Founded in 1908, Wespath is a non-profit agency serving the United Methodist Church. It supervises and administers retirement plans, investment funds and health and welfare benefit plans for active and retired clergy and lay employees of the Church. As a faith-based organization, Wespath seeks to promote the values of the United Methodist Church as expressed in the Social Principle by integrating environmental, social and governance factors in the selection of investments across asset classes and into the selection of external managers. The organization had over $ 21.9 billion of assets under management as of December 31st, 2018.
Wespath is actively involved in shareholder and public policy advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing (notably through their Positive Social Purpose Lending Program that has cumulatively invested over $2 billion in affordable housing, and community development in underserved communities of the United States). Wespath's exclusion policy is guided by ethical considerations, as such, the organization avoids investments in companies whose activity involves the production, distribution, and marketing of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, adult entertainment, weapons, gambling, and privately-operated correctional facilities. Additionally, Wespath has adopted a Human Rights Guideline which excludes the sovereign debt of any country demonstrating prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights abuses according to Freedom House's annual survey: Freedom in the World. Finally, Wespath is a founding signatory to the UN PRI and an active member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility.
Advisor's Edge: The firm published a report that models three different scenarios, examining the impact of average warming of two, three and four degrees Celsius over three timeframes (to 2030, 2050 and 2100). For both investors and the planet, limiting warming to 2°C is ideal, the report found.
Quartz: Legal & General Investment Management is one of the world’s largest investors, with more than £1 trillion in assets. LGIM announced that it has built its own energy-transition model to guide companies it invests in to align with climate goals set under the Paris climate agreement.
Pensions & Investments: The report, "Getting physical: Scenario analysis for assessing climate risks," uses new tools and data to articulate the potential impact on different U.S. asset classes, including municipal bonds, utilities, commercial real estate and commercial mortgage-backed securities.
FS Super: Over time the analysis, supported by independent research, determined that climate change is an investment risk and, as a prudent investor, that needed to address that risk. This paper sets out the strategy, how they have implemented it and some of the frameworks they have used.
African Development Bank Group: The African Development Bank successfully priced a dual tranche NOK 500 million 3-year fixed Social Bond and SEK 1.25 billion 5-year fixed Green Bond transaction. The three-year tranche is the very first Social Bond issued in the Norwegian market. It was also the first ever NOK transaction issued by the Bank and the third Social Bond issued under its Social Bond framework.
IPE: The green bonds market has grown from nothing to about $500bn (€443bn) outstanding in just a decade. Hundreds of issuers have offered thousands of deals now coming from about 50 countries. This is a global phenomenon.
IPE: Climate Action 100+ (CA100+), the engagement focused collaboration with the strapline ‘global investors driving business transition’ now numbers 323 investors and appears to be hitting its stride.
The Wall Street Journal: S&P Dow Jones Indices, a unit of S&P Global Inc., is launching an environmental, social and governance version of its S&P 500 index to meet increasing investor demand for sustainable-investment vehicles based on U.S. equities, the company said.
GreenBiz: The $5.2 billion water technology Xylem disclosed the execution of a new $800 million loan meant to finance ongoing investments in its business. It’s not the size of the loan that’s significant — it’s the terms that guide how it will be paid back.