Guide to Sustainable Retirements

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About the 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. The guide aims to address misconceptions related to the use of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) funds in retirement plans. In addition, this guide contains modules on 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.

Report modules include:

Financial Performance: designed to address the issue of ESG performance in defined contribution retirement plans (June 2021)

Plan Sponsor: serves as a guide on adding ESG funds to retirement plans (June 2021)

Fiduciary Duty: designed to address Fiduciary concerns that have arisen in the consideration of ESG in 401(K) and 403(b) defined contribution retirement plans (August 2021)

Advocates Guide:  designed for faculty, staff and students to determine what is in their Defined Contribution Plan and how to advocate for ESG funds inclusion in their retirement plan(s) (October 2021)


Additional Sustainable Retirement Resources:

 IEN's Sustainable Retirement Initiative 

Sustainable retirement resource library

Sustainable Retirement Plans Pledge


We thank Federated Hermes, Gitterman Wealth Management, Natixis, and Schroders for their generous support and expertise in assembling this guide.

Lead Author Michael Rhim, Principal, PRM with the support of Georges Dyer, Chris Walker, Tony Calandro, the IEN Sustainable Retirements Initiative’s Expert Panel, and contributions from CERES and the Environmental Defense Fund.


This Guide is made possible by the supporting partners of IEN's Sustainable Retirements Initiative at the time of its publication: 




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