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We've seen how like-minded investors can build 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:

US and Canadian governments to support:

March 2016 agreement that countries will reduce methane emissions by 40-45% from the oil and gas sector. The letter was signed by 75 international institutional investors representing $3.6 trillion.

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 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.