It is crucial that assessing and accounting for the sustainability impact of investment decision making becomes a core part of investment activity. That’s why we have launched A Legal Framework for Impact with UNEP FI and The Generation Foundation.

Investors have a fiduciary duty to integrate financially material factors, including ESG factors. They are also increasingly considering “impact duties” such as decarbonisation targets, gender equality or integrating the impact of their investments on wider society.

Despite emerging “pockets of excellence” in technical understanding, fundamental legal questions remain including whether investors are legally required to integrate the sustainability impact of their investment activity in their decision-making processes, and whether there are any legal impediments to investors adopting “impact targets”.

The project will collaborate with a major law firm to understand and analyse how investors can manage their fiduciary duty and sustainability impact duties, and what happens if they are in conflict.

Reference group members include:

  • Clara Barby, Chief Executive, Impact Management Project; Bridges Fund Management
  • Daniel Jackson, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM)
  • Martin Jonasson, General Counsel, AP2
  • Ryan Klausing, Director, Legal, Generation Investment Management
  • Susan Mac Cormac, Partner, Morrison & Foerster
  • Tom Tayler, Senior Counsel, Aviva Investors
  • Tara Tilbury, Senior Counsel, RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.) Inc.
  • Michael Torrance, Chief Sustainability Officer, Associate General Counsel,
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance, BMO Financial Group
  • Margaret Wachenfeld, Managing Director, Themis Research; Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Human Rights and Business

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Get involved

The project will form a reference group of experts from investment firms that have developed or are in the process of developing a strategy for integrating sustainability impact considerations.

The group will help support the research by sharing policy developments, questions, concerns and information on the legal, regulatory and fiduciary implications of managing sustainability impact.

Please contact Elodie Feller for more information.