US community investments a test case for pension funds

THORNLEY_Benjamin_170310_webSan Francisco, as a hub for socially responsible investing, has launched the Global Impact Investing Policy Landscape project.

With support from the Rockefeller Foundation, InSight – the research practice at Pacific Community Ventures – and the Initiative for Responsible Investment at Harvard University, the project is looking to collate all available information on ESG in the California State.

The project will map existing and potential public policies and programs that act as a catalyst for investment opportunities that actively create social and environmental benefits. Examples might include:

– Financial incentives for affordable housing, urban regeneration, rural economic development, energy efficiency, or alternative energy (i.e. New Markets Tax Credits in the United States, Green Funds Scheme in the Netherlands).
– Regulatory interventions that mandate social or environmental investment standards (i.e. inclusionary zoning, Community Reinvestment Act, South African Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act).
– Direct public investment that helps to build markets (i.e. CDFI Loan Fund, European Investment Bank JESSICA Project, public-private infrastructure investments).

Benjamin Thornley, a New Zealand-born American citizen, says the project represents a perfect way for pension funds around the world to make a difference with their alternatives programs.