Skip to main content

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation becomes the first U.S. based community foundation signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation recently made history as the first United States community foundation signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment instituted by the United Nations (UNPRI). UNPRI is an international network of more than 4,600 signatories from more than 50 countries representing more than $121 trillion of assets under management as of December 31, 2021.

“Becoming a UNPRI signatory is a way to demonstrate our commitment to responsible investing,” said Shannon M. O’Leary, the Foundation’s chief investment officer. “We have been working with UNPRI for several years and have found their approach highly collaborative. The network of signatories also provides us with many opportunities to engage with like-minded investors, such as the Minnesota State Board of Investment, for ongoing collaboration relating to responsible investing practices.”

Benefits of Investing This Way

The Foundation’s commitment to UNPRI does not represent a new approach to our investing.

“Our board-approved investment policy statement, adopted in 2020, codified our commitment to the socially responsible investing practices advocated by UNPRI,” said Shannon. “In our work we continue to see ongoing correlation between the adoption of responsible investing practices and excess financial returns. Within our own portfolios, we have observed that adhering to socially responsible investing practices is delivering stronger returns at lower risk.”

The UNPRI’s mission and six core socially responsible investing principles align well with the Foundation’s vision, specifically our community-focused aspiration and purpose.

Six Principles for Responsible Investments

  • Principle 1: We will incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
  • Principle 2: We will be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices.
  • Principle 3: We will seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
  • Principle 4: We will promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
  • Principle 5: We will work together to enhance our effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
  • Principle 6: We will each report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

The Foundation’s Investment Team has found that unaddressed ESG and DEI related issues with investment managers, portfolios, and underlying portfolio companies can have a material impact on financial returns.

“We have worked over the last couple of years to create a robust responsible investing reporting and tracking system for our portfolios,” Shannon said. “With the system in place, staff have been able to use manager specific findings as tools in our diligence and monitoring work. We are also now able to track a manager’s progress over time using a variety of different metrics and can hold these firms accountable for their actions – or lack of action – on responsible investing matters.’

In our investment work, the Foundation will continue to actively engage our asset managers and use our investment dollars as a tool for change in the investment industry.

“Partnering with UNPRI will further advance our efforts to encourage greater diversity, equity and inclusion within the investment industry,” said Shannon.

Learn more about the benefits of working with a community foundation and how the Foundation can work with you to best achieve your giving goals.

More Stories

Redefining What Equity Looks Like

Entrepreneur and Foundation Board Member Alex West Steinman is embracing equity and accessibility with her work.

Watch the video

Honoring Kao Ly Ilean Her's Legacy

Hnub Tshiab - Hmong Women Achieving Together honors one of its founders by establishing an endowment fund.

Learn More

Stories From Across Minnesota: Caring for Community

Jessica Lee Velasco is a mother, advocate, leader, organizer and activist who uses her platform to engage, encourage and empower her community in Worthington, Minnesota.

Watch the video

Changing the Way One Community Looks at Race

Educator and performer T. Mychael Rambo educates and inspires youth and police in Hibbing, Minnesota.

Learn More

Stories From Across Minnesota: A Legacy of Giving in Hutchinson

The I. J. Burich Family Foundation was created by Irvin Joseph and Mary Burich to carry out their philanthropic commitment to the city of Hutchinson and McLeod County.

Watch the video

Disruptions in Child Care Access Continue

Marnie Werner, Vice President, Research & Operations at the Center for Rural Policy & Development, shares insight on the childcare shortage in Minnesota.

Read the post

Foundations Announce More Than $7 Million in Community Grants

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and the Mardag Foundation today announced that they have awarded more than $7 million to Minnesota nonprofits through their latest round of grants.

Read the News

Foundation Welcomes Anil Hurkadli as Senior Vice President of Community Impact

Anil, an experienced educator, nonprofit executive and community connector, brings deep racial and economic equity commitment to his new role.

Read the News

GET MONTHLY STORIES, NEWS AND UPDATES

JOIN
US!

* Indicates a required field