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April 18, 2013

US SIF Launches Online Course on Sustainable Investment
    by Robert Kropp

The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment launches the Center for Sustainable Investment Education and the first online course offering of its kind in the US. -- The nonprofit US SIF Foundation of US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment announced last week that it has launched the Center for Sustainable Investment Education, an initiative designed to help investment professionals gain expertise in sustainable investment.

The Center is the first US-based source of online educational courses in sustainable investment; in 2010, the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA) launched the Responsible Investment Academy, the stated goal of which "is moving away from the maximization of short-term financial returns toward long-term objectives" that incorporate ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) issues.

The Center has launched its first online course, entitled Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investment. Fundamentals consists of four modules, including an overview of sustainable investment; portfolio construction and shareowner advocacy; current trends and issues; and communicating sustainable investment expertise to clients.

The resources provided by the Center will include information on community investment, thematic handbooks on individual issue areas, and research reports.

"Research and practical experience tells us that many financial professionals want to know more about sustainable, impact and mission investing, but do not have the tools at their disposal to obtain this expertise," US SIF CEO Lisa Woll said. "The Center is an easily accessible resource and Fundamentals of Sustainable and Responsible Investment is the first of what will ultimately be a series of online courses covering basic and specialized topics on investing for financial performance as well as social and environmental impact."

Paul Hilton, Portfolio Manager at Trillium Asset Management and Vice-Chair of the US SIF board, said, "There has never been a more important time to help train financial intermediaries to handle the increased demand for SRI from both retail and institutional investors."

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