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Sustainability and Impact Investing

Today, investing and societal concerns intersect at more points than ever before. Based on our three decades of experience in integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria into our investment process, we recognize that investment opportunities can be enhanced through responsible corporate citizenship and governance practices. Our approach requires a thorough understanding of a company’s fundamentals—its ownership, location, practices, disclosures, and impact.

Forward-looking investors from our earliest days

The Rockefeller heritage of sustainability and impact investing dates back to the 1970s, when the family office began public and private investment programs that incorporated ESG criteria into the investment process. We view sustainable investing as the search for solutions that can have an enduring financial value and a lasting impact. We have long believed that this approach can be a competitive advantage and have many years of putting this experience into practice.

We see this philosophy as leading in two complementary directions. The focus on sustainability leads us to seek investment opportunities in far-sighted industries and firms with attractive future growth and income potential. The use of “impact investing” leads us to look for situations where our presence as investors can have a positive impact on a firm’s business priorities and corporate citizenship alike.

The investment process: disciplined, principled, practical

Using a fundamental bottom-up process, we construct a core global equity portfolio composed of companies that have been internally rated in terms of six sustainability criteria (governance, products and marketing, workplace, environmental stewardship, community, human rights) and across two dimensions (intrinsic business model and individual business leadership). We look for the proactive integration of sustainability into a company’s business model, including the level of Board involvement, the use of leading-edge sustainability practices as a driver of innovation and growth, transparent reporting, and responsiveness to stakeholder interests.

Above all, we want to know where a company sits along a long-term journey of impactful and sustainable development. It is an approach that is rigorously defined and executed, firmly founded on experience and hard work. At Rockefeller & Co., our philosophy emphasizes our practical objective: that sustainability and impact investing does not mean having to forego investment performance and competitive financial returns.