The Sierra Club Foundation was established in the 1960s so that the Sierra Club, an environmental advocacy group, could preserve its charity status by assuring tax deductibility to its donors. The organization is funded by individual and institutional donors to promote efforts to educate and empower people to protect and improve the natural and human environment.
The Foundation manages its assets in order to maximize its impact by aligning its investment strategy to its mission. As such, the Sierra Club Foundation's assets are invested in funds that integrate ESG issues and that do not own companies with fossil fuel reserves. Additionally, the Foundation manages a high impact portfolio that focuses on achieving a high impact by focusing on climate solutions.
IPE: The European Central Bank (ECB) has published for consultation a guide setting out how it expects banks to “safely and prudently” manage, and disclose, climate-related and environmental risks.
Citywire Selector: Index giant MSCI has publicly revealed its ESG fund ratings for 36,000 multi-asset class mutual funds and ETFs as part of a wider push to increase transparency.
Financial Times: So goes the Cambridge Dictionary definition of the word which is sandwiched by “Environmental” and “Governance” in the popular ESG acronym which has come to exert a large influence on the world of investing over the past five years.
Forbes: The Securities and Exchange Commission should take the global lead in mandating material ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) disclosures, the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee (IAC) urged today.
Reuters: Asset managers lending out of their securities can be compatible with investment on environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, an industry body said on Thursday, adding it was working on drawing up guidelines.
Eco-Business: The findings from the latest analysis of environmental and climate-related disclosure by Europe’s major companies reveal that current corporate reporting practices could fall short on delivering on the objectives of the European Green Deal and the 2050 climate neutrality target.
Pensions & Investments: While the coronavirus pandemic has damaged businesses and the economy, it may help to bring more women into the investment industry — and help eliminate some obstacles that may have kept them from more senior and prominent roles.
Financial Times: BlackRock has been accused of double standards after it refused to back landmark environmental resolutions at two big Australian oil companies just months after the world’s largest asset manager warned global warming represented a risk to markets unlike any previous crisis. [Full article available to Financial Times subscriber]
IPE: Even before a group led by The Rockefeller Foundation coined the term ‘impact investing’ in 2007, some firms had already started using private equity, venture capital and private debt strategies to generate both attractive financial returns and, at the same time, social or environmental impact for investors.
Established in 2012 by Jim and Krista Sorenson, the Sorenson Impact Foundation's seeks to invest in socially impactful businesses while creating an ecosystem for impact investing. The Foundation invests with impact in mind and provides grants to build the capacity of its peers with regards to Impact Investing. Notably, the Foundation endowed the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah to create a program
In 2017, the Sorenson Impact Foundation decided to align 100% of its assets with mission-related investments by 2020. As such, the Foundation increased its exposures to Thematic and ESG funds including Affordable Housing, Financial Inclusion, and Climate Change dedicated investment funds.
Institutional Asset Manager: The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) convened the new Response, Recovery, and Resilience Investment Coalition (R3) with the purpose of maximising global impact investing response efforts to the pandemic, by identifying high-impact investment opportunities and co-ordinating impact investors to fill financing gaps.
Bloomberg: The coronavirus pandemic that’s sent the global economy into a tailspin highlights the need for international collaboration to tackle crises posing severe threats to human lives, chief among them climate change.
Pensions & Investments: Eight state treasurers have joined other institutional shareholders in pushing J.P. Morgan for governance reforms to address climate change.
Institutional Investor: Investors who avoid the stocks of the biggest polluting companies or those with no women in their senior ranks do about as well as a passive index fund.
Funds Europe: A large majority of the world’s largest asset managers are “paying lip service” to prevent human rights abuse, but few take meaningful action.
IPE: Norway’s NOK10.3tn (€942bn) sovereign wealth fund revealed today that it has divested several of the world’s largest companies in the last few months, finally putting climate-related exclusion rules into action four years after they were first laid down.
Private Equity Wire: The global spread of Covid-19 has increased awareness of systemic issues that predate and have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The virus has raised questions of who and what we – or rather, our economic systems – value, as well as questions around the nature of work, our collective humanity and the role of business in society.
Financial Times: Annie Chen is feeling optimistic. For some time now, Asian investors’ interest in sustainable ventures has “definitely accelerated”, says the Hong Kong-based advocate of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. A decade ago, few of the backers that she was trying to persuade were enthusiastic. [Full article available to Financial Times subscribers]
IPE: Companies are increasingly making net-zero emission commitments. They can deliver on those in a number of ways, including through purchasing emission reduction credits from third parties or directly funding projects in areas like renewable energy or negative emissions from third parties rather than by cutting their own emissions.
The Russell Family Foundation was established in 1999 by Jane and George Russell following the sale of the Frank Russell Company to Northwestern Mutual Life. As of December 31st 2018, the Foundation had 135 million of assets under management.
In 2004, the Russell Family Foundation committed $1 million to a pilot experiment on Mission Related Investing to develop its own understanding of how their assets can help further their mission. This initiative led them to create a Mission Related Investment Committee to consider how each new investment opportunity is aligned to their own mission. In 2019, their efforts led the Foundation to align 82% of its assets to mission-related investments.
Bloomberg: Barclays Plc shareholders overwhelmingly supported the proposal to cut its net greenhouse gas emissions to zero and voted against a potentially more stringent alternative plan put forward by some of its investors
BNAmericas: New sustainability guidance will give increased confidence to local communities, industry and investors that hydropower projects can be successfully developed while respecting Indigenous People’s lands, rights and culture.
Institutional Asset Manager: Asset managers, including Fidelity International, Aviva Investors, and Invesco, have outlined their initiatives to close the gender pay gap, as scrutiny returns to the male-dominated financial services industry.
Bloomberg: Key investor advisory groups are divided on whether Rio Tinto Group shareholders should support a demand for the world’s No. 2 miner to extend the range of its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Bloomberg: Italian private equity firm Ambienta SGR SpA is starting its first hedge fund, led by former Man GLG money manager Fabio Pecce, to bet on and against companies based on their green credentials.
Pensions & Investments: Research published Tuesday by the Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment concluded that by implementing climate-friendly, green policies in COVID-19 economic recovery packages, governments and policymakers can deliver better results — including the creation of more jobs and increased long-term cost savings — than through more traditional stimulus.
Bloomberg: Financing a thermal coal project in Australia just got a little bit harder after Westpac Banking Corp. said it would exit the sector by 2030, leaving Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. as the last of the country’s big four yet to commit to dropping the most polluting fuel.
Financial Times: JPMorgan Chase has promised to announce a new lead independent director by the end of September, bringing an end to the 19-year tenure of former ExxonMobil chief Lee Raymond and satisfying demands for change led by New York City’s comptroller and climate groups. [Full article available to Financial Times' subscribers.]
Securities Lending: A growing number of asset owners and managers are voicing concerns that securities lending undermines their ability to exercise proper stewardship on underlying investments.
Established in 2005, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee is responsible for managing the assets of the Vermont State Employees' Retirement System, the Vermont State Teachers' Retirement System, and the Vermont Municipal Employees' Retirement System. As of June 30, 2019, VPIC had $4.5 billion of assets under management.
As a long term investor, VPIC considers that ESG issues affect the financial performance of the companies they own. As such, they have adopted an ESG policy and have implemented programs to survey the ESG capabilities of new and existing Managers. Furthermore, as an active owner, VPIC chose to remain invested in fossil fuel companies in order to actively engage with portfolio companies individually, and collaboratively through Climate Action 100+.
International Investment: Wells Fargo Asset Management CEO Nico Marais has announced that he will "personally sponsor" the firm's ESG capabilities and sustainable investing initiative, alongside a new sustainable investing taskforce.
Financial Times: As the coronavirus pandemic escalated in March, two British companies landed in the spotlight over their treatment of employees and customers. [Full article available to Financial Times' subscribers.]
Hedge Week: With climate change among the top policy challenges globally, ESG (environmental, social and governance) investment themes have become key components among some of the most successful hedge funds in recent years, with Sir Chris Hohn’s TCI Fund, Caxton Associates, JP Morgan, and Man Group emerging as major advocates.
Citywire Selector: ESG funds are often viewed as comparable to positive impact strategies but they are fundamentally different concepts that shouldn’t be confused.
Expert Investor: Without fiscal rescue packages, the coronavirus crisis is expected to have devastating effects on a swath of companies, but could sustainable firms come out better than others?
Bloomberg: Nuveen expects record issuance of bonds to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. Pharmaceutical companies and personal protective equipment manufacturers will likely be among active borrowers.
Bloomberg: With millions out of work or now reliant on the government for their pay checks, ESG investors are preparing to scrutinize executive pay like never before.
Campden FB: The ethos of impact investing for positive change seems tailor-made to tackle the devastating repercussions of the coronavirus crisis as states buckle and a recession looms, but cometh the hour, cometh the family impact investor?
Euractiv: The Netherlands has floated proposals to ensure a green recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, suggesting an “exclusion list” of economic activities like nuclear power, which the Dutch believe should be banned from receiving EU funds.