According to US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investing, Socially Responsible Investing (“SRI”) has reached the $12 trillion asset mark. Unfortunately, the vast majority — 97 percent, to be precise — comprises investments in the traditional capital markets in which decisions are made using Environmental, Social, or Governance (“ESG”) criteria. While I applaud people adding ESG screens to their portfolio, it is imperative that we find ways to support direct, community-level investments.
by Debra Schwartz Managing Director, MacArthur Foundation
Often, the most compelling impact investments are made, not found.
I have used that phrase over the years to describe how foundations and other impact-focused investors use “catalytic capital” to support social and environmental progress. These patient, flexible, “catalytic” investments are able to take on more risk and/or accept a lower return than commercial capital in order to finance gains that would not otherwise be possible.
by Annie McShiras, Investment Associate, Self-Help Federal Credit Union
Impact investing has emerged as a major force in philanthropy. Last year the Global Impact Investing Network conducted a survey showing that the estimated value of the impact investing sector doubled between 2017 and 2018, increasing from $114 Billion to $228 Billion in assets under management. The rise of impact investing signals a shift from a “do-no-harm” approach to a demand for investments that actively produce measurable positive social and environmental outcomes.
On October 23, 2018 the Financial Times published an article stating that Larry Fink, CEO of the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock, had announced that “sustainable investing will be a core component for how everyone invests in the future.” He further explained that sustainable investing did not lead to lower returns and that in his own opinion such a strategy will lead to higher returns.