At Laird Norton Wealth Management, we have long helped clients assess if and how they want to invest in line with their values, in what was once known as SRI (Socially Responsible Investing). Some 20 years later, this is now called impact investing or sustainable investing or ESG investing, with ESG standing for Environmental, Social and Governance screening of investments. Despite the variety in names, the goal is the same: to invest in line with your values. While this is something that many high-net-worth families and individuals are interested in doing (especially the younger generations within families), it is a process that tends to differ widely depending on each investor’s interests, finances, and knowledge areas, and tends to evolve over time.
A recent report from CREO, a nonprofit organization focused on creating a more sustainable economy, provides a great deal of insight into the different approaches and strategies a variety of wealthy families have taken to sustainable investing — and just as important, the lessons learned. The report is titled Pathways to Sustainable Investing, and it includes commentary by Brian McGuigan, VP Investments & Strategy at Laird Norton Company, our parent company. Brian spoke with CREO emphasizing how Laird Norton has been implementing sustainability initiatives in its own investments through support and direction from the Laird and Norton families, now in their seventh generation as successful business owners.