We’ve seen how like-minded investors can build new and more sustainable market infrastructure. McKnight uses its voice as an institutional investor to do our part to build more transparent, responsive markets.
Making Progress Together
While we work alongside many dedicated mission-oriented investors with longstanding programs, impact investing is still a relatively new area of practice. This means that transaction and staff costs for identifying and closing deals can be relatively expensive. We expect working with other like-minded foundations will help drive greater efficiencies and better outcomes in aligning program goals with investment portfolios.
Our commitment to learning extends beyond the walls of our Foundation, and we hope that being open about our experiences will be useful to other institutional investors.
Moreover, as a market participant, we have standing with policymakers and financial regulators, and we can join with other institutional investors (e.g. banks, asset managers, pension funds, etc.) to encourage action, which we often do through the Investor Network on Climate Risk. Examples of recent market action include calling on:
Governments of the G7 and G20 Nations to support action on climate:
- In May 2017 we joined 217 investors calling on the world’s most powerful governments to develop focused, long term climate plans and greenhouse gas reduction targets. This type of policy certainly is essential for signalling markets about where to invest as we transition to a lower-carbon economy. Read more about how we did this in a recent post by Elizabeth McGeveran.
US Securities & Exchange Commission to require:
- Publicly traded corporations to disclose social and environmental risks in 8-K filings. Comparable, meaningful data is essential for investees to make informed decisions. (Read the letter from former McKnight president Kate Wolford.)
We also support organizations that improve disclosure from corporations. In early 2015, McKnight endorsed CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project). We joined over 700 investors representing a staggering $92+ trillion in asking companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a small step, but a vast collection of small acts combined with bolder initiatives can make a difference.