, Colgate University, Université de Sherbrooke, and the Dallas County Community College District to the Network!
To learn more about the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN membership, click here.
For 2019, the IEN Executive Committee welcomed three new members: Tamara Larsen, Executive Director, Perella Weinberg Partners; Ken Locklin, Managing Director, Impax Asset Management; and Jeff Mindlin, Vice President of Investments, ASU Enterprise Partners. They join an active group of Executive Committee and Steering Committee members guiding the network’s priorities and programs.
IEN Welcomes Our Inaugural SIILK Network Fellow
We are pleased to announce the selection of the 2019 Intentional Endowments Network SIILK Network Fellow, Alicia Sidik. Alicia is a current student at UC Berkeley studying Society and Environment with a concentration in Justice and Sustainability. Her interest in sustainable investing began when she worked as an advocate with the Renters' Rights Coalition of Silicon Valley, where she saw how private equity investments by pension funds and endowments can be used to fund affordable and workforce housing. This past fall, Alicia worked as a Community Wealth Building Research Intern at the Democracy Collaborative, working within their Higher Education's Anchor Mission Initiative. Alicia is particularly interested in leveraging place-based investments to help address resource gaps and shift investment capital toward addressing economic and environmental disparities in the local Berkeley community. Read Alicia’s full bio here, and join us in giving her a warm welcome!
IEN Members Gather at Peer Learning Events Around the Country
- In February, IEN co-hosted the 2019 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit with Second Nature. This gathering of higher ed leaders on sustainability included a dedicated endowments track and led to an ambitious Call to Action by over 20 presidents. Read the Summary Report of the Summit, and save the date for next year’s Summit, taking place from February 23-25, 2020 in Atlanta, GA.
- More recently, the Network co-hosted the Student Conference on Corporate Responsibility in New Haven, CT and the HBCU Impact Investment Summit in Durham, NC.
- IEN staff and network leaders have also been spreading the word about intentionally designed endowments at industry events including the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Conference, Council of Institutional Investors Spring 2019 Conference, Confluence Philanthropy’s Practitioner’s Gathering, Global Catholic Climate Movement’s Catholic Divestment Conference, Opal Group’s Impact Investing Forum, Yale University’s Impact Investing Conference, and The FRA Responsible Investing Summit.
In the past few months, IEN has hosted the following webinars. Follow the links to view recordings of each:
- Deforestation, A Climate Risk That Can Be Addressed
- Incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Factors in the Investment Process
Online Peer Networking
This month, we launched our first “Community Conversation,” a new way of supporting network-building and peer learning by phone and video conference. Stay tuned for upcoming community conversations, and please share ideas for educational topics with our Membership Manager Erina McWilliam-Lopez at [email protected].
SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning and Knowledge) Network
In the past few months, the SIILK Network has:
- Co-hosted the Student Conference on Corporate Responsibility, an event that convened over 50 undergraduate and graduate students and faculty involved in running student-managed funds across the country, with the goal of broadening students' understanding of both sustainable finance and shareholder engagement.
- Launched a new Mentorship Program, a program designed to connect current students with experts from the sustainable investing industry, with the ultimate goal of creating a more diverse pipeline of finance professionals with a solid grasp on sustainable investing.
- Launched a new website to house a growing resource library and information on the various ways to engage with the SIILK Network.
- Selected our inaugural fellow, Alicia Sidik, through a Fellowship Program which aims to support education and professional development for exceptional students through an internship with IEN, academic project work, mentorship, training, and support.
If you are interested in connecting with stakeholders to share best practices and advance the development of sustainably invested student-managed funds and sustainable finance curriculum, please reach out to Nicole at [email protected].
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.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group: The DEI Working Group led a workshop at the recent Higher Ed Climate Leadership Summit and has focused this quarter on supporting the HBCU Impact Investment Summit. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Kaede at [email protected].
- Gender Lens Investing Working Group: The Gender Lens Investing Working Group released its Primer for College and University Endowments on International Women’s Day in March. If you are passionate about increasing the number of higher education endowments investing with a gender lens, please reach out to Nicole at [email protected] for more information, and to join our next call.
- Fiduciary Duty & Policy: After publishing several resources on fiduciary duty and policy which are in regular use by our members, this working group has turned its attention to board formation and training with a behavioral governance focus. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Alice at [email protected].
- Shareholder Engagement: In an ongoing effort to make engagement efforts more accessible to endowments, IEN shares public statements or letters in support of various initiatives or policies related to sustainability, ESG issues, and other materials investment considerations on the Sign-On Opportunities page of our website, as opportunities for endowments to add their names and offer support, at their own discretion. Additionally, an email list has been created to share investor sign-on opportunities with working group members and other interested asset owners. If you are interested in participating in this group or joining the list to receive sign-on opportunities, please reach out to Alice at [email protected].
- Trustee Peer Group: Most recently, this group designed and presented a session for Trustees at The Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, which took place Feb. 10-12, 2019 in Tempe, AZ. If you are interested in participating in this group, please reach out to Tony at [email protected].
- Intentionally Designed Endowment Roundtable at Total Impact Philadelphia | May 2, 2019, 1:00 - 4:30 p.m. ET, Philadelphia, PA
- An Introduction to the IEN Roadmap & How the University of New Hampshire Intentionally Invests | Intentional Endowments Network and WISE, May 9, 2019, 6-8 PM, Cambridge, MA
- Community Impact Investing Roundtable 2019 | Intentional Endowments Network, September 6, 2019, Berkeley, CA
- Ceres Conference 2019 | Ceres, April 29 - May 1, San Francisco, CA
- Total Impact Philadelphia 2019 l Total Impact, May 1-2, 2019, Philadelphia, PA
- American Climate Leadership Summit 2019 | May 1-2, 2019, Washington, DC
2019 Opportunity Zone Expo Las Vegas | Opportunity Zone Expo, May 9-10, 2019, Las Vegas, NV
- Interested members should contact Kaede to access a $50 registration discount as an IEN member
- Davos on the Delta l iSelect Fund, May 14-15, 2019, Memphis, TN
- 9th Annual Conference: New Challenges New Opportunities | US SIF, June 10-12, 2019, Minneapolis, MN
OCIO Solutions Summit | Investment Management Institute, June 12, 2019, Stamford, CT
Interested members should contact Kaede to access the following member discounts:
- IEN endowment members - Room and board will be covered, $350 registration fee (80% off the original price), Opportunity to speak on a panel
- IEN asset manager members - $200 off the original price
- Interested members should contact Kaede to access the following member discounts:
2nd Annual Advisors Forum | Confluence Philanthropy, June 24-25, 2019, San Francisco, CA
- Interested members should contact Hannah to access a registration discount as an IEN member
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:
- Intentionally Designed Endowment Roadmap l The Intentional Endowments Network
- Gender Lens Investing Primer for College and University Endowments l The Intentional Endowments Network
- 2018 Impact Report l The Intentional Endowments Network
- 2018 NACUBO-TIAA Study of Endowments | National Association of College and University Business Officers
- The Worth Of Endowments In Higher Education | Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges
- Proxy Preview 2019 | As You Sow, Sustainable Investment Institute, and Proxy Impact
- Change the Conversation: Redefining How Companies Engage Investors on Sustainability l Ceres
- Global Sustainable Investment Review 2018 | Global Sustainable Investment Alliance
- Sizing the Impact Investing Market | Global Impact Investing Network
- Arnerich Massena Publishes White Paper: “Women in Investing: Why balanced gender representation on your advisory team helps lead to success” | Oregon Business
- Repository Of Gender Lens Investing Resources | Global Impact Investing Network
- Fundamentals of Sustainable Investment: A Guide For Financial Advisors | Money Management Institute and The Investment Integration Project
- The Role of Investors in Supporting Better Corporate ESG Performance | Ceres
- The 2019 State of Green Business Report l Green Business
- Diversifying Investments: A Study of Ownership Diversity and Performance in the Asset Management Industry l Knight Foundation
- Green Bonds - The State of the Market 2018 l Climate Bonds Initiative
- Major Funds Launch Toolkit to Help Investors Measure SDG Impact l Ethical Corporation
- Investing in our Future: How Charities Can Lead the Way in Responsible Investment | ShareAction and Charities Responsible Investment Network
- Preparing for a Low Carbon Economy l Morningstar
- Sustainable Signals: Growth and Opportunity in Asset Management l Morgan Stanley
- Investing In A Time Of Climate Change — The Sequel | Mercer
- Fast Moving Consumers l CDP
- Archived EU Action Plan Articles l Responsible Investor
- Resilient and Sustainable Portfolios: A Framework for Responsible Investment | World Wide Fund for Nature
- The ESG Global Survey 2019: Asset owners and managers determine their ESG integration strategies | BNP Paribas
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, manage your mailing preferences here.
IEN in the News:
- College and University Presidents Announce Call to Action for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions l Intentional Endowments Network
- A Call For Action on Climate Change l Metro West Daily News
- UConn President Herbst Endorses Guiding Principles for Equitable Climate Solutions l University of Connecticut Sustainability Office
- Opinion: Lewis & Clark's Wim Wiewel Calls on Higher Ed to Lead Battle Against Climate Change l Portland Business Journal
- David Finegold & Scott D. Miller: Schools Taking Lead in Global Warming Fight l Pilot Online
- Middlebury Joins “Call to Action for Accelerating Equitable and Just Climate Solutions” l Middlebury Newsroom
- Student Fund Managers Fuel Colleges’ Clean Energy Investments | Energy News Network
- CFA Institute Shares Position on ESG Integration l CFA Institute
- Seeing SRI in Context | Business Officer Magazine
- How Foundations Are Using Impact Investing to Advance Racial Equity l Stanford Social Innovation Review
- CIOs and Asset Owners Discuss Fossil Fuel Divestment | Chief Investment Officer
- Impact Investing Leaders Introduce Opportunity Zones Reporting Framework l Intentional Endowments Network Blog
- Carbon Emissions Hit a Record High | Bloomberg
- Fed Describes How Climate Change Affects U.S. Economy | Pensions & Investments
- Climate-Change Funds Try to Profit From a Warming World | New York Times
- Proxy Voting Reform: What Is On The Agenda, What Isn’t On The Agenda, And Why It Matters For Asset Owners | BU Law Review
- (Watch) How the Ivy League Stays So Rich: College Endowments | CNBC
- Statement from the Amherst College Board of Trustees on Climate Action l Amherst College
- Giant US Teacher's Pension Backs New Female- and Minority-Led Activist Fund With $250 Million l CNBC
- With a $10 Million Endowment Plan, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Invests in HBCUs l The Root
- The Student Divestment Movement’s Next Frontier: Community Investment l Community Wealth
- What You Need to Know About Opportunity Zones | Forbes
- Gender-Lens Investing Strategies for 2019 l Stanford Social Innovation Review
- JPMorgan's Private Prison Pullback: A Generational Shift, or Low-Risk Lip Service? | Fortune
- How the MIINT Program Trains Students to Think Like Impact Investors | Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
- Workers want those hard-to-find socially responsible investments in their 401(k) plans: Survey | CNBC
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 Hannah Bowen at [email protected].