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Sustainable Investing of WRI’s Endowment

WRI believes that ideas – backed by data – have the ability to drive systematic change on a broad scale. We apply this maxim to the management of WRI’s own endowment.

Like other endowed institutions, we are long-term investors. We also understand that sustainability risks and opportunities are material and directly impact business profitability over the long-term.

Along these lines, we believe that companies that proactively manage their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance are best positioned to survive – and thrive – in a resource-constrained world.

Given these beliefs, we have committed to investing WRI’s endowment in a manner that incorporates how companies manage environmental, social governance factors. This approach will help maintain and grow our financial resources, which provide critical support to carry out our mission into the future.

WRI is a signatory to the Principles of Responsible Investment.


Environment, Social and Governance Factors

The Board and WRI leadership believe that investing in companies that strategically incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into planning will lead to strong financial results over the long-term. To identify investment opportunities that meet these standards, our investment strategy uses a tailored ESG integration process. The selection of all new funds is based on a careful evaluation of:

  • risk-return - relative to regionally adjusted benchmarks;

  • portfolio ESG score - relative to regionally adjusted benchmarks;

  • strength of fund managers’ ESG capacity (e.g. rigor of analysis; shareholder engagement);

  • portfolio performance on select MSCI ESG indicators aligned with WRI’s expertise on water stress and withdrawal, energy efficiency, clean technology, carbon emissions, and land use.

WRI has reinvested its endowment’s global listed equity portfolio into sustainably managed funds. In the future, we are committed to ensuring, to the extent possible, that WRI’s entire endowment is invested sustainably – that WRI’s capital is in enterprises that factor in environmental, social and governance impacts over the long-term.


Beyond WRI's Endowment

WRI’s journey to sustainable investing stems from the Institute’s belief that sustainability risks and opportunities are material and directly impact business profitability over the long-term. We believe that our journey – coupled with WRI research – is relevant to all investors looking to secure their financial resources over the long-term.

WRI’s Sustainable Investing Initiative uses WRI’s investment experience, data, research and convening power to advance sustainable investing in the mainstream investor marketplace. We collaborate with institutional investors and other market participants to inform, develop, and promote widespread adoption of sustainable investments strategies.

Through this initiative, WRI is working toward a future where all investors consider sustainability as part of fundamental decision-making and where global markets incorporate company sustainability performance into valuation. To learn more about this work, see our Sustainable Investing Initiative.

For more information, please contact WRI Head Of Sustainable Investing Elizabeth Lewis

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