Statement from Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, on the final report from the US National Advisory Board on Impact Investing
WASHINGTON– Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment, issued the following statement regarding the final report of the US National Advisory Board (NAB) on Impact Investing, “Private Capital, Public Good,” which was released today:
US SIF supports the report's message that public policy should be utilized to encourage private sector investments for positive social impact. In particular, we endorse the NAB's recommendation that, “The Department of Labor should make clear that ERISA fiduciaries may consider environmental, social, and governmental factors in making investment decisions, and that doing so is consistent with their responsibility to act in the economic interest of the plan.” Such a statement by the Department of Labor would help to correct the confusion generated by the bulletins it issued in 2008 that fiduciaries may not make investment decisions based on “any factor outside the economic interest of the plan,” language that appeared to contradict its earlier guidance that fiduciary responsibility does not preclude consideration of collateral, social impact benefits that investment vehicles may offer. We also welcome the NAB's call for continued US government financial and regulatory support for community development through mechanisms and agencies such as the CDFI Fund, the New Market Tax Credit and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
At the start of 2012, sustainable, responsible and impact investing stood at over $3.7 trillion (USD), as measured in the assets under management that consider environmental, social and governance criteria in portfolio selection—across all asset classes—and in shareholder advocacy. We believe the policies the NAB report outlines will help introduce new practitioners to the expanding sustainable, responsible and impact investing field. We look forward to continuing our work with our members and partners to advance impact investing through policy, research, training and education.
US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (www.ussif.org) is the US membership association for professionals, firms, institutions and organizations engaged in sustainable and responsible investing. US SIF and its members advance investment practices that consider environmental, social and corporate governance criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact. US SIF's members include investment management and advisory firms, mutual fund companies, research firms, financial planners and advisors, broker-dealers, community investing institutions, non-profit associations, and pension funds, foundations and other asset owners.
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