On Sustainability’s Updates

Richest universities quiet on sustainable investing

bloomberg.com | By Robert G. Eccles & George Serafeim

In its mission statement, Harvard University says it “expects that the scholarship and collegiality it fosters in its students will lead them in their later lives to advance knowledge, to promote understanding, and to serve society.” Similar aspirations can be found at Yale, Stanford, the University of Chicago, Emory University, and probably all of their peers. These missions are similar and laudable — for their graduates to contribute to society as a whole.

These five schools share another thing: None of their endowments is a member of the U.N.-backed Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The PRI initiative encourages major investors to begin future-proofing their portfolios. They agree to embed analysis of environmental, social and corporate-governance (ESG) risks into their practices and decisions. They seek better risk disclosure from companies they invest in. They promote PRI-backed practices within the investment industry. They also each report every year on their own progress.

In short, the mission of the PRI is to push the investment community to reward companies that are orienting their strategies toward long-term success -- sustainable companies. Read More...

Image Courtsey of Nancy Nehring