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Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing Designation Now Available From College for Financial Planning   
(Saturday - December 07, 2019) Associated Profiles : Social Investment Forum (SIF)
Source: GlobeNewswire - Acclaim for the new CFFP program – developed in collaboration with industry-group leader US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment – has been swift and widespread, indicating a strong demand for the...
[more] 
SRI Used In 25% Of Professionally Managed U.S. Assets, Report Says   
(Saturday - December 07, 2019) Associated Profiles : Social Investment Forum (SIF)
Source: Financial Advisor - One in four dollars invested with a financial professional in the U.S. is invested using sustainable, responsible and impact strategies (SRI), according to a report by the US SIF released Wednesday. The increase from $8.7...
[more] 
College for Financial Planning to Launch Designation Devoted to Sustainable, Responsible and Impact Investing   
(Saturday - December 07, 2019) Associated Profiles : Social Investment Forum (SIF)
Source: GlobeNewswire - May 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The College for Financial Planning (CFFP) will launch the groundbreaking new professional designation, the Chartered SRI Counselor™ (CSRIC™) this fall, in collaboration with the...
[more] 
SRI Investing In The US Now $12 Trillion In AUM   
(Saturday - December 07, 2019) Associated Profiles : Social Investment Forum (SIF)
Source: Forbes - Sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) investing in the U.S. is expanding at a healthy clip, according to a biennial report from the US SIF Foundation. So hopeful news for entrepreneurs seeking funding and impact investors who...
[more] 
Climate change is a concern among big issues-oriented investors — but it’s not their top concern   
(Friday - December 06, 2019) Associated Profiles : Social Investment Forum (SIF)
Source: MarketWatch - That’s according to a new report from US SIF, a group that pushes for greater use of environmental, social and governance factors in investing. The group conducted research on 496 U.S. institutional investors — such...
[more] 
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US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment

Category: ESG Influencers

Headquarters: Washington, DC

Established: 1981

 

ESG/Sustainability Focus:

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and its members are focused on socially responsible and sustainable investment (SRI).

 

KEY PARTNERS

Green America, plus numerous project-specific benefactors and sponsors such as Bloomberg, TIAA-CREF, and others.

Well-known members include Calvert Investments, Pax World Management, Neuberger Berman, Self-Help Credit Union, TIAA-CREF, Domini Social Investment, Legg Mason Investment Counsel, and Parnassus Investments, among others. (A complete list of members is available on the US SIF Web site.)

The US SIF membership includes investment managers, broker-dealers, mutual fund companies, researchers, financial planners/advisors, bankers, credit unions, community development organizers, non-profits, foundations, Native American tribes, and other types of asset owners/managers.

 

OVERVIEW/MISSION

US SIF states that its vision is “a world in which investment capital helps build a sustainable and equitable economy.” Think of US SIF as “the” trade / membership association for institutional and individual asset owners and managers focused on Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI).

 

BACKGROUND

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment was founded in 1981 as the Social Investment Forum. As of late December 2012, US SIF reported a membership base of 400 members.

 

STRUCTURE

US SIF is a membership organization. Asset manager dues are based on assets under management (AUM); members are generally individuals and organizations involved in SRI. One of US SIF’s important working groups is SIRAN -- Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network, established in 2004. As of late December 2012, SIRAN claimed the network encompassed "more than 260 North American sustainable investment research analysts from over 50 investment firms, research providers and affiliated investor groups."

There is also a Social Investment Forum Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports US SIF programs.

 

METHODOLOGIES / OPERATIONS

Much of US SIF’s work is conducted through working groups that focus on specific topics, including: advocacy and public policy, international investment, community investment, and indigenous peoples. Each group conducts research, informational, and/or advocacy programs.

US SIF also manages SIRAN -- the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network -- which includes more than 260 North American sustainable investment research analysts from 50 investment firms, research providers, and affiliated investor groups. SIRAN brings analysts together with North American companies, generally large, publicly-held entities. The conference call forums and in-person meetings are free-of-charge to companies.

US SIF’s online tools and resources include a directory of socially responsible financial services firms (an online US SIF membership list), information on SRI for individuals, and socially responsible mutual fund financial performance charts, provided in collaboration with Bloomberg.

 

RESEARCH

US SIF produces publications and fact sheets that are available on the US SIF Web site. Reports and research look at such topics as responsible investment in emerging markets, environmental disclosure outside the US, and biennial reports on SRI trends.   

Note that the US SIF biennial report (updated in Fall 2012 and with summary available in PDF form) is the important benchmark for media, SRI investing community, and others for reliably characterizing the size of the SRI investments in the USA. The 2012 report's executive summary says, "The total assets that are managed according to ESG factors that are explicitly incorporated into investment analysis and decision-making are valued at $3.31 trillion." This is a slight increase over the $3.07 trillion cited in the 2010 report. A previous survey (2007) just before the financial crisis pegged the SRI AUM at $2.7 trillion.

From 1996 through 2010, US SIF also presented an annual award -- the Moskowitz Prize -- to “encourage and recognize outstanding research on socially responsible investing.” The winning paper for 2010 was Corporate Environmental Management and Credit Risk (PDF online), by Rob Bauer and Daniel Hann of Maastricht University and European Centre for Corporate Engagement. The previous winner, in 2009, was “The Economics and Politics of Corporate Social Performance” (PDF online), authored by David P. Baron, Maretno A. Harjoto, and Hoje Jo of Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance. Information about the Moskowitz Prize, plus links to archived winners, is available online. (The prize is named for the pioneering ethics, corporate responsibility and SRI author, editor and publisher Milton Moskowitz.)

 

RECENT NEWS

US SIF released its 2012 Report on Sustainable and Responsible Investing Trends in the United States on November 14, 2012, offering data and narrative information. Findings include, for example, "that sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) accounts for 11.23 percent of all assets under professional management in the United States at year end 2011." (online press release) "Top issues" for investors included Sudan, corporate governance, the environment, and corporate political contributions and lobbying.

"Options & Innovations in Community Investing: A Report from the Field," a report released in late June 2012, offers detail on investment opportunities in community development (link to online release).

In January 2012, US SIF reported adding four new board members: Darragh Gallant (Sustainalytics), Reginald Stanley (Calvert Investments), Curtis Ravenel (Sustainability Group, Bloomberg), and Tim Brennan (Unitarian Universalist Association). (press release) In February 2012, US SIF announced that Michelle Clayman, managing partner and chief investment officer at New Amsterdam Partners, joined the board, replacing Cliff Rosenthal, CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.

A report, "Sustainability Trends in Alternative Investments in the United States," released in late October 2011 by the US SIF Foundation and prepared by the Tellus Institute, shows that "$80.9 billion was invested in 375 alternative investment funds incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria at the outset of 2011, reflecting a 15.9-percent growth in combined assets since the beginning of 2010, when 346 alternative funds managed a combined total of $69.8 billion." Further detail about the report is available online.

In late September 2011, SIF and Mercer released a report, "Opportunities for Sustainable and Responsible Investing in US Defined Contribution Plans," that predicts that "The number of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in the United States offering a sustainable and responsible investing (SRI) choice could double in the next two to three years." (online press release)

The organization changed its name in June 2011, from Social Investment Forum to US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. (online press release) Former US vice president Al Gore was the keynote speaker at the 2011 US SIF conference.

In late August 2010, US SIF praised the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s vote to enact a federal proxy access rule, “granting shareholders the right to nominate directors and have those nominees appear in companies’ printed proxy statements sent to all shareholders” (press release online). US SIF also weighed in on financial services reform in mid-July 2010, issuing a statement praising the U.S. Senate’s legislation (online press release).

 

LEADERSHIP

Chief executive officer is Lisa Woll; she was previously executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation. Woll received a master’s degree in public policy and women’s studies. Meg Voorhes heads research and is deputy director. She worked previously at RiskMetrics and the Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC), and holds a master of international policy degree. Alya Kayal was named director of policy and programs in late June 2011. Board chair is Michael Lent, a financial advisor and chief investment officer at Veris Wealth Partners, LLC.

 

TRANSPARENCY

US SIF conducts robust disclosure and encourages it members to conduct fair and open disclosure on their activities.

 

SPECIAL NOTES

Credibility & Public Reaction

US SIF is recognized as a “mover and shaker” in investment circles and is the leader (as a trade / professional membership association) in advancing important concepts in SRI investment.  US SIF is also a strong advocate before the Securities and Exchange Commission and other public bodies for corporate governance reform (such as advocating more transparency, investor access to the corporate proxy, financial reforms, and other issues of concern to the membership).

Media Coverage – Awareness

US SIF has a growing base of journalists who follow and report on the association, its members, industry trends, public policy initiatives, social issue initiatives, and related activities and issues.  US SIF is often at the center of media coverage focused on sustainable and responsible investing.  The biennial survey is often a centerpiece of authored articles in business and consumer media about the growing size of SRI and US SIF staff and members are very often included (for color and quotes) in these stories.

ESG and Sustainability Differentiators

Longevity and a focus on dialogue among the universe of institutional and individual sustainable and responsible investors (SRI).

 

Prepared: September 7, 2010. Last updated: December 26, 2012.

 

CONTACT

US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment
910 17th Street NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20006

Tel 202.872.5361
Fax 202.775.8686

Web http://ussif.org/

Lisa Woll, CEO, 202.872.5358, lisawoll@socialinvest.org
Meg Voorhes, Research, 202.872.5362, megvoorhes@socialinvest.org
Sylvia Panek, Community Investing, 202.872.5346, sylviapanek@socialinvest.org

 

 

This profile was created by the Institute using (primarily) publicly-available information.  Certain insights were included based on the experience of Institute staff and its network of subject matter experts (SMEs).  The profiles in SustainabilityHQ are regularly updated with current information. 

 

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