Tag: Energy & Climate

The NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded $100000 grant to Cultural Survival supporting grassroots Indigenous solutions to climate change-AG Training School

Ray C. Anderson Foundation’s NextGen Committee Awards $100,000 Grant to Cultural Survival

Above photo: Comité Ixtepecano en Defensa de la Vida y el Territorio – Binizá/Zapotec (México) Project: Implementation of the Guidxi Layú Agroecological Campesino School. Agricultural Training School Building, built with funds from KOEF, in use for a workshop called “Communality and Territorial Defense Based on Indigenous Women’s Knowledge.”

The NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to Cultural Survival to support grassroots Indigenous solutions to climate change.

The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is a private family foundation that was launched in 2012 to celebrate the legacy of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), a globally known industrialist turned environmentalist that was once named the “Greenest CEO” by Fortune magazine and a “Hero of the Environment” by TIME.

The Foundation’s NextGen Committee is comprised of Ray’s five grandchildren and their spouses. Since 2014, the Committee has taken an active role in perpetuating Ray’s legacy by investing in projects geared to make the world a better place for “Tomorrow’s Child.” Over the past eight years, the committee has funded more than $500,000 in programs with focus ranging from conservation and climate change education, to urban agriculture, agroforestry and now grassroots solutions to climate change in Indigenous communities.

The NextGen Committee’s grant will allow Cultural Survival to direct the funds to Indigenous communities addressing climate change on a variety of fronts, through 13 small grants awarded through the Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF). Grantees will use the small grants to further work that is already happening to protect Indigenous lands and forests, pursue legal title to their lands, steward and transmit traditional knowledge between elders and youth, and practice and promote traditional agricultural practices with the framework of agroecology and other place-based Indigenous solutions.

Keepers of the Earth Fund is a small grants fund designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ advocacy and community development projects. Since 2017, the Keepers of the Earth Fund has supported 118 projects in 30 countries through small grants and technical assistance totaling over $528,000.

Keepers of the Earth Fund provides grants ranging between $500 and $5,000 that go directly to grassroots Indigenous-led organizations and groups to support their self-designed development projects based on Indigenous values.

“Cultural Survival has a unique passion and ability to empower change for Indigenous communities that are most directly affected by climate change,” said Stephanie Lanier, chair of the NextGen Committee. “Their role in building up the individuals and letting their voices be heard tells an inspiring story of hope, ingenuity, and commitment to protecting the land and those who live on it. We are proud to present this year’s grant to an organization with such passion for finding multifaceted solutions all around the world.”

“We are deeply honored and grateful to the NextGen Committee of the Ray C. Anderson Foundation for this opportunity and for recognizing the need to invest in Indigenous leadership and Indigenous-led solutions. Indigenous Peoples hold the answers to today’s challenges of climate change, biodiversity protection, land stewardship, and so much more. Our voices as Indigenous leaders need to be heard and upheld when taking on the climate crisis locally, nationally, and internationally, as our ancestral knowledge paves the way to restore balance in the world. Ray C. Anderson Foundation recognizes the value and integrity of our leadership and traditional knowledge, and we are excited for this new partnership where we will tackle climate change together,” says Galina Angarova (Buryat), Cultural Survival Executive Director.

 

About the NextGen Committee
Ray C. Anderson’s five grandchildren, along with their spouses, comprise the NextGen Committee. The Committee makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees for worthwhile grants and initiatives. Over the past couple of years, the Committee has decided to focus its philanthropic efforts on programs that help reverse global warming.

About Cultural Survival
Cultural Survival (CS) is an Indigenous-led NGO and U.S. registered non-profit that advocates for Indigenous Peoples’ rights and supports Indigenous communities’ self-determination, cultures, and political resilience, since 1972.

For over 48 years, Cultural Survival has partnered with Indigenous communities to advance Indigenous Peoples’ rights and cultures worldwide. CS envisions a future that respects and honors Indigenous Peoples’ inherent rights and dynamic cultures, deeply and richly interwoven in lands, languages, spiritual traditions, and artistic expression, rooted in self-determination and self-governance. The core of Cultural Survival’s efforts rests on the principles of supporting, amplifying efforts, and raising awareness of self-determination for Indigenous communities.

Cultural Survival has curated a robust network of partnerships with Indigenous communities spanning over 70 countries on 6 continents. Cultural Survival’s work is predicated on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) to empower Indigenous Peoples as they strive to assert their rights to self-determination and sustain their lands, cultures, and vital ecosystems that are essential to the health of our planet and all living things. Additionally, Cultural Survival has deep connections and influence across movements, sectors, governmental agencies, and international mechanisms like the United Nations, where Cultural Survival has held consultative status with the United Nations Economic Social and Cultural Council since 2005. Cultural Survival supports grassroots Indigenous solutions to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights of Indigenous communities and the organization’s approach centers on traditional knowledge to restore balance in the natural world. Based in Cambridge, MA, Cultural Survival employs 26 staff based in 10 countries. Cultural Survival’s staff is majority women, and both staff and board are majority Indigenous—a true reflection of the communities the organization serves!

About Cultural Survival’s Keepers of the Earth Fund
Keepers of the Earth Fund (KOEF) is an Indigenous-led fund within Cultural Survival that is managed by Indigenous staff and designed to support Indigenous Peoples’ community development projects. KOEF provides small grants to grassroots Indigenous-led organizations, collectives, and traditional governments in their self-determined development projects based on their Indigenous values. Moreover, Cultural Survival uses a rights’-based approach in their grantmaking strategies to support grassroots Indigenous solutions through the equitable distribution of resources to Indigenous communities.

Some past KOEF projects have focused on the following topics and their intersections: leadership of Indigenous women and youth; political, economic, and food sovereignty; land and water rights; land titling, tenure, and stewardship; agroecology; environmental and biodiversity protection; climate change; carbon sequestration; intergenerational transmission of traditional knowledge; Indigenous language and knowledge revitalization; movement-building, and Indigenous participation and representation in local, regional, national and international spaces.

Contacts:

Valerie Bennett, 770.317.5858, valerie@raycandersonfoundation.org
and
Daisee Francour, 617.441.5400, dfrancour@culturalsurvival.org

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Ten Trends Shaping Sustainability in 2021-from Center for Sustainability and Excellence-GreenMoney

10 Trends That Will Shape Sustainability in 2021 and Beyond

By Research Team, Center for Sustainability & Excellence

The COVID-19 pandemic came in 2020 to reinforce the climate crisis and increase business challenges and risks for investors and C-Suite Executives in several sectors.

Let’s take a look at important trends, based on CSE recent research, which cannot be ignored by organizations. Climate risks, ESG factors for investors, non-economic disclosures, social inequality, ’Circular Economy’ and ‘Carbon Net Zero’ strategies are some of the issues that will be on the top of C-Suite Executives to-do-list of in order to introduce more resilient and sustainable strategies to their organizations for 2021 and beyond.

Here are the Top 10 Trends in sustainable business in 2021:

• Comprehensive consideration of ESG factors and access to capital
In order to mitigate the financial losses of this year, special emphasis will be given on regulating both access to funding and corporate ESG behavior. The trend towards increasing ESG coverage will lead to more disclosures, check and data points. It should be noted that ESG issues are increasingly the focus of investors and regulators in North America.

• Use of ESG ratings and Standards is becoming the norm
Looking at CSE’s latest ESG research in over 600 companies in North America, ESG rating and SASB Standards are increasingly popular to provide information in a manner that is most relevant to their financial stakeholders and investors. Moreover, the TCFD recommendations are gaining traction, as 38% of the top 10 companies are identifying and reporting their climate-related financial risks and opportunities. The number is expected to rise through 2021.

• Climate change risks and transparency
Five years ago, investors committed to align with the Paris Agreement, leading companies into a series of radical changes. Those who still do not disclose environmental data will feel the consequences more than any other year. The organizations that use the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), for the disclosure of the climate-related financial risk, have doubled compared to 2019.

• Changing Policies in financial institutions
The pressure is now transferred to the Financial Sector, calling on them to adopt strategies to reduce the carbon footprint, with restrictions and the phase out of fossil fuel financing. According to the Institute for Economic Energy and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), 150 major global financial institutions have implemented policies to exit coal, with 65 Financial Institutions committing to stricter lending guidelines.

• Reorganization of the supply chain and production
Many companies have recently faced severe supply shortages due to the pandemic. The closure of production sites, the inability to transport goods and much more led not only to the review of suppliers, but also the production process itself. ESG criteria will be further integrated into the supply chain process.

• Circular economy integration
Perhaps the above could be a prelude to change, as the concept of the Circular Economy is going to be consolidated next year and remodeling the production is what many entrepreneurs should be concerned about. Companies need to move fast towards the new commitments to make all packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. More than 400 companies have adopted the New Plastic Economy Global Commitment, while companies representing 20% of all plastic packaging produced worldwide have already committed to replacing their packages by 2025.

• Zero Waste
Efforts to eliminate the increased waste problem will continue. This will be achieved through the application of state-of-the-art technology and through an unprecedented level of collaboration and coordination between recyclers, designers, packers, manufacturers, companies and governments. According to the National Zero Waste Conference, there are plans to develop policy recommendations for 2021 based on the new goals of the Biden Administration, while the priority is on the market of recycled products.

• Sustainable materials
In light of the zero waste and the circular economy, the transition from plastic to paper has become an increasingly popular option. The use of aluminum cans is expected to increase just as significantly due to its distinctive features – its durability and the fact that it is light weight.

• Social equality as a source of sustainable business
The crisis of Covid-19 came to rekindle something that had been overlooked throughout the last years- the huge levels of inequality in global wealth. In 2021, it is predicted that investors will engage in approaches with innovative practices that will promote equality and could be a source of sustainable business advantage.

• Biodiversity crisis
The pandemic has reminded us that nature is important not only for human preservation, but also for maintaining the world economy. There will be a transformation in the way investors deal with the loss of biodiversity.

 

Article by the Research Team at CSE – Center for Sustainability and Excellence

CSE is a leading boutique firm operating globally that specializes in maximizing your business impact in Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility. For more than a decade, we have been helping professionals advance their careers through our certified on-site, online and group training services globally and supporting companies and organizations to grow and excel through Sustainability consulting and coaching.

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Saving Biodiversity-Investing in Climate Change is Not Enough-by Vicki Benjamin-Karner Blue Capital

Saving Biodiversity: Investing in Climate Change is Not Enough

By Vicki Benjamin, Karner Blue Capital

Vicki Benjamin-Karner Blue Capital-GreenMoneyThe two urgent environmental problems that will define this millennium and our lifetimes are climate change and biodiversity loss. Although both are the result of the actions of mankind, they are distinct issues and their consequences are, inextricably linked. The detrimental effects of biodiversity loss contribute to the magnitude of the climate change crisis, while climate change exacerbates biodiversity loss. Examining the nexus of these challenges is valuable to academics, scientists, and investors alike with a shared interest in finding solutions that simultaneously mitigate both challenges while ensuring the future sustainability of the planet.

Why is Biodiversity Important?

Biodiversity sustains ecosystems, supplies oxygen for clean air, protects water and soil, and breaks down pollution and waste. Protecting biodiversity contributes to climate stability through terrestrial and aquatic carbon absorption. Economically, biodiversity is a vital source of raw materials for products in industries such as food, pharmaceuticals, textiles, wood, and energy.1  In essence, biodiversity ensures the sustainability of life on earth.

How Does Climate Change Affect Biodiversity?

Climate change, or global warming, is primarily the result of human activity related to the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, transportation, and household cooking. These gases (composed of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide) remain in the atmosphere for years, even decades, radiating heat back into the Earth’s atmosphere. This entrapment of radiation results in the warming of the planet’s atmosphere, affecting climate and weather patterns.

Climate change threatens biodiversity by disrupting ecosystems as well as the plants and animals that dwell in them. Changes in weather and seasonality alter food availability and feeding patterns; reproductive cycles and fertility; habitability of location due to temperature, water, and landscape adaptability; and migratory patterns. These migratory patterns result in the introduction of non-native “invasive” species to environments, as rising land and sea temperatures increasingly force species to relocate to cooler climates. In and of itself, this migration can exacerbate climate change.

Other Threats to Biodiversity

As harmful as climate change is to biodiversity, there would be a crisis of species loss even without greenhouse gas emissions and global warming due to resource depletion of wetlands and forests, exploitation of fish and endangered animals for food, and the introduction of invasive species into non-native environments through human movement, such as by boats and ships, and even automobiles.

The causes of biodiversity loss can be summarized into five primary driving factors, easily remembered by the acronym HIPPO (a species currently vulnerable to extinction): habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, human population, and overharvesting.2  Due to the cumulative impact of these factors, approximately 25 percent of all species (estimated to be between 8 and 10 million) are currently endangered, and 1 million creatures are at risk of extinction within this decade.

Potential Solutions

A multitude of remedies that are beneficial in addressing both the biodiversity loss and climate change crises do exist, including nature-based solutions, such as regenerative agriculture or natural infrastructure; emission-capture technologies that reduce the need for disruptive ground extraction; and circular economy strategies that recycle and avoid the need to source new raw materials. Through these solutions and others, farmers can maximize crop yields, communities can protect against natural disasters, upstream energy producers may receive favorable tax breaks, and manufacturers are able to eliminate or reduce the cost of buying new raw materials. These solution sets not only mitigate the biodiversity loss and climate change, but also, offer financial opportunities for cost savings and liability prevention.

Karner Blue Capital Proprietary Research Methodology

Karner Blue Capital (KBC) biodiversity research analysts benchmark companies operating in specific industries considered to have material dependencies and/or impacts on biodiversity and climate change using KBC’s proprietary industry-specific frameworks. Only companies that have met an overall ESG threshold are eligible for consideration. The KBC frameworks, or models are comprised of key performance indicators that represent significant environmental, social and governmental risks specific to each industry. These risks are wide ranging and those attributed to “E” include climate change, resource dependency, pollution and invasive species mitigation. Risks specific to “S” include threats to human health, including pandemics, social license to operate, and changing societal and consumer preferences. Risks specific to “G” include legislative (local and national) regulatory changes and liabilities related to the changes in those rules.

KBC analysts also evaluate industry and company-specific innovations and opportunities, focusing on those that develop technologies to mitigate their impacts, invent alternative products and services that disrupt traditional status quo operating protocols, and seek solutions to the complex problems of biodiversity loss and climate change. Only those companies leading their industry in biodiversity performance are further evaluated for financial opportunity by our investment team. We apply Quality at a Reasonable Price fundamental financial analysis to assess companies in the investable universe on growth, profitability, valuation, and balance sheet metrics to create a portfolio of public equities characterized by both robust sustainability practices and financial prospects. This is the work of Karner Blue Capital. We invite you to learn more here.

 

Article by Vicki Benjamin, CEO of Karner Blue Capital. Vicki is a co-founder of the Adviser and has been its Chief Executive Officer since it commenced operations as an investment adviser in 2018. Vicki maintains a 57% ownership stake in KBC. Ms. Benjamin was a partner at KPMG from September 2005 until February 2015, when she joined Calvert Investments, Inc. as its Chief Financial Officer. She served as the President of Calvert Investments, Inc. from January 2017 through June 2020. She received a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and an M.B.A. from Bentley University McCallum Graduate School of Business.

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Ten to Watch-Young Climate Entrepreneurs-Climate and Capital Media-Stephanie Wong

The Ten to Watch: Young Climate Entrepreneurs

By The Climate & Capital Team,

(above) Illustration by Stefanie Wong

Introducing ten promising young leaders in the climate space

CCM Featured news for GreenMoney readersWelcome to Climate & Capital Media’s inaugural “Ten to Watch“ list, in which we highlight leaders (below) delivering real change to address the world’s growing climate emergency.

Ten to Watch represents an important group of young entrepreneurs offering economic and financial climate solutions. From low-cost energy for the developing world and unconventional collaborative financing systems to software control of energy systems and kinetic energy generation, these leaders are working to address some of the biggest issues of energy and climate change.

In recent months, we’ve spoken with climate change experts, investors, and the candidates themselves to understand not just who has demonstrated creativity and early success, but who is making bold moves to scale their impact and change the dynamic of the market. We’ve chosen these climate entrepreneurs for their impact, creativity, innovation, global reach, and the diversity of their work.

Although here you will meet ten leaders we admire, our research uncovered hundreds of young entrepreneurs around the world taking big risks on enormously different approaches to a range of problems. It’s also worth noting that our team — steeped as we are in this world — walked away genuinely inspired by the ventures’ determination to find unique and effective climate solutions.

Along the way, this selection process has stirred debate in our newsroom, challenged our beliefs, and made us all sit up to listen closely. Each venture offers compelling potential for returns — not just economic, but also environmental and societal.

We’d like to thank Danny Kennedy, CEO of New Energy Nexus, for his invaluable help in sourcing some of our candidates. This remarkable collection of experts owes much to his advice and network.

This is our strong belief: That a great entrepreneur offers the world a way to see potential and lays down the first flagstones on the path to a just and sustainable climate economy. After our conversations, we are convinced that each of these emerging leaders does exactly that.

We hope this group and the solutions they’re building spark new ideas that lead to bold action.

Climate & Capital Media’s Ten to Watch List:

 

Xia Li ShenZhen Power-Solution
Charlotta Holmquist BL!XT
Laurence Kemball-Cook Pavegen Systems
Sebastian Kind GreenMap
Olaedo Osoko Daystar Power Group
Juan Pablo Cerda Zeigo
Ugwem Eneyo SHYFT Power Solutions
Omeed Badkoobeh Yotta Energy
Jessica O. Matthews Uncharted Power
Ajaita Shah Frontier Markets

 

Article by Climate & Capital Team. Our team aims to lead in the vibrant conversation taking place among entrepreneurs, climate scientists, investors, NGOs, policymakers and corporate leaders around climate change. What’s driving that discussion is a shared realization that building a sustainable future is both a moral imperative and an economic opportunity with potentially exponential returns for our portfolios and most importantly, our planet.

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GreenMoney Interviews Liesel Pritzker Simmons-with Cliff Feigenbaum

GreenMoney Interviews: Liesel Pritzker Simmons

By Cliff Feigenbaum, GreenMoney Journal

Welcome to the latest “GreenMoney Interviews.” For this issue I spoke with Liesel Pritzker Simmons of Blue Haven Initiative, where she oversees an impact investing portfolio structured to generate financial returns and address social and environmental challenges.

The portfolio spans asset classes, from traditional equities and private equity to philanthropic programs. A longtime advocate for informed, conscientious investing, Liesel co-founded Blue Haven, a single-family office, with her husband, Ian Simmons. Their family office is considered to be one of the first to have been created with impact investing as its mission. She works closely with numerous organizations that support and advance the field of impact investing.

CLIFF:  In your July 2014 article for GreenMoney you talked about your experiences as a millennial investor and called on the financial services industry to stop talking about trade-offs, broaden their definition of risk, and understand that young people want to create real value. How have you seen progress on these fronts in the past six and a half years?

LIESEL:  I think there has been a big shift, at least in the rhetoric. There is no doubt that impact investing is here to stay. Financial performance of ESG has been pretty solid, both in market corrections and bull runs, so the knee-jerk “BUT THERE ARE TRADE-OFFS!” position becomes more and more hollow. In terms of risk, every major financial institution has at least published a white paper on climate risk, which is quite something. And the #MeToo movement and Racial Justice conversations have mobilized employees and customers of major companies to clamp down on toxic and discriminatory cultures. These are all positive developments, I think. Are things happening fast enough? Of course not.

I think my hottest take in my 2014 piece was that this generation of investors is not convinced by Milton Friedman’s shareholder primacy doctrine. And I’m even more sure of that now. Trickle-down economics is not working. Time for something new: more accountability.

CLIFF:  You and your husband, Ian Simmons, are co-founders and principals of Blue Haven Initiative. You’re aligned in many ways, but how have you structured your family office and portfolio to reflect your individual interests?

Blue Haven Initiative-logoLIESEL:  Ian and I were both interested in impact investing and aligned when it came to structuring a portfolio that was dedicated to it. But when forming our family office, we wanted to make sure to reflect our individual interests and impact-focused activities beyond investing. For example, I’m extremely interested in supporting startups in sub-Saharan Africa. Our direct investment portfolio focuses on early-stage energy, fintech, logistics and human capital ventures there. We’re really excited to help build the talent pipeline in Kenya and East Africa. In early-stage companies we saw how recruiting and empowering talent is one of the most import things to build to scale – and really see it as one of the biggest opportunities to accelerate impact.

In addition to impact investing, Ian has also focused on civics, especially policy and accelerating civic engagement policy solutions. I think there’s an argument to be made that our most important work on climate has been in engaging more Millennial and Gen Z voters to show up and vote for a clean energy future these last two elections. That kind of structural change, along with good policy and a healthy democracy—something that we’ve seen we can’t take for granted—are essential for markets over the long-term. And the way we’ve structured our family office incorporates all of that.

CLIFF:  How has your approach to impact investing evolved, as the industry has evolved? How have your expectations and even definition of ‘impact’ evolved?

LIESEL:  Early on we really focused on “knowing what we own” and making sure our investments were aligned with our values. But increasingly we’ve focused on how policy, philanthropy and investing are interconnected.

2020 helped show how much we take for granted in terms of how important norms and democratic foundations are to our society. I think more and more people are coming around to the idea that long-term investing isn’t just about investing in assets that have a long duration or long-view manager, but also doing things that are healthy for investors over the long term and for future generations.

That encourages us to keep pushing things. Whether it’s practices within Blue Haven or evaluating who is managing our money, we’ve been focused on upgrading our practices, insisting on higher standards for managers and evaluating hiring policies, particularly around issues of racial and gender equity. It’s not so much about saying, “Look at us”—we still have a lot to do and learn—but we want to show that it’s possible to adopt higher standards.

CLIFF:  Why is it important for business leaders to pay attention to the impact investing movement?

LIESEL:  The single biggest reason to pay attention to the ideas around impact investing is that it is absolutely essential for recruiting talent of any caliber to your organization. Kids these days want it all—they want to work for a thoughtful organization that has a purpose and treats stakeholders (including the planet) with respect. And it needs to be authentic. People can see through the pithy platitudes and actually want to see if there’s any follow through.

CLIFF:  What advice do you have for other millennials who are just starting their impact investing journey? And do you have any advice to those who want to address climate change and environmental changes on how to take effective action?

LIESEL:  Ultimately, the impact investing journey starts with being curious about what’s going on with money around you. In my early investing days I learned that a vehicle manufacturer company I was investing in was supplying the Sudanese government during genocide. I was surprised—and disappointed—but I sold the stock.

No matter how much you have in a bank account, you can learn more about the business practices of what, say, your bank is doing—who they’re lending to and so forth. Check in on what your college endowment is investing in. Wherever you are, you can have an impact, and you can engage others to do the same.

I like to say perfect is the enemy of the good, and that definitely applies here. It’s not about getting things exactly right the first time around. Just get started. And it’s okay to start small!

CLIFF:  Coming full circle from 2014: What advice do you have for the financial services industry in 2021 and beyond?

LIESEL:  If I were in the leadership of a financial services firms —or any large firm, for that matter, I’d develop a hypocrisy index. How much does my firm say that is in direct opposition to what it does, meaning how it allocates capital? Easy examples are around climate change. Take Larry Fink and BlackRock. On one hand they talk about stakeholder capitalism, but at the same time they still vote at a relatively low percentage on climate resolutions as a stockholder. But things get much more interesting when you look at lobbying efforts and government relations—what’s going on over there? If you’re supporting candidates or initiatives who are instituting policies that are actively undermining your bold statements, you should not get credit for your bold statements.

So, get proactive about issues like climate and racial justice and corruption, and figure out ways to integrate them into your brand and business model. If you do it quickly enough, there’s a competitive advantage. It’s never too early to show leadership.

 

Biography:  Liesel Pritzker Simmons is Co-Founder and Principal of Blue Haven Initiative, where she oversees an impact investing portfolio structured to generate financial returns and address social and environmental challenges. The portfolio spans asset classes, from traditional equities and private equity to philanthropic programs.

A longtime advocate for informed, conscientious investing, Liesel co-founded Blue Haven, a single-family office, with her husband, Ian Simmons. Their family office is considered to be one of the first to have been created with impact investing as its mission.

Liesel works closely with organizations that support and advance the field of impact investing. She was a co-founder of The ImPact, a network of families committed to the conscientious stewardship of wealth. She also serves on the board of Toniic, which provides tools for investors to evaluate impact investments, and on the board and the investment committee of ImpactAssets.

Note to Readers: Read Liesel’s article An Open Letter to the Financial Services Industry From a Concerned Millennial that she wrote for GreenMoney in July 2014.

Energy & Climate, Featured Articles, Impact Investing, Sustainable Business

Photo by Markus Winkler - Unsplash - GreenMoney 2021 Editorial Calendar

GreenMoney Journal’s 2021 Editorial Calendar

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

The GreenMoney Journal team is excited to announce our updated Editorial Calendar for 2021. Truthfully, we spend months deciding on these themes and you’ll notice we have added a couple of new ones for 2021 including ‘Green Impact Bonds’ and ‘Oceans and Climate’

Each issue explores different aspects of the topic throughout the month online and in our biweekly eJournals. Overall, GreenMoney reports on the growing impact of sustainable investing and business on sectors including Organic Agriculture, Climate Change, Renewable Energy, Women’s Leadership, Millennial Activism, Ethical Business, Social Change Philanthropy, Impact Investing, and more. 

And believe it or not, next year 2022 is our 30th Anniversary year!

2021 Editorial Calendar Themes

March 21 Our Money Stories: Truth Be Told
April 21 Women and Investing: Changing the World
May 21 Annual All-Videos Issue: SRI, ESG and CSR
June 21 Investing in Sustainable Agriculture
July 21 The World of Green Building and Energy
August 21 Circular Economy and Sustainable Business
September 21 Oceans and Climate (new theme)
October 21 Community Impact Investing
November 21 Green Impact Bonds (new theme)
December 21 Women and Investing: Outlook on 2022
January 22 Our Special 200th Issue: Readers Favorites
February 22 Millennials and Money: Next Gen of Impact

If you are interested in working with us, you can find more information here: Advertising and Sponsorships here on greenmoney.com and in our biweekly eJournals.

We are also always looking for good content. If you have news to submit, contact founder/publisher Cliff Feigenbaum.   

Subscribe to our free biweekly eJournal here.

 

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New Domini International Opportunities Fund Launched

Domini Impact Investments LLC, an investment adviser specializing exclusively in impact investing, recently launched the Domini International Opportunities Fund. This new mutual fund combines core exposure to international equity markets through the lens of the impact investor with an allocation to solution-oriented companies helping to address some of our greatest sustainability challenges. This Fund was built to capitalize on the success of the U.S. equity strategy used by the Domini Impact Equity Fund since December 2018.

“We are excited to replicate the approach of the Domini Impact Equity Fund for use in another region. Investors can now geographically diversify their portfolios while helping promote universal human dignity and ecological sustainability around the world,” said Carole Laible, CEO of Domini.

The Domini International Opportunities Fund combines two unique investment strategies:

  • Core: Through its “Core” strategy, the Fund invests across developed international markets, primarily in Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions, and across most industries in a broad, diversified selection of companies that demonstrate strong environmental and social performance relative to their peers, as determined by Domini’s proprietary research and analysis of each company’s impact.
  • Thematic Solutions: Through its “Thematic Solutions” strategy, the Fund adds opportunistic exposure to a select number of solution-oriented companies in which Domini has strong long-term conviction and that it determines support certain sustainability themes, including the low-carbon transition, access to clean water, sustainable food systems, financial inclusion, and more.

Under normal market conditions, Domini expects to allocate approximately 80 to 95 percent of the Fund’s net assets to the Core strategy and the remaining 5 to 20 percent to the Thematic Solutions strategy.

Domini Impact Investment Standards

All of the Fund’s investments are evaluated on environmental and social factors using proprietary research guided by Domini’s Impact Investment Standards. These standards, with fundamental goals of universal human dignity and ecological sustainability, serve as the foundational framework for the research used across all of Domini’s investment strategies.

The Fund will also leverage Domini’s industry-leading engagement experience to amplify its impact. As with all Domini Funds, it will use a combination of engagement tools, including the disciplined use of proxy voting and direct dialogue with corporate management teams.

Domini’s Founder and Chair, Amy Domini, and CEO, Carole Laible, serve as co-portfolio managers for the Fund. Its Investor shares (ticker: RISEX) and Institutional shares (ticker: LEADX) are open to investment as of November 30, 2020.

For more information on Domini International Opportunities Fund, visit domini.com

 

About Domini Impact Investments

Domini Impact Investments LLC is an SEC-registered investment adviser specializing exclusively in impact investing. Domini serves individual and institutional investors who wish to create positive environmental and social outcomes while seeking competitive financial returns. Domini applies environmental and social standards to all its investments, believing they can help identify opportunities to provide strong financial rewards while also helping create a more just and sustainable economic system.

Before investing, consider the Domini Funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Visit domini.com or contact us at 800-225-FUND for a prospectus containing this and other information. Read it carefully. An investment in the Domini International Opportunities Fund is not insured and is subject to foreign investing, geographic focus, country, currency, impact investing, recent events and market risks. Investing internationally involves special risks, such as currency fluctuations, social and economic instability, differing security regulations and accounting standards, limited public information, possible changes to taxation, and periods of illiquidity. The Adviser’s evaluation of environmental and social factors in its investment selections and the timing of the Subadviser’s implementation of the Adviser’s investment selections will affect the Fund’s exposure to certain issuers, industries, sectors, regions and countries and may impact the relative financial performance of the Fund –  positively or negatively – depending on whether such investments are in or out of favor. Public health crises caused by the COVID-19 outbreak may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries and globally. You may lose money.

DSIL Investment Services LLC (DSILD), Distributor, Member FINRA. Domini Impact Investments LLC (Domini) is the Funds’ investment manager. 11/20

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SRI and ESG Investors Advocacy-US SIF Foundation

SRI and ESG Investors Advocacy

From the US SIF Foundation

 

From 2018 through the first half of 2020, 149 institutional investors and 56 investment managers collectively controlling nearly $2.0 trillion in assets at the start of 2020 filed or co-filed shareholder resolutions on ESG issues. See Figures B and I.

Figure B-Sustainable Investing Assets 2020-Fig B-US SIF Foundation

  • As shown in Figure J, below the leading issue raised in shareholder proposals, based on the number of proposals filed, from 2018 through 2020, was corporate political activity. Investors filed 270 proposals on this subject from 2018 through 2020. These resolutions focused on company contributions aimed at influencing elections or on corporate lobbying to influence laws and regulations. Many of the targets were companies that have supported lobbying organizations that oppose regulations to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Fig-I-Types of Investors Filing Shareholder Proposals 2018–2020-US SIF

  • Fair labor and equal employment opportunity issues also rose to the top, with shareholders filing 228 proposals between 2018 and 2020, which included several resolutions calling for gender pay equity.
  • A surge in shareholder proposals on climate change that began in 2014, as investors wrestled with the prospects of “stranded” carbon assets and US and global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, has continued: 217 proposals were filed from 2018 through 2020.
  • The proportion of shareholder proposals on social and environmental issues that receive high levels of support has been trending upward as well. During the proxy seasons of 2012-2014, only two shareholder proposals on environmental and social issues that were opposed by management received majority support, while 26 such proposals received majority support in 2018 through 2020.
  • Investors are engaging in other ways than filing shareholder resolutions. A subset of survey respondents, including 44 institutional asset owners with more than $1 trillion in total assets and 77 money managers with $7.8 trillion in assets under management, reported that they engaged in dialogue with companies on ESG issues.

Figure J–Leading ESG Issues 2018_2020 by Number of Shareholder Proposals Filed

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ESG Incorporation by Institutional Investors

From the US SIF Foundation

The US SIF Foundation also conducted research on 530 institutional asset owners with $6.2 trillion in ESG assets, equivalent to 51 percent of the $12.01 trillion that money managers identified as institutional assets. Because money managers do not disclose information about their institutional clients, the data received from our direct research of institutional investors shows how and why they incorporate ESG criteria into their investment analysis and portfolio selection. The institutional ESG incorporation trends revealed through this research should be understood as representing the most transparent institutional investors in the United States. The group included institutional asset owners and plan sponsors such as public funds, insurance companies, educational institutions, philanthropic foundations, labor funds, hospitals and healthcare plans, faith-based institutions, other nonprofits and family offices.

Fig-F-Institutional Investor ESG Assets by Investor Type 2020-US SIF

Of this $6.2 trillion in institutional ESG assets:

  • Public funds represented the largest share — 54 percent ($3.4 trillion) — as shown in Figure F.
  • Social criteria were applied to more than 92 percent. The assets managed in accordance with social criteria increased 9 percent since 2018, as shown in Figure G, above.
  • Investment policies related to conflict risk affected $2.7 trillion, as shown in Figure H, making it the single most prominent ESG criterion among institutional investors, in asset-weighted terms.
  • Continuing a trend that began in 2012, criteria related to climate change and carbon emissions remained the most important environmental issue for these institutions, affecting $2.6 trillion.
  • Tobacco remained in the top five specific ESG criteria for institutional investors, although slightly decreasing from 2018 by 3 percent to affect $2.5 trillion in assets in 2020.
  • Fig-H-Top Specific ESG Criteria for Institutional Investors 2020-US SIF
  • Board issues were the most prominent governance criterion reported by institutional investors, incorporated into the management of $2.3 trillion in assets, a 32 percent increase from 2018.
  • Sustainable natural resources and agriculture ranked as the second most heavily weighted environmental issue for institutional investors, affecting almost $2.2 trillion in assets, a 95 percent increase since 2018.

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ESG Categories Incorporated by Money Managers 2018-2020-Fig D-US SIF Foundation

ESG Incorporation by Money Managers

From the US SIF Foundation

 

The US SIF Foundation identified 384 money managers and 1,204 community investing institutions incorporating ESG criteria into their investment analysis and decision-making processes. The $16.6 trillion in ESG incorporation assets they represent is a nearly 43 percent increase over the $11.6 trillion in such assets identified in 2018.

Of this 2020 total:

  • $4.6 trillion were managed on behalf of individual investors, and $12.0 trillion were identified as managed on behalf of institutional investors as shown in Figure B.

Figure B-Sustainable Investing Assets 2020-Fig B-US SIF Foundation

  • $3.1 trillion — 19 percent — were managed through registered investment companies such as mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, variable annuities and closed-end funds, as shown in Figure C.
  • $716 billion — 4 percent — were managed through alternative investment vehicles, such as private equity and venture capital funds, hedge funds and property funds. 
  • $266 billion in assets were managed by community investing institutions. 
  • $985 billion in money manager ESG assets were managed through other commingled funds.
  • The majority — $11.5 trillion, or 69 percent — remains largely opaque as they were managed through undisclosed investment vehicles and the managers for 60 percent of these undisclosed vehicles — $6.9 trillion — also did not disclose the specific ESG factors that they consider, reporting only that they consider ESG in general.

Figure C-Money Manager Assets-by Type-Incorporating ESG Criteria 2020-US SIF

In terms of assets, money managers incorporate ESG factors fairly evenly across environmental, social and governance categories, as shown in Figure D, above.

  • Overall, in asset-weighted terms, money managers incorporated social factors slightly more than environmental and governance criteria. Social criteria incorporation by money managers increased 49 percent from 2018 to $16.1 trillion.
  • Environmental criteria as a whole grew faster than social or governance factors over the past two years, increasing 57 percent, from $10.1 trillion to nearly $16.0 trillion.
  • Among all specific ESG criteria, governance factors related to executive pay saw the greatest growth, increasing 122 percent since 2018 to $2.2 trillion, as shown in Figure E
  • However, climate change remains the most important specific ESG issue considered by money managers in asset weighted terms. The assets to which this criterion applies increased 39 percent from 2018 to 2020 to $4.2 trillion, also shown in Figure E
  • Fig E–Top Specific ESG Criteria for Money Managers 2020-US SIF
  • Anti-corruption was the largest governance criterion, with growth of 10 percent from 2018, affecting $2.4 trillion in money manager assets.
  • Board issues also ranked high among the top specific ESG criteria for money managers, affecting $2.4 trillion in assets under management, a 66 percent increase from 2018.
  • Sustainable natural resources and agriculture grew by 81 percent to $2.4 trillion in assets under management.
  • Conflict risk was the largest social criterion at $1.8 trillion assets under management, although this was a decrease from 2018 of 22 percent.

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