Impact Investing: Our History

Portfolios Built Around Environmental and Social Priorities

As wealth advisors to families and foundations over many generations, we have a vested interest in sustainable, resilient, and equitable economic growth as opposed to growth at all costs. Our history with sustainable investing began nearly 20 years ago when we helped the $30 million Laird Norton Family Foundation (LNFF) develop its path toward a values-driven investment model. With nearly 80% of LNFF’s portfolio recently dedicated to impact- and ESG-related investments, the foundation can be considered a model for effecting positive change through wealth.

Our early work sourcing and vetting sustainable investments for clients taught us much. Two decades later, we remain committed to investing our time, energy, and capital to keep evolving our sustainable investing platform. We do this by working with leading asset managers, researchers and thought leaders in sustainable investing. Our two inter-related goals: Participate in the development of new sustainable investing vehicles, research tools, and capabilities within the public and private markets; create portfolios that more closely align with each client’s interests and priorities.

Notable Milestones

  • Collaboration with Calvert Research & Management and Parametric Portfolio Associates to create first-of-a-kind public equity portfolios focused on social justice issues. These two new investment solutions focus on publicly traded companies Calvert designates as leaders in fostering diversity/socioeconomic opportunity and community health and wellness.
  • Creation of Planet Sustainability & Innovation, an investment solution comprised of three publicly traded mutual funds investing in companies leading the transition to renewable energy and creating long-term sustainability in climate, water, land, waste processing, and biodiversity.   
  • Worked with one of the world’s largest asset managers to create an access vehicle for our clients to invest in renewable power projects around the globe. In addition to financial returns, the projects owned by these funds are forecast to generate 6.5 million megawatts of power annually, prevent the release of over 2.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions every year, and reduce water usage by nearly 5.4 million cubic meters.
  • Worked with a Fortune 100 financial services firm to establish an investment fund focused on companies aiming to collectively reduce their carbon emissions by 70%. The fund was an early example of investment vehicles with a direct and quantifiable environmental benefit.
  • Catalytic, private market investments in the Pacific Northwest, enhancing quality of life for all in our region. As part of a unique partnership with our sister company, Laird Norton Properties, and other Seattle-area developers and philanthropists, LNWM clients were early investors in innovative projects providing affordable housing in Seattle’s skyrocketing real estate market.
  • Ongoing research and development of analytical tools to evaluate investment portfolios and strategies through the sustainability lens. We continue to evolve and improve our platform for assessing to what degree investment exposures align with each client’s environmental and social priorities.

Get started with sustainable investing

Find out how your investments can influence the world around you. Download this case study to learn how we helped the Laird Norton Family Foundation build a portfolio that generates both financial returns and social good.