The St. Croix Valley Foundation is pleased to announce a socially responsive investment option for our long-term fund advisors.
This new fund takes Environmental, Social, and Governance factors (ESG) into account in addition to long-term financial assessments.
In consultation with our investment advisor, Fund Evaluation Group, we have carefully reviewed the data on ESG investing and offer this choice in pursuit of competitive financial returns and in support of our mission and values.
Carpenter Nature Center (CNC) has joined with the St. Croix Valley Foundation to utilize this fund; launching the ESG option for other long-term fund holders. Jennifer Vieth, CNC Executive Director, said it was a unanimous ‘yes’ vote from the CNC Board. “This ESG fund aligns with our mission and values. We appreciate this opportunity to do well by doing good.”
If you are a fund advisor interested in taking advantage of this ESG investment option, please contact us. The "enrollment period" for moving funds into the ESG portfolio will open each spring. Those establishng new funds can discuss the option as part of their fund set-up process.
Socially Responsive Investing
ESG is a holistic view of all aspects that can impact security value. ESG factors are a subset of non-financial performance indicators which include sustainable, ethical and corporate governance issues.
To be included in the ESG portfolio publicly-traded companies must meet a threshold for corporate policies and actions which do not negatively impact, and indeed promote, factors related to:
a healthy environment (E)
social well-being (S)
transparent and inclusive corporate governance (G)
ESG factors are reviewed alongside regular long-term financial assessments. Companies in the ESG portfolio seek to gain both financial and societal benefits, maximizing good and profit.
Why ESG Now?
Responsive investing has been an evolving investment strategy over the past 20 years, gaining traction among investors and gaining influence throughout boardrooms worldwide. In 2020, sustainable investment strategies represented 33% of total U.S. assets under professional management (up 42% since 2018)*. Investor demand is impacting corporate participation and behavior.
ESG vs. Traditional Portfolio
In both the ESG and Traditional fund portfolios financial investment returns are never guaranteed, and market fluctuations will always occur.
Regarding ESG, a growing body of research has found that investment returns are not sacrificed in order to invest responsibly. Research has shown that evaluating a company based on ESG factors can help mitigate long-term risk.
If I Move To The ESG Portfolio, Will My Fees Increase?
SCVF will NOT increase fees for funds moved into the ESG portfolio.
Does My Fund Qualify?
The ESG fund portfolio maintains a long-term investment strategy. Therefore, all long-term endowed or long-term non-endowed funds qualify and can be shifted to the ESG fund portfolio (shifting funds can take place during open enrollment each spring - new funds can discuss participating in this investment option at the time of fund set-up).
What's The Deadline?
We will announce future opt-in windows annually, usually in the spring.
U.S. News & World Report--ESG Investing Trends 2021
*The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, 2020 Overview
Contact Emily Lownsbury, SCVF Director of Finance & Investments or call us at 715-386-9490
More About ESG