Winter 2022 Newsletter


We hope you are enjoying the coziness of winter and staying healthy and safe as we hopefully put the worst of the pandemic behind us. We're thrilled to announce that registration is now open for the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, the premiere gathering of higher education leaders addressing inequality and the climate crisis. You can join as an individual, use the summit as a catalyst for organization wide conversation by joining as a Host Institution or join as a sponsor.

In this quarter, we share IEN’s 2021 Impact Report highlighting last year network accomplishment, the Student Competition press release announcing the 12 Schools that signed up to participate in the IEN 2022 Corporate Engagement Competition and a report on the University of Illinois System commitment to sustainable investing.

We’d also like to welcome TIAA - Nuveen as a new member and thank them for supporting several IEN initiatives: the Net Zero Endowments initiative, the Sustainable Retirements initiative, the SIILK Student Corporate Engagement Competition, and the Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit as the convening sponsor.


Warm regards,

The IEN Team

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University of Illinois System Report

The U of I System investment program has $4.27 billion in assets under management (AUM) in its operating and endowment pools. The endowment includes legacy gifts that were bequest directly to the University, as well as a portion of the operating cash and other funds. It is separate from the University of Illinois Foundation.

While there are many other sustainability initiatives happening within the U of I System and its three campuses, this case study focuses on it's investment program only. Read full report here

Spotlight: 2022 Higher Ed Climate Leadership Summit

Registration is Now Live!

We are excited to announce registration is now open for the 2022 Higher Education Climate Leadership Summit, the premier gathering of higher education leaders committed to addressing inequality and climate crisis taking place virtually on April 5 - 8, 2022.

Over four days, we will focus on fostering courageous conversations and radical collaborations in our shared pursuit of a just, resilient, and thriving carbon-free society.

  • For higher education institutions, we invite you to join as a Host institution. Benefits include 50 individual registrations, presentation and exclusive networking opportunities, and visibility in all event materials. Learn more about benefits here.
  • For businesses and other organization types, we invite you to join as a Sponsor. Benefits at each level include several individual registrations, networking and meeting opportunities, hosting a virtual booth to highlight your organizational leadership, and more. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

2022 Summit sponsors


2021 IEN Network Impact Report
We invite you to take a look back at what we accomplished last year through the 2021 IEN Impact Report. While we grapple with global challenges, the endowment community continues to advance sustainable investment practices and strategies.

IEN is proud to support its growing members and provide them with a collaborative space and resources to achieve their mission aligned goals. We express our sincere gratitude to all our partners for their unfailing support in this endeavor.

Updates from the Network
New IEN Members

We are pleased to welcome IDiF, LOCUS Impact Investing, Ninety One, Regis University, Russell Investments, TIAA - Nuveen and University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO) to the Network! To learn more about the leadership opportunities and benefits of IEN membership, click here.

IEN Team News

Last January, Julia Parker, IEN’s Managing Director and Kaede Kawauchi, IEN’s Director of Strategic Initiatives both transitioned out of their role at IEN. We’re grateful for Kaede’s and Julia’s continued work with IEN and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

New IEN Staff Members


Hanako Boulangeat

Program Director - Sustainable Investing, Climate Justice & DEI


Natasha Keidl

Sustainable Investing Intern

We welcomed Hanako Boulangeat as the new Program Director - Sustainable Investing, Climate Justice & DEI at IEN. Hanako has a rich background in sustainability, events programming, and program development. We were also delighted to welcome Natasha Keidl IEN’s new Sustainable Investing Intern. Natasha is a senior at Northeastern University majoring in economics and will be supporting our sustainability programing this winter.
Recent Webinars

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

Upcoming Events

Please join us for our upcoming IEN events:

Other Events

IEN's Focus Areas
Sustainable Retirements: ESG Options for Retirement Plans

As part of IEN’s Sustainable Retirement 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.

Read the full Guide here.

Sustainable retirement News:

Click here to learn more about IEN's Sustainable Retirement Initiative.

Supported by

SIILK (Sustainable & Impact Investing Learning & Knowledge) Network

Teams from 12 colleges and universities have signed up to participate in the 2022 Corporate Engagement Competition, which invites students to pitch an investment in a publicly-traded company, and include in that recommendation a shareholder engagement strategy focused on addressing inequality and the climate crisis.

Learn more about the participating teams here. To participate in the 2022 Competition as a sponsor or educational partner, or to learn more about participating in the Competition in future years, reach out to Nicole Torrico at [email protected].

Additionally, we are in the process of updating our Annual Report on the State of the Field of Student-Managed Investment Funds. This report compiles information on sustainably invested student-managed investment funds (SMIFs) across the country – highlighting the assets under management, fund structure, and sustainable investing strategies used by SMIFs.

To be highlighted in the Report, please fill out this form.

Supported by

Net Zero Endowments

IEN’s Net Zero Endowments Initiative, remains very active as momentum continues to grow on driving decarbonization through investment portfolios.

In recent months, we welcomed two new members to the NZ Endowments Steering Committee, Cornelia Horner, Strategic Initiatives and Communications Lead at the University of Virginia Investment Management Company (UVIMCO) and Sarah Wilson, Managing Director, Head of ESG Integration at Nuveen. TIAA / Nuveen also joined the initiative as a lead sponsor.

Led by a sub-committee of the NZ Steering Committee, we launched a new white paper this week: Leading with Justice: Net Zero Investing & Conversations on Climate Justice. The paper is designed to help endowment decision makers better understand the inherent interconnections between climate and justice, and to take an intersectional approach to addressing both in the investment process.

We encourage investors to get involved with this initiative and make net zero portfolio commitments. Please visit the Net Zero Endowments page for more information and resources and contact [email protected] to learn more.

Supported by




Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

IEN’s DEIJ Initiative maintained a focus on climate justice at the final milestone of the Climate Action Pursuit in December to illustrate how the problem and the solution are intertwined with our legacies of colonialism and environmental racism. We continued to promote the Belonging Pledge and Due Diligence 2.0 initiatives, encouraging investors to intentionally advance DEIJ goals in their investment processes; and advanced work to establish a Racial Equity Investing Coalition with several nonprofit partners, including Confluence Philanthropy, the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative, Impact Capital Managers, Toniic, American Sustainable Business Network, Opportunity Finance, and The ImPact.

We also advanced relationships and partnerships between IEN and other groups advancing DEIJ in investing, such as NAIC, Institutional Allocators for DEI, and IDiF. IEN’s DEIJ Working Group that continues to meet quarterly to facilitate learning and collaboration to help the network make progress on DEIJ. Learn more here about joining this community, participating in joint work, or sponsoring.

Supported by

Fiduciary Duty & Policy and Trustee Peer Group

We advanced the process of combining our Fiduciary Duty & Policy working group and the Trustee Peer Group to form a new Investment Governance Working Group. The new group will monitor developments in fiduciary duty law and governance best practices; and develop educational offerings for Trustees and Investment Committee members on ESG and mission-aligned investing.

Over the past quarter the Fiduciary Duty group monitored the new DOL rule on ESG and led by Keith Johnson, submitted comments in support of the proposed rule with suggestions for improvements, as summarized in this article. Contact [email protected] about participating in this new working group.

Shareholder Engagement

Shareholder Engagement: As the 2022 proxy season gets underway, there will be even more focus on impactful ESG resolutions. We have continued to work with Network member Warren Wilson College (WWC) to support proxy voting and shareholder engagement. In 2021, WWC cast 13,000 proxy votes at 1,200 companies. Working with IEN and As You Sow, WWC submitted shareholder proposals at 20 companies for the 2021-2022 proxy season. Of these, seven were resolved in dialogue with the companies without submitting a resolution. The others going to resolution are focused on various issues, including climate change, DEIJ, and environmental justice.

We have also continued to promote our partnership with As You Vote, a new ESG aligned proxy voting service, to help endowments vote proxy along strong ESG guidelines in a way that is feasible for small investment teams with limited research capacity.

Learn more here about participating in this work.

Featured Resources
From IEN's Blog

Endowment Sustainable Investing Reports:

Other Resources from the Field
In the News
IEN in the News

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:

  • Rutgers University: The Board of Governors and Trustees voted to divest about 5 percent of Rutgers’ $1.6 billion endowment by ceasing new fossil fuel investments and within one year will divest from passive index funds with fossil fuel investments. The university plans to reinvest in environmentally friendly versions of those indexes and to seek new investment opportunities in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
  • Catholic University of America: Chinese divestment under consideration at Catholic University of America as the university that wants to align it’s investments with moral beliefs.
  • Virginia Wesleyan University: The VWU Board of Trustees voted to invest all funds in an environmentally friendly way with Brown Advisory no later than June 30, 2022

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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