Mission & Vision
Heartland advocates for the adoption and growth of responsible investments, particularly responsible Economic Impact Investments (EII), before pension funds and the institutional investment community at large. EII are investments that:
• Demonstrate competitive investment returns over the long term;
• Yield over-sized, positive economic impacts in a city or region or industry; and
• Integrate Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) criteria into investment decisions.
By encouraging responsible investments, Heartland’s purpose is to harness the power of workers’ capital – i.e. pension assets - to prudently invest in good jobs and revitalize industrial communities.
Mobilize responsible investments by capital stewards/institutional investors in the real economy, achieving competitive financial returns and positive ESG impact.
Help workers secure better retirement benefits by sustainably investing in the real economy, securing good jobs, and ultimately rebuilding and strengthening America.
Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Heartland is a partnership launched by the Steel Valley Authority (SVA), an innovative regional organization that has been successfully restructuring troubled manufacturing firms for more than 30 years.
Heartland's predecessor, the Heartland Labor/Capital Network, was co-founded by the the Steelworkers, the AFL-CIO HIT, AFL-CIO IUC and SVA in 1995 to bring together labor's capital stewards to explore ways to rebuilt our economy and reclaim workers' capital. During the 2007-2008 financial markets crash and recession, Heartland Capital Stratetegies (HCS) was re-booted, better aligning with the broader responsible investment labor capital strategies movement, and as a reflection of a broader category of services offered by Heartland.
Heartland provides services in four key areas:
What We Do
Convenes Road Shows and Roundtable Events to facilitate the responsible development of cities by bringing regional responsible investment allies to the table
Educates Trustees and Capital Stewards on the importance, profitability and viability of responsible investments through events, publications, and presentations
Fosters the Development of a New Generation of Responsible Investors by exposing them to the responsible investments field and corresponding career opportunities
Communicates Best Practices in Responsible Investments through public awareness aimed at educating, mobilizing, and accelerating knowledge and support in our communities
Why It Matters
While worker representatives were among the most important architects of retirement systems, workers and retirees themselves have little influence on how their assets are used to fuel this growth and whether this growth will cater to their own long-term economic, social, and environmental interests.
The 2008 financial crisis brought on by the sub-prime housing market crash bore testament to the explosive negative impacts of short-term, speculative investments whose risk profiles were not fully understood by pension funds. These misguided investments impacted not only the financial value of pension assets, but also broader civil society. Nearly $11 trillion in household wealth vanished, including some $4 trillion in retirement accounts and life savings. In addition, millions of jobs were lost and homes were foreclosed, and resources were diverted from important environmental issues such as climate change, among many other negative effects.
That is why it matters that investors, trustees and the stewards of workers’ capital step up as active asset owners that have a long-term perspective rather than a short-term focus. That they work to reverse the retirement crisis created by irresponsible financial markets. That they invest workers’ capital in ways that create good jobs and resilient growth, while concurrently tackling the big economic, social and environmental problems of our time such as income inequality and climate change. And that they align workers’ retirement assets and savings with long-term, responsible investment practices so that we can, as a society, ‘pay forward’ a more livable and prosperous planet to future generations.