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ESG Newsletter

      Spotlight on Investors: California Wellness Foundation

      The California Wellness Foundation was established in 1990, when HealthNet, one of the state's largest health care and insurance providers, converted from non-profit to for-profit status. The foundation now aims to protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, health environments and safe neighbourhoods. 

      In 2017, the California Wellness Foundation started to align their investments with their mission and vision. Since then, they have allocated $US 48 million to mission-related investments that provide resources and capital to underserved communities. The foundation’s mission-related investments integrate environmental, social and governance considerations and actively exclude companies causing the greatest harm to underserved communities. Moreover, the California Wellness Foundation committed to invest $US 10 million in program-related investments that target affordable housing or small business lending over the next five years. 

      Progress Report 2020

      Spotlight on Investors: Inspirit Foundation

      Founded in 2012 with the proceeds of the sale of Vision TV, the Inspirit Foundation aims to promote inclusion and pluralism through media and arts, specifically addressing discrimination based on ethnicity, race or religion. Their current strategic plan focuses on fostering reconciliation and addressing Islamophobia.  

      In 2020, 98% of the foundation’s portfolio was dedicated to impact investing. The Inspirit Foundation employs a mix of impact investing strategies, including program and mission related investing in their private portfolio, and positive screens, ESG integration as well as low-carbon considerations in their public portfolio, along with shareholder engagement. With regards to climate change, the foundation tracks its public portfolio’s exposure to carbon emissions and risks.

      Investment Policy Statement

      Roadmap Towards a 100% Impact Portfolio

      2019 Annual Report

      Spotlight on Investors: Swift Foundation

      Founded in 1999 by John Swift, United Parcel Services’ heir and environmentalist, the Swift Foundation seeks to support biodiversity conservation, protection and promotion of Indigenous traditional knowledge and innovations, inclusive and local economies, as well as research that challenges and problematizes technocratic solutions.

      In 2009, the Swift Foundation looked at how they could use their endowment could directly support socially and environmentally responsible endeavors, which led to the organization’s first mission-related investment policy. The Swift Foundation has allocated 30% of its endowment towards Mission Related Investments, which focuses on addressing climate change, enhancing the health of communities globally and supporting biological and cultural diversity. Additionally, the Swift Foundation has implemented a comprehensive list of exclusionary restrictions, which include filters such as non-sustainable timber, the Toxic 100 List, coal, controversial weapons and genetically modified organisms. 

      Mission Related Investing Policy

      Spotlight on Investors: the Skoll Foundation

      Established in 1999 by Jeff Skoll, former president of eBaythe Skoll Foundation strives to drive change towards a sustainable world of peace and prosperity. The Foundation supports economic opportunity, education, environmental sustainability, health, peace and humans rights, and sustainable markets. As at December 31, 2019, the Skoll Foundation had US$ 1.3 billion of total assets.

      As part of its responsible investment approach, the Skoll Foundation incorporates environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations to its investment process with the help of a B-Corp certified external manager. With regard to Active Ownership, the Foundation has implemented shareholder engagement guidelines which aligns with its mission and prioritizes the interests of customers and communities. Moreover, the organization collaborates with peers through networks such as the Mission Investors Exchange and the Ceres’ Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR). 

      Public Shareholder Engagement Guidelines

      Spotlight on Investors: Park Foundation

      The Park Foundation was established in 1966 to support education, public broadcasting, the environment, and other selected areas of interest to the Park Family. More recently, the Foundation’s environmental causes have focused on energy and water issues. 

      The Foundation manages its assets in order to maximize its impact by aligning its investment strategy to its mission. As part of its Mission-Related investing activities, it has implemented negative screening criteria on alcohol, gambling, nuclear and conventional weapons, and tobacco. Moreover, the Foundation has implemented guidance for its investment advisors and external managers around ESG integration across its portfolio. With regards to climate change, the Foundation estimates that climate solutions investments constitute approximately 15% of its portfolio. Moreover, the Park Foundation is a signatory to the Divest/Invest Initiative. 

      ESG Policy

      Spotlight on Investors: Minnesota State Board of Investment

      Minnesota State Board of Investment (MSBI) is responsible for managing the retirement funds, trust funds and cash accounts for the State of Minnesota. As at September 30, 2020, MSBI had US$ 105 billion of assets under management. 

      As part of its responsible investment practices, MSBI applies negative screening criteria on companies which derive 25% or more of their revenue from the extraction and/or production of thermal coal. Moreover, MSBI integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in its active ownership practices. With regards to climate change, the organization has appointed an external consultant to assess its portfolio’s exposure to transition risks and opportunities. Finally, MSBI is part of several ESG-related industry groups, such as the UN PRI, the Ceres Investor Network, Climate Action 100+ and the Thirty Percent Coalition. 

      Investment Beliefs

      November 2020 ESG Report

      2019 Annual Report

      Spotlight on Investors: Hong Kong Monetary Authority

      Established in 1993, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) is responsible for managing Hong Kong’s Exchange Fund. As at November 30, 2020, the total assets of the Exchange Fund amounted to $HK 4,451.8 billion ($US 570.7 billion). 

      As part of its responsible investment approach, HKMA integrates environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into its investment analysis. Moreover, HKMA has developed internal guidelines to incorporate ESG considerations in the selection, appointment and monitoring of external managers. In 2019, it unveiled a number of measures for promoting the development of green finance in Hong Kong. The same year, to further its commitment towards sustainabilityHKMA became a signatory to the UN PRI and a supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. 

      2019 Annual Report

      Spotlight on Investors: Hewlett Foundation

      The Hewlett Foundation was established in 1966 by Flora and William Hewlett, with their eldest son, Walter Hewlett. Today, the organization supports efforts to advance education for all, preserve the environment, improve global development, promote performing arts, make the philanthropy sector more effective and strengthen communities in the San Francisco Bay Area. As at June 30, 2020, the Foundation had $US 10.4 billion of assets under management. 

      As part of Hewlett Foundation’s investment approach, the organization applies negative screening on tobacco companies and no longer invests in private partnerships primarily involved in oil and gas drilling. Additionally, the Foundation votes proxies on climate and forestry issues. With regards to Climate Change, the organization supports initiatives that help reduce the use of fossil fuels, improve energy systems, and promote cross-sector integration and innovationAs such, in the the beginning of 2021, the Hewlett Foundation has awarded $US 2.45 million to six promising initiatives that will contribute to align passive asset management with climate action.  

      Guiding Principles

      Social Investment Policy

      Spotlight on Investors: Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association

      Established in 1931, the Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association (PERA) provides retirement and other benefits to employees of the state’s government agencies and public entities. As at December 31, 2019, PERA had $US 52 billion of assets under management. 

      As part of its responsible investment approach, PERA integrates material environmental factors when evaluating investments in public securities or through due diligence when evaluating asset managers. With regards to Active Ownership, PERA has adopted a policy for voting proxies pertaining to disclosure of sustainability metrics. Moreover, the firm is involved with the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) Standards Advisory Group to help develop responsible investment practices within the industry. 

      2020 Investment Stewardship Report

      Statement on Divestment

      Proxy Voting Policy

      Spotlight on Investors: QIC

      Established in 1991, QIC Limited (“QIC”) is responsible for serving the long-term investment responsibilities of the Queensland Government. As at June 30, 2020, they had USD 54 billion of assets under management.  

      As a UN PRI signatory, QIC integrates environmental, social and governance considerations into its investment decision-making processes. Additionally, the firm applies negative screening criteria on controversial weapons and tobacco manufacturers. With regards to Climate Change, QIC engages with externally appointed investment managers to report in line with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ recommendationsMoreover, QIC takes part in collaborative initiatives such as the Investor Group on Climate Change and CDP.

      Responsible Investment Policy 

      2019 Sustainability Report