Welcoming New Standards: Building Labor's Report Card, World Bank's Impact Standards

America’s Building Trades Unions (ABTU), whose members own $600 billion in pension assets, released their third report card on how well fund managers connect pension fund investments to projects that create union jobs. This year's ratings focused on asset managers for real estate and infrastructure funds, according to Pension and Investments Magazine. Of the 24 real estate and infrastructure fund managers responding to this year's survey, 14 earned grades of A+ or A, while seven earned an F. Two managers earned a B, and one got a C. Another 32 firms did not respond. Kudos to Dan Pedrotty, ABTU’s Director of Capital Strategies and a long-time Heartland supporter!

Here’s the Report Card:

On April 12, 2019, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group, officially launched their Operating Principles for Impact Management (the Principles). Sixty global investors-large asset managers and other private and non-profit firms--committed to the principles. Many of those firms were also engaged in designing the protocol.

The IFC uses GIIN’s definition of impact investments as “investments made into companies or organizations with the intent to contribute to measurable positive social or environmental impact, alongside a financial return.” GIIN is the acknowledged global leader of the impact investment movement. GINN might have been a more suitable home for the Standards program, given the fact that the World Bank and IFC have long faced accusations in developing nations that their projects and loans hurt local farmers and residents and damaged the environment.

And, unlike the broad stakeholder process undertaken to launch the UN Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), it does not appear that neither labor unions nor asset owners-workers’ pension funds-were engaged in the development of the standards.

Nonetheless, the Expresso welcomes both initiatives and coalitions that are willing to join in a united front to mobilize peoples’ capital for a sustainable world.

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