IEN and Second Nature Webinar: Protect Higher Ed’s Freedom to Consider Sustainability Factors in Portfolios

May 16, 2023 | 2 PM ET

Our economy's prioritization of short-term returns over long-term value creation has exacerbated the issues of climate change, racial injustice, and widening economic inequality. Higher education institutions are making critical choices every day about how to operate in a society and economy facing multiple intersecting crises. 

Colleges and universities allocate $650 billion in capital toward endowment assets and $890 billion toward retirement funds. These institutions have the power to adopt investment strategies that create an equitable, low-carbon, and regenerative society and economy. However, over the past year, there has been a concerted effort by political forces attempting to discredit the use of environmental, social and governance (ESG) information in the investment process. The turmoil has been stoked via media campaigns and state laws that ban certain investment management firms that have been vocal about the (financial and societal) value of considering issues like climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion in the investment process.

Higher education institutions are influential actors with power to drive systemic change – to benefit themselves and society as a whole. In this webinar, we will discuss why political attacks against sustainable investing are relevant to higher education, share the current sustainable investing landscape, and invite you to take action to protect higher education’s ability to consider sustainability metrics when investing endowment and retirement funds.




Steven RothsteinManaging Director, Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets, Ceres

Tim Carter, President, Second Nature

Georges DyerExecutive Director, IEN

Brooke BartonVice President, Innovation & Impact Evaluation, Ceres

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