New toolkit released today aimed at helping fund fiduciaries tackle climate risk

November 4, 2015

Croatan Institute, with the Responsible Endowments Coalition and SEIU Capital Stewardship and help from the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, released a report titled “Action on Climate: A Practical Guide for Fiduciaries.” The report was released at a special launch event at Surdna Foundation on September 28. Croatan Institute’s Senior Fellow Fern Jones moderated a panel discussion which included a presentation by Rob Lake, the report’s author. It was followed by statements by Kevin Doyle from SEIU Master Trust, Mary Beth Gallagher from the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, Marc de Venoge from Surdna Foundation, and Garrett Wilson from Berea College. Representatives came from a variety of investor types and spoke about how they are incorporating climate change concerns into their investments.

The report intends to help fiduciaries of small- to medium-sized institutional investors understand the implications of climate change on their investments and make smart decisions with regard to their varying goals and needs. The toolkit is the product of two input meetings, or “charrettes,” held in New York city and in Oakland, California, in late 2014. A total of eighteen trustees, staff, and fiduciaries from mid-sized institutional investors participated in the charrettes. At these meetings, the project team gathered information from these participants about what is important to them when considering changes to their policies and portfolios. Their feedback shaped the formation of this toolkit.

The report provides a brief overview on climate science, the financial implications of climate change, its impacts on workers and communities, and fiduciary duty in regards to these issues. It then goes on to describe methods investors are employing to integrate concerns about climate change into their investments. The report outlines a six-step process to assist investors in creating a unique strategy tailored to their specific needs, including: integrating climate change into your investments, reducing your portfolio’s carbon intensity, investing in climate solutions, divestment, engaging with corporations, and engaging with policymakers.

To learn more about the project and to read the report, you can download it on our website here. You can also order printed copies on the project’s dedicated website that was launched today,  

For more information, please contact Christi Electris.