ESG and Impact Investing

A Return on Your Money — and on Your Beliefs

By definition, investment seeks profit. It can also be a powerful tool to improve the world we live in.

Through impact investing, we can help you select funds and private projects based not only on financial performance, but also on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria. Your investments can also help you play a role in influencing, when possible, positive change in a company’s behavior as a corporate citizen.

Based on your finances, time horizon and life goals, we can introduce you to a variety of impact and ESG investment options. These can include public funds that screen for ESG; private equity and debt funds for investment in things like renewable energy or affordable housing; and direct investment in the debt or equity of private companies or organizations that score well on your ESG criteria.

Choose your impact

When we say ESG, we are talking about specific criteria that help decide which investments to include or exclude in your portfolio. Using input from well-established ESG ratings services, and your preferences and values, we take into account the following:

Environmental ratings on things like carbon emissions, climate change impact, renewable energy use, and sustainability.

Social criteria that measure an organization’s behavior and policies on issues such as consumer protection, civil and human rights, access to affordable housing and education, and animal welfare.

Governance scores that rate how well companies conduct themselves in employee relations, the gender wage gap, hiring, executive compensation, diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as the management of social and environmental issues.

Know what you are investing in

We apply the same rigorous due diligence to impact investments, as to our other portfolio holdings. Here, success requires more than the traditional measures of risk and return. We also evaluate the “utility of return” – the combination of financial return and social value of an investment. And we don’t assume that impact investments will yield a lower return. On the contrary, we begin every diligence process with the premise that an investor does not have to give up return, and that the potential return on any investment should always justify the risk.

Patience and diligence are key

Impact investing isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition.

Many of our clients start small by allocating a portion of their portfolio to impact investing. Over time, with increasing confidence in the results, you can expand your impact investing strategy. And we’ll be there every step of the way.

To ensure you see the widest array of these options, we maintain deep relationships with socially responsible investment asset managers—holding each to the same strict criteria we use for all our asset managers. And we use our industry contacts and influence to advocate for entirely new funds that match the priorities of our clients. After all, experience has its benefits.

Explore what is possible

At LNWM, we’re committed to impact investing and the new opportunities it can provide our clients, both personally and financially. We frequently host events open to clients with asset managers specializing in impact investing. And, because many of our clients want to look beyond returns, we use a variety of ESG ratings services to report on the impact of all investments within LNWM portfolios.

Our commitment to the environment

To help reduce our own impact, Laird Norton Wealth Management annually tracks the carbon output of our operations, including employee commutes, and actively tries to reduce that impact by encouraging use of public transportation.

We financially support programs in both water and electricity conservation undertaken by utilities and non-profit organizations, such as the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

We stay current on impact and socially responsible investing trends as a corporate member of Confluence Philanthropy.

Get started with impact investing

Find out how your investments can align with your values while providing a return. Download this interview with LNWM CIO Gino Perrina and Jeanne Goussev, head of fiduciary services at LNWM.