Case Study: EIRIS Foundation

Mission: The EIRIS Foundation is a research, advice and advocacy charity pioneering the next steps for sustainable finance. Its vision is a financial system that works for people and planet.

Size of endowment/investments: £1 million

Outline: The EIRIS Foundation updated their Responsible Investment Policy and then earmarked £1 million for a ‘Growth Portfolio’. The policy focuses on the principles of a positive focus, negative screening, public benefit, high impact social investments, engagement and stewardship and ESG integration. With the added objective of providing other charities with an example of what the options might be for a charity with a relatively small amount of investment capital, EIRIS Foundation underwent a process of issuing a detailed Request for Proposals that was made open to the public. The EIRIS Foundation were looking for managers or advisors who take an ethical and sustainable investment approach that adds value by understanding the impact of ESG factors on Enterprise Value, putting money to work in sustainable growth opportunities and demonstrating positive ESG impact through engagement and Stewardship activities. After assessing the proposals received and asking short-listed organisations to present at a webinar which was also open to other charities and foundations, the Foundation chose to split the mandate equally between Castlefield and Snowball.  

Peter Webster, CEO of the EIRIS Foundation, said of the decision: “We received a number of excellent proposals and felt in the end that the best option for us was to go with both Castlefield and Snowball. Castlefield impressed us with their openness and transparency as well as their high scores with regards to human rights and conflict screening. They also seemed genuinely willing to learn from us and their other charity clients. With regards to Snowball, our investment committee felt in particular that they provided a unique offering to the market by investing significantly in impact investing. The EIRIS Foundation supports this and would like to promote it as a credible responsible investing option for charities. We are delighted to have an option that offers both measurable impact and competitive risk-adjusted returns.” 

Read the Foundation’s full Responsible Investment Policy

Read the full Request for Proposals