The IDP Foundation made its first impact investment in 2013 and in just five short years we are proud to have achieved a 95% mission-aligned portfolio.
How did we do it? A large part of our success is due to our unrelenting commitment and diligence to analyzing and measuring the impact of the funds in which we invest. We continue to collect and analyze metrics to better understand the outcomes and achievements of our investments as they relate to environmental, social, and governance. Many of our managers use Sustainability Accounting Standards Boards and Morgan Stanley Capital International criteria to gauge how efficient our impact is. Our financial consultants, Graystone Consulting, help us keep a meticulous eye on how we invest. They use quarterly reporting to make sure we understand, develop and improve our way of investing with a social focus.
Initially, our Investment Policy Statement targeted three categories of impact to analyze our portfolio to ensure we stayed true to our mission:
- Environmental Stewardship: Climate Change, Energy, Water
- Human Capital Management: Community Development, Social Enterprises, Health and Wellness, and
- Sustainable Community Impact: Sustainable Development, Education.
However, as our experience has strengthened and our investment goals have evolved, we have updated our Investment Policy Statement to better reflect our priorities. For instance, in 2014, we added:
- Conservation and Infrastructure Enhancement
- Economic Support and Development of Low-income Communities, and
- Fair Practices in Human Capital Management.
Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.
In 2018, we deepened our analysis efforts with a partnership with Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc. (ISS) for their Ethix Screening Solutions. ISS researches, analyzes, and screens our existing and potential investments with companies to allow us to better understand our portfolio and safeguard against investments that violate our impact goals.
In addition to covering the UN Global Compact’s key issue areas of human rights, labor standards, environment, and anti-corruption in 173 countries, we ask ISS to go one step further and screen companies in the areas of controversial weapons, adult entertainment/pornography, animal testing and welfare, civilian firearms, gambling, tobacco, alcohol, weapons production, and the Carbon Underground 200-List.
Our collaboration with ISS to gauge impact efficacy is an important part of getting the IDP Foundation closer to achieving our impact investing goals.