Summer 2022 Newsletter

As record-breaking temperatures extend across the world, the urgency of our climate emergency and the prescient warnings from the scientific community feel ever more dire. IEN is continuing to work with institutional investors to push for systems-level change for a more sustainable future, and are looking forward to accelerating action at our upcoming Roundtable at the Nest Summit in NYC on September 22. Registration is now open, and we’re looking forward to joining many of you for intimate dialogue and catalytic conversations.

We also invite you to save the date for our 2023 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, which will be in-person at the University of Miami on February 5-7. Please respond to our Call for Content to inform our program design -- we appreciate your thoughts and the time it takes to share them!

Warm Regards,

The IEN Team

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Spotlight: Warren Wilson College: Impacting How Companies Do Business

Launched last week, the Briefing Paper: Warren Wilson College, Impacting How Companies Do Business , details how, through partnerships with IEN and As You Sow, Warren Wilson College (WWC) has influenced companies’ actions through proxy voting and shareholder resolutions.

During the 2021-2022 engagement season, WWC signed 32 letters of authorization allowing As You Sow to enter into dialogue and submit shareholder resolutions to companies WWC invested in. Of those 32 signed letters of authorization to engage, dialogue with over 80% of companies led to impactful agreements that addressed the resolution request sufficiently.

WWC has also influenced the actions of companies through proxy voting. From March 2021 through January 2022, 13,000 proxy ballot line items were voted on WWC’s behalf at approximately 1,200 companies, including 420 shareholder proposed ballot items.

Colleges and universities across the country can learn valuable insights from the process WWC has developed and followed to engage with the companies in their endowment investment portfolio through proxy voting and shareholder resolutions.

Read the full briefing paper to learn more (pdf).

Spotlight: 2022 Climate Week NYC: Roundtable at the Nest Summit

The Nest Summit, a part of Climate Week NYC, will take place on September 21-22, 2022 and gather the leading organizations in the climate solutions movement.

IEN’s Roundtable on September 22rd from 1:30 PM to 5:30 PM ET will be a dynamic, interactive set of conversations on mission-aligned investing, ESG options in retirement plans, Net Zero Portfolios, JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion) in the investment process and more.

Please note that attendees will also need to register for the Nest Summit, which can be done for free below:


Updates from the Network
New IEN Members

We're pleased to welcome the following members to the network:

To learn more about the benefits of membership, click here.

IEN Team News

IEN is thrilled to welcome our Sustainable Investing Program Manager, Climate Justice & Events, Aicha Ly! Aicha is a recent Eastern Connecticut State University graduate, where she majored in political science and government. Aicha brings her extensive event programming experience to the Network, and will also support our Net Zero Endowments Initiative.

We also named two new senior fellows, Dorien Nuñez and Garrett Ashley. Dorien (left) is the Co-Founder and Director of Research, The OMNIResearch Group, and Co-Founder of the ‘OMNI Wall Street Advantage’. Garrett (right) is the Vice Chancellor Emeritus of the California State University System. We’re looking forward to contributions both will bring to the network by way of their unique experiences and perspectives.

Additionally, we extend a warm thank you to our summer sustainable investing intern, Lisa Su. Lisa is studying at Boston College in the class of 2025 and is from the greater Chicagoland area. She’s currently pursuing a degree in finance and business analytics with a minor in philosophy. Thank you for your contributions to the team, Lisa!

Recent Webinars

IEN Members can access the following recent webinars through our member-only archive:

  • IEN Learning Cafe with MSCI | August 22, 2022, 12 PM ET
  • IEN Learning Cafe with Southern Reconstruction Fund | August 8, 2022, 12 PM ET
  • Decarbonizing our Maritime Industry and the Global Supply Chain | July 26, 2022
  • The Power of Intersectionality in the Endowment and the Urgency of JEDI & Racial Equity Investing | July 13, 2022
  • Overcoming Unconscious (and conscious) Bias in the Asset Management Industry: A Juneteenth Season Discussion | June 30, 2022
  • Investing for Impact in the Food System: Philanthropic, Private & Public Markets Strategies | April 29, 2022
Upcoming Events

Please join us for our upcoming IEN events:

Other Events

IEN's Focus Areas
SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning & Knowledge) Network

We’re thrilled to share that this spring we announced the winners of our 2022 Student Corporate Engagement Challenge! Student teams from Bard College and Virginia Wesleyan University are our graduate and undergraduate winners, respectively.

And now is the time to indicate your interest in participating in the 2023 Student Corporate Engagement Challenge! Participating students will receive a variety of benefits, including access to mentorship and networking opportunities, free and discounted registration to educational workshops and industry events, presentation opportunities, and multimedia interview opportunities.

We are also looking for sustainable finance professionals to serve as mentors to students participating in this year's Challenge. Mentors will guide student teams as they develop their investment recommendations and shareholder engagement strategies. If you are a sustainable investing professional, we want you to volunteer to mentor a student team.

Indicate your interest to compete or mentor a student team here.

To connect on the Challenge or additional ways to be a part of our work supporting sustainable investing education through SIILK, reach out to Nicole at [email protected]

Supported by

Sustainable Retirements: ESG Options for Retirement Plans

As part of IEN’s Sustainable Retirements Initiative, we launched our Guide to Sustainable Retirements. This guide is designed to provide practical information relevant to plan sponsors, human resources and finance officers and personnel, advocates, employees, investment advisors, legal scholars, and others. It aims to address misconceptions related to the use of ESG funds in retirement plans. In addition, this guide contains modules on financial performance and fiduciary duty concerns, a how-to guide for plan sponsors evaluating the addition of ESG funds to retirement plans, and steps outlining how to advocate for ESG integration in retirement plans.

The Sustainable Retirements Initiative was also the focal point of a recent panel the Intentional Endowments Network had at GreenFin 2022, entitled “Aligning Retirement Funds With ESG Goals.” The panel, moderated by Georges Dyer and featuring Marina Severinovsky from Schroders, Eric Pitt from Ceres, and Danielle Fugere from As You Sow as speakers, explored how groups like IEN are working to encourage retirement plans to adopt options that will support the transition to a regenerative economy.

Read the full Guide here.

Sustainable Retirement News:

Supported by

Net Zero Endowments

In July, we hosted a webinar with IEN Member EnTrust Global and with Purus Marine focusing on the role the maritime industry has in decarbonizing the global supply chain. Members can view the recording here, and you can watch a short highlight reel on our LinkedIn. In August, we hosted a “Learning Cafe” with MSCI, exploring the concepts and methodologies investors can use in tracking progress toward zero carbon emissions, such as Implied Temperature Rise and Carbon Value At Risk.

IEN’s Net Zero Steering Committee meets monthly to advance this initiative, and in recent meetings heard guest presentations from the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi), FFI Solutions, and Ninety One.

It was encouraging to see a number of net-zero commitments made in the past few months from asset managers like AllianceBernstein. In addition, a number of asset owners have announced their divestment from fossil fuels, including Rose Bruford College, The University of Northampton, and the Presbyterian Church USA, who divested from 5 fossil fuel companies.

The meaningful progress we’ve seen in this space in the recent months and years is encouraging, and we’ll look to push these commitments forward through our Climate Justice & Net Zero Portfolios panel at our Nest Summit roundtable.

Supported by




Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)

This summer has been a busy one for our JEDI Initiative! Thanks to the guidance of our new Director of JEDI, Paris Prince, we’ve had the opportunity to host a three-part series on unconscious bias. The first webinar in this series provided an overview of unconscious bias in the asset management industry against a backdrop of Juneteenth season discussions. The second focused on racial equity investing and the power of intersectionality in the endowment, while the third will be a workshop focused on unconscious bias in the hiring process and employee belonging.

We also enjoyed a learning cafe, the first of its kind for the Intentional Endowments Network, with the Southern Reconstruction Fund! Founder Dorian Burton and senior adviser Theresa Zawacki shared the work SRF is doing to lay the foundations for a restorative economy, especially in the South.

Supported by

Investment Governance Working Group

IEN’s Investment Governance Initiative supports endowment fiduciaries in developing the tools needed to provide the leadership, stewardship, and governance to ensure their portfolios and institutions are positioned to have their investment practices reflect their mission while meeting the endowment’s risk and return objectives.

Members of the Investment Governance Initiative undertake and enable peer-to-peer connections among endowment trustees.

The group meets quarterly to hear case studies and expert presentations, network with peers and share best practices, covering a number of topical discussions from how to engage with endowment decision makers to implementing best practices in investment governance with asset managers and allocators and integrating justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion and climate solutions.

Shareholder Engagement

In July, we hosted a learning session on As You Vote, a new ESG aligned proxy voting service which was created to streamline the process of proxy voting along ESG guidelines for endowments. As You Sow shared an overview of the service and examples of the impact you can make by proxy voting, and Warren Wilson College and Arizona State University also shared their experience utilizing the service.

Additionally, be sure to check out our new Briefing Paper: Warren Wilson College, Impacting How Companies Do Business, which details how, through partnerships with IEN and As You Sow, Warren Wilson College has influenced companies’ actions

If you have interest in getting involved in our shareholder engagement work, reach out to [email protected]

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.

From IEN’s Blog:

Endowment Sustainable Investing Reports:

Other Resources from the Field

Other Resources from the field:

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:

Read more coverage of the network here

Recent Announcements About Higher Education Endowments Aligning Their Investments with Institutional Goals

Other News:

Read coverage of recent announcements by endowments and other asset owners about their progress:

Received this email as a forward from a colleague? Subscribe to IEN's news updates 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 Sorelle Ngatchou at [email protected].

View past issues of IEN’s weekly news summary online here.




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