Join us in San Francisco on April 30

Sustainable and Responsible Investing: The Future of the Market Place

University Club of San Francisco

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
6-8pm

This event will raise your understanding of Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI), how the industry is growing, the impact opportunities for investors, how companies are responding and the establishment of industry-based sustainability standards. Harvard’s SRI initiatives will also be discussed.

Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI) now encompasses an estimated $3.74 trillion out of $33.3 trillion in the U.S. investment marketplace. SRI recognizes that corporate responsibility and societal concerns are valid parts of investment decisions. SRI considers both the investor’s financial needs and an investment’s impact on society. SRI investors encourage corporations to improve their environmental, social, and governance practices. Investment approaches similar to SRI include mission investing, double or triple bottom line investing, ethical investing, and green investing.

Harvard University recently announced that it will create a Social Choice Fund as an option for alumni donors by July 2013. This announcement follows a year-long campaign led by the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition advocating for the creation of a socially and environmentally responsible alternative for the $30.7 billion endowment. The growing group of students and alumni wants Harvard to become the leading responsible university endowment.

Speakers
Patricia Farrar-Rivas, CEO, Veris Wealth Partners
Veris Wealth Partners, a wealth management firm with partners having many years of investment advisory experience, believes that superior investment performance and creating positive impact are complementary parts of a holistic investment strategy. Their work is grounded in research showing that investing in companies committed to sustainable business practices creates the opportunity to deliver superior investment results.

Jean Rogers, Founder and Executive Director, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board
The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, based in San Francisco, was incorporated in July, 2011 for the purpose of establishing industry-based sustainability standards for the recognition and disclosure of material environmental, social and governance impacts by companies traded on U.S. exchanges. SASB is accredited by the American National Standards Institute.

Moderator
Nina Gardner
, A.B. ’82, Member of the Advisory Board, Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition; Founder and Director of Strategy International

Agenda
6:00-6:45 Sign-in and Reception Members $10
6:45-7:45 Presentations Non Members $20
7:45-8:00 Q&A

Register
http://www.harvardclubsf.org/article.html?aid=535

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Press Release: Public Filings Reveal Harvard’s Endowment Invested in Gun Manufacturers

PUBLIC FILINGS REVEAL HARVARD’S ENDOWMENT INVESTED IN GUN MANUFACTURERS

Students expect new Vice President for Sustainable Investment to further investigate and recommend divestment decisions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Contact: Nicole Granath, ngranath@college.harvard.edu

The Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition, a student and alumni advocacy organization, released US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings this morning showing that Harvard University’s endowment is invested in gun manufacturers.

“Given the tragedy in Newtown and the fatal shooting on campus four years ago, Harvard’s failure to address these holdings is shocking. Stopping gun violence should be a critical concern for the university, and severing financial ties with these companies is a good first step,” Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition Investments Coordinator and Harvard College freshman Kevin Wang said.

The announcement follows a recent decision by the Harvard Management Company, which manages the university’s $30.7 endowment, to hire a Vice President for Sustainable Investment, who will be charged with analyzing the environmental, social, and governance impacts of the university’s investments.

“We expect the Vice President for Sustainable Investment to further investigate Harvard’s holdings and recommend appropriate divestment decisions,” Harvard security guard and Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition member Aryt Alasti said. “There should be attention to this matter from the first day on the job.”

The student-led investigation of public SEC filings found that the endowment is invested in the firearms company Smith & Wesson through the exchange-traded iShares Russell 2000 Index Fund. (1) (2) Harvard also invests in several funds managed by The Vanguard Group, which is Smith & Wesson’s largest shareholder. (1)

The $244 billion California Public Employees Retirement System (CALPERS) recently divested from index funds containing Smith & Wesson and other firearms manufacturers. The CALPERS decision was preceded one month earlier by similar action by the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. (4)

“Teacher unions and state pension funds divested because they recognize that firearms manufacturers threaten our schools and communities,” Harvard College sophomore Camilla Gibson said. “Harvard should follow their lead and cut their ties to Smith & Wesson and all other firearms manufacturers.”

Sources:

(1) Harvard SEC Filings: http://www.secinfo.com/d14D5a.x1D1b.htm
(2) IShares Russell 2000 Index Fund: http://us.ishares.com/product_info/fund/holdings/IWM.htm
(3) “Vanguard says social concerns will not affect gunmaker holdings.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/18/usa-shooting-connecticut-vanguard-idUSL1E8NIBWF20121218
(4) CALSTRS Announcement: http://www.calstrs.com/statement/calstrs-statement-its-decision-divest-certain-firearms-holdings