The Investment Integration Project and Surdna Foundation Join Forces to Help Investors Adopt Innovative Techniques to Address Global Systemic Challenges

Surdna grant expands tools and support that empower investors to incorporate system-level investing strategies into their asset management and beyond.

August 3, 2022 – The Investment Integration Project (TIIP), a consulting services and applied research firm focused on system-level investing, and the Surdna Foundation announced a collaborative partnership to help investors deliberately address systemic risks like climate change and income inequality and seize opportunities inherent in increased social justice and resilient ecosystems. Central to the collaborative is TIIP’s Systems Aware Investing Launchpad (SAIL), an all-encompassing investment information platform for investors seeking to better address social and environmental risks and achieve greater impact.

Previously, investors could find ways to insulate their portfolios from certain global events. Today, even seemingly ‘local’ events can immediately and adversely affect all portfolios. The largest, most influential investors are recognizing this trend and considering the interconnection between planetary and societal systems under stress and adverse portfolio performance. These investors are pioneering policies and practices that are additive to traditional investment scrutiny at the security and portfolio levels, helping them to confront global environmental and social systemic challenges in a way that makes financial sense. These pension funds, foundations and endowments, family offices and others are charting the next, critical shift in the evolution of investment, and SAIL helps other investors join them.

SAIL leverages the deep expertise of TIIP’s Founder, Steve Lydenberg, who co-wrote the book “21st Century Investing” with TIIP CEO William Burckart. The platform grew out of TIIP’s comprehensive industry needs assessment released in June 2022, which surveyed close to 100 investors, financial advisers and other stakeholders. SAIL is a “one-stop shop” that guides investors in developing, implementing, and refining their system-level investment strategies. It consists of two unique components: a plug-and-play solution investors can use to chart their course, and a community of practice to exchange ideas, share lessons, and drive broader industry transformation.

“Surdna’s support is a critical stake in the ground validating the need for this kind of industry infrastructure,” said Burckart. “Climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine have demonstrated that investors are in uncharted waters when it comes to managing the social and environmental challenges of today. They need help integrating system-level investing into RFPs, Statements of Investment Beliefs, investment and engagement activities, manager due diligence, and impact measurement. SAIL does that, and it guides investors on how to achieve influence at a system-level.”

TIIP will leverage Surdna’s funding to expand SAIL with a focus on racial justice, develop partnerships with key industry associations in order to educate and train more investors on how to integrate system-level investing into their policies, programs and practices, and generate a series of case studies based on the experiences of a cohort of investors that are putting system-level investing into action.

“TIIP pioneered system-level investing and is leading the investment industry toward long-term strategies that are good for people, the planet, and shared global prosperity,” said Adam Connaker, Director of Impact Investing at the Surdna Foundation. “We are proud to support the TIIP team as they help investors, asset owners, asset managers, and other industry stakeholders tackle global systemic challenges, establish best practices, and transform the broader industry.”

Surdna’s grant will anchor a broader collaborative of foundations and serve as a proof of concept for educating, empowering, and engaging investors in addressing racial justice, social inequality, and other social issues within their portfolios. The partnership will create actionable steps for these investors to enact organizational and cultural change more aligned to improving the well-being of communities that unfairly bear the brunt of climate change, systemic racism, and growing inequality in the US and around the world.

“Issues like social and racial justice are becoming more salient for investors and their stakeholders,” said Renaye Manley, Deputy Director, Strategic Initiatives, Service Employees International Union, and a TIIP Advisory Council member. “SAIL will develop and provide the support investors need to better navigate these issues and authentically integrate them into their overall organization strategy as well as portfolios.”

To learn more about supporting this initiative as well as applying to join the investor cohort, please contact TIIP at [email protected].

The Investment Integration Project (TIIP)

TIIP’s mission is to help investors understand how healthy social, environmental, and financial systems can benefit their portfolios. TIIP provides consulting services, applied research, and a turnkey solution that supports investors’ pursuit of system-level investing, an advanced approach to ESG integration and impact investing that focuses on managing systemic risks and investing in solutions to systemic problems. For more information, visit https://www.tiiproject.com

The Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, inclusive economies, and thriving cultures. For over five generations, Surdna has been governed largely by descendants of John Andrus and has developed a tradition of innovative service for those in need of help or opportunity. Learn more at www.surdna.org.

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