Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to building a more humane and healthier planet through philanthropy, investment, and advocacy, announced that its Builders Initiative Foundation has transitioned 90 percent of its $1 billion endowment into mission-related investments.
Private foundations in the United States hold more than $1.3 trillion in assets.
While there is no requirement for foundations to align their endowment investment portfolio with their philanthropic mission, Builders Initiative joins an increasing number of organizations that are moving their assets towards mission-related investments.
Builders Initiative Foundation has transitioned 90 percent of its $1 billion endowment into mission-related investments.
“If we are going to make lasting change happen, we need our mission to show up in everything we do – especially in how we commit our resources. That’s why we are investing our endowment in companies, organizations, and strategies that prioritize sustainable and equitable solutions,” said Lukas Walton, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Builders Vision.
“Our hope is to unlock and scale long-term positive change across markets by showing that purpose and profits are not mutually exclusive. We look forward to working with other foundations to help ignite a movement that leads to more and more endowments invested for impact.”
After interviewing dozens of peer organizations, the Builders Initiative Foundation Board and its Investment Committee worked closely with Chief Investment Officer, Noelle Laing, and Foundation President, Bruce McNamer, to decide on the appropriate asset allocation, liquidity profile, and impact investing strategy to meet and exceed the industry standard 5 percent return.
The diversified portfolio includes a variety of mission-related investments in funds or companies that support strategies such as impact-minded shareholder engagement, thematically aligned stock selection, and community-based bonds. Additionally, the growing private investments portion of the endowment portfolio is 100 percent invested in mission-related themes including clean energy and sustainability, conservation finance, circular economy, water, and waste.
A 2020 survey from the Council on Foundations found just 19 percent of private foundations seek to include investments ranking high on ESG criteria and 20 percent screen out investments that are inconsistent with their mission. In recent years, however, the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, McKnight Foundation, and the Nathan Cummings Foundation, among others, have publicly committed to aligning their investments with their social and environmental mission. With 90 percent of its endowment aligned with ESG and impact, Builders Initiative is providing another guiding example of what is possible.
“We are proud to have successfully transitioned our endowment to mission-related investments, but we know this is only one part of the solutions that are needed to ensure economic and environmental security for the long term,” said Noelle Laing, Chief Investment Officer of Builders Initiative. “We will continue to find inspiration and collaborate with our partners who are joining us in this journey.”
Builders Initiative is the philanthropic team for Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to supporting people and organizations building a more humane and healthier planet through philanthropy, investment, and advocacy. Builders Initiative, through the Builders Initiative Foundation, DAFs, and an impact LLC, invests in and collaborates with non-profits, businesses, and others working toward sustainable solutions to societal and environmental problems across four primary impact areas: Food and Agriculture, Climate and Energy, Oceans, and Community.
36 year old Lukas Walton is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Builders Vision, an impact platform dedicated to helping organizations and people build a more humane and healthier planet. Lukas and his team are centered on collaborating and learning from entrepreneurs, organizations, innovators, and community leaders to seed and scale meaningful solutions to the most pressing environmental and social challenges.
They are driven by the beliefs that the most successful businesses of the future will be the ones that are purpose-driven and that those closest to the problem are best equipped to solve it. Builders Vision’s philanthropic and investment focus areas include sustainable food and agriculture, healthy oceans, renewable energy and thriving communities.
Lukas’ passion for protecting the environment and pursuing more sustainable solutions began when he was diagnosed with a rare cancer at the age of three. After he didn’t respond to rounds of chemotherapy, his mother Christy fed him an all-natural diet that contributed to his recovery from the disease. Growing up, Lukas watched his mother and late father John Walton start Olivewood Gardens and Learning Center, which included donating his childhood home and garden in National City, a diverse community outside of San Diego.
Today, the center serves as an interactive, indoor-outdoor classroom that connects and motivates youth, adults, and families through organic gardening, environmental stewardship, and nutrition education, inspiring them to be healthy and active.
His educational journey was rooted in hands-on learning from his community and environment. He has traveled and lived all over the world including Thailand and Mexico.
Lukas attended Colorado College where he majored in environmental science and economics and went on to study energy efficiency and hydrological and geothermal energy in Reykjavik, Iceland. His experiences have given him a lifelong sense of respect for the power of nature, food and health.
Lukas is the grandson of Helen and Sam Walton, founders of the Walton Family Foundation and Walmart. In addition to his work at Builders Vision, Lukas serves as Chair of the Environmental Committee of the Walton Family Foundation and Chair of the Walton Conservation Coalition, where he brings a forward-thinking perspective on how the public and private sectors can help achieve environmental goals.