The Oregon Environmental Council has taken its commitment to divest its endowment a step further.

The nonprofit has adopted a new investment strategy that screens businesses for their commitment to clean air and water, a healthy climate and an unpolluted landscape.

The environmental group, with a mission to safeguard what Oregonians love about Oregon, previously agreed to divest its portfolio of oil, coal, nuclear power, tobacco and weapons investments and specifically excluded Monsanto and Wal-Mart Stores from its portfolio.

The board worked with Seque Point and Ensogo Analytics to create a custom scoring system for businesses and mutual funds that emphasizes their environmental and social performance.

“With this change, OEC can lead by example: earning market returns while at the same time investing wisely for a healthier environment and supporting our mission,” said Andrea Durbin, executive director.

Oregon Environmental Council earned $7,865 on investment income in its 2013 fiscal year, representing less than one half of one percent of its $1.5 million in revenue.

According to its most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service, the council’s endowment has been growing steadily, climbing 47 percent to the current balance of $697,449 over the past four years.

Under the new strategy, about $250,000 or 50 percent of the endowment is invested in a custom-designed large cap pool of stocks optimized to the Russell 3,000 Index; $100,000 or 20 percent is invested in Trillium Asset Management’s All Cap Core; $80,000 or 16 percent is invested in for mutual funds chosen for their combination of long-term returns and underlying performance of their holds, and $70,000 or 14 percent is invested in the UBS Global Sustainable Equity, which invests outside of North America.

Source: Sustainable Business Oregon 10/07/14

Author: Wendy Culverwell, Staff Reporter