Ford Foundation Looking at Impact Investing For $12 Billion Endowment

It’s time to address the elephant in the board rooms of the nation’s foundations: the impact of the $650 billion in philanthropic endowments. So says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, who announced that the nation’s second-largest private foundation will put forward a specific impact investing policy for its $12 billion endowment “in the

Bean Counters’ New Tool: Credential in Sustainability Accounting

Are sustainability factors material to the company? There’s now a credential for the financial professionals charged with analyzing such issues. The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), a non-profit organization, has established a credential to help professionals identify the issues that can impact the financial performance of a company. The  Fundamentals of Sustainability Accounting (FSA) Credential consists of a two-part test: a Level I exam,

New Index Tests ‘Climate Leadership’ as a Market Signal

A new index of public equities is designed to reward “climate leaders” and punish “climate laggards” while perhaps delivering outperformance for investors as well. Etho Capital‘s Climate Leadership Index (ECLI) is designed to meet the criteria of the fossil-fuel divestment movement by screening out oil, coal and natural gas companies. It also screens out companies with generally

Sonen Capital: Put Foundation Endowments to Work for ‘Total Impact’

At Sonen Capital, we believe that capital markets can and should help solve the world’s pressing environmental and social issues, while at the same time delivering market-based financial performance. For foundations in particular, impact-oriented investment portfolios have enormous potential to amplify philanthropic programming and grant making. Too frequently foundations invest at cross-purposes by investing their corpus

Lending for African Farming

Social lenders such as Root Capital have pioneered financing for smallholder producers of export crops like coffee, cocoa, and tea. Now, Root is seeking to help build agricultural businesses that serve local staple crop markets as well — a financing market that may be 10 times as big. Root, together with Germany’s KfW Development Bank and agriculture impact

Counterpoint: ‘Market-Rate’ Funds Should be Benchmarked to Impact, Too

A basket of impact investment funds measured solely for their impressive social and environmental returns would justifiably prompt the question, “How did they perform financially?” So it is with two reports this year that analyzed data from investment funds and found that, at least in some categories, they matched or outperformed a comparable set of ‘normal’

U.S. Department of Labor: Green Light for ‘Economically Targeted’ Impact Investments

The signal may be as important as the substance. New guidance from the Department of Labor gives a green light to pension fund managers to consider environmental and social benefits in their investment decisions. Proponents of the change have been looking for that signal to unlock billions, or even trillions, of dollars for investment in