US sustainable, responsible and impact investing (SRI) has grown substantially over the past two years. The total US-domiciled assets under management using SRI strategies expanded from $3.74 trillion at the start of 2012 to $6.57 trillion at the start of 2014, an increase of 76 percent. These assets now account for more than one out of every six dollars under professional management in the United States according to USSIF’s Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States.
"We value our membership in ICCR for many reasons. Membership helps us increase both the breadth and depth of our advocacy work. ICCR staff provide expert input on a number of issues, publish materials that highlight the work of members, and help us keep up with the latest developments in the faith-based and social investment industry."
More and more, investors are making integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues a priority in choosing investment management support. These investors join SRI investors who haveworked with their asset managers to ensure that their portfolios align more closely with their personal values and ethics. Most clients desire more active engagement of the companies they own to help them reach social and environmental goals that they are convinced, in the long-term, will make them more profitable and result in improved returns. These investors join the earliest practitioners who are primarily interested in "negative screening", i.e., avoiding companies that participate in certain activities.
Wherever your clientele falls on this spectrum, membership in ICCR enters you into a community of like-minded, sophisticated investment professionals with the knowledge and experience to help you become better financial stewards of your clients' assets. ICCR offers three levels of membership -- Faith-based, Associate, and Affiliate. For asset managers who practice active shareownership, ICCR recommends Associate Membership.
Case Study: Christian Brothers Investment Services
"ICCR has changed the landscape of corporate responsibility by challenging and shifting conventional notions of shareholder advocacy and engagement. By working together, ICCR members are able to impact the policies and practices of not just one or two companies but entire sectors each shareholder season. It is important for the Catholic religious orders, diocese, foundations and healthcare systems that invest with CBIS to see that critical issues like human trafficking, climate change, worker rights, and environmental justice are well represented at ICCR. For these reasons, CBIS has been proud to be represented on ICCR’s governing board at various times throughout its history."
Director, Catholic Responsible Investing
Case Study: Everence Financial
Everence has been involved in some form of socially responsible investing for 70 years. This emerged less as a strategy than as simply “our way of doing things.” Over the years there was an increasing formalization of our SRI policies leading to, in 2000, the adoption of our Stewardship Investing Philosophy. This philosophy, rooted in an understanding of Christian stewardship from our 500-year old Anabaptist faith tradition, seeks to hold in tension our responsibility for social and financial productively through company selection, corporate engagement, and community development investing. We’re deeply committed to all three of these SRI strategies, however we think that engagement and community development investing allow us to most fully reflect our care and concern for the planet and its people.
"We value our membership in ICCR for many reasons. Membership helps us increase both the breadth and depth of our advocacy work. ICCR staff provide expert input on a number of issues, publish materials that highlight the work of members, and help us keep up with the latest developments in the faith-based and social investment industry. ICCR also provides a forum in which we can convene with other like-minded investors. We can seek support for our advocacy initiatives within this network, and we also have the opportunity to join in initiatives led by other members."
Mark Regier and Chris Meyer
Case Study: Walden Asset Management
Walden has provided portfolio management services to socially responsive investors since 1975. As the oldest institutional investment manager in the sustainable and responsible investment (SRI) industry, Walden has unparalleled experience managing portfolios for clients who seek wise stewardship of their assets as well as social and environmental impact through their investments.
"Membership in ICCR provides a multitude of benefits for investors committed to being sustainable and responsible investors. A network of other concerned investors many who are veteran professionals in the field, extremely helpful information on key issues, a fruitful place to coordinate on shareholder engagement, and often inspiration as we do this work together."
Walden Asset Management
Case Study: Wespath Invesment Management
Wespath is the investment management division of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church. With approximately $19 billion in assets under management, the General Board is recognized as the largest faith-based benefit plans administrator and pension fund/investment asset manager, and is among the top 100 pension fund managers in the U.S.
“For Wespath, ICCR is the perfect venue for our access to medicines work. As a result of the pharmaceutical roundtable hosted by ICCR two years ago, many of the corporate participants agreed to enter into negotiation with the Medicines Patent Pool. Not all of these negotiations will lead to agreements, but Wespath and ICCR helped facilitate conversations that may ultimately save lives.”
Wespath Investment Management
To begin a conversation today about how your organization can join ICCR, please contact Kyle Cheseborough, ICCR’s Associate for Development & Membership at [email protected] or (212) 870-2936.
Resources for Asset Managers:
Climate, Capital, and the Power of Innovation
Invested in Change: Faith-Consistent Investing in a Climate-Challenged World
ICCR's Insights for Investors Working for Bolder Intervention on Climate Change.
Recruited into Slavery: How Unethical Recruiting Puts Migrant Workers at Risk for Trafficking
2015 Multi-Stakeholder Roundtable on Ethical Recruitment
Investing the Rights Way: A Guide for Investors on Business and Human Rights
Effective Supply Chain Accountability: Investor Guidance on Implementation of the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act