Impact and ESG Policy

CCM believes that a fully integrated portfolio, one that includes impact and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors, can deliver strong financial performance while simultaneously having positive long-term economic and sustainable outcomes. 

We execute on this philosophy as follows:

  • CCM manages assets that align with one or more of 18 impact themes. These themes include: affordable health and rehabilitation care; affordable housing; arts, culture, and the creative economy; disaster recovery, resilience, and remediation; economic inclusion; education and childcare; enterprise development and jobs; environmental sustainability; gender lens; healthy communities; human empowerment; minority advancement; neighborhood revitalization; poverty alleviation; rural community development; seniors and the disabled; sustainable agriculture; and transit-oriented development.
  • We look for affirmative, bottom-up expressions of impact and ESG qualifications.

FIXED INCOME

CCM manages fixed income impact investing portfolios for which CCM incorporates a thematic and geographic approach. CCM invests in securities that we consider to be fossil fuel free. We may invest in a bond whose use of proceeds will be used to finance activities or projects in clean and renewable energy or other activities that may contribute to the transition to a more sustainable economy, even if the issuer’s revenue or profits are partially derived from the fossil fuel sector.

Use of Proceeds Due Diligence

Impact bonds where the capital is financing positive environmental and/or social outcomes at time of issuance. The investment team must have a high degree of confidence with:

  • The use of proceeds and how it is supporting one or more of CCM’s impact themes.
  • The use of proceeds and how it is having positive environmental and/or societal outcomes to people and communities.

Impact bonds where the capital is financing positive environmental and/or social outcomes tied to future projects. The investment team must have a high degree of confidence with:

  • The use-of-proceeds intent and how it supports one or more of CCM’s impact themes.
  • The project selection criteria and process.
  • The use of proceeds meeting its original intent and that the issuing entity is reporting in the stated time frame.

Issuer Due Diligence

The investment team must have a high degree of confidence with:

  • The issuer and its track record.
  • The issuer reporting and/or any supplemental third party impact and ESG research.
  • How the entity supports one or more of CCM’s impact themes.

EQUITIES, FUTURES, AND OPTIONS

We evaluate common stock and preferred equity securities from an impact, ESG, and financial perspective. The following types of securities are utilized mainly for hedging purposes and, as such, are not subject to impact or ESG review: options, futures, short positions, closed-end funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETF).

CCM supplements its in-house impact and ESG research with third party data to determine where potential holdings fall in the following four categories:

  1. Strong Positive Impact: Companies that we believe significantly contribute to society, such as those that generate more than 50% of their revenue from a product or service that aligns with one or more of our 18 impact themes
  2. Moderate Positive Impact: Companies that have characteristics aligning with one or more of our 18 impact themes and that we believe are a net benefit to society
  3. Neutral Impact: Companies that do not fall within the two categories above but where there exists the potential to be included in the two categories in the future 
  4. Negative Impact: Companies with excessive ESG-related risk, such as fossil fuel exploration and production or any activity related to coal, tobacco, chemical manufacturing, weapons, and prison management, among others. These securities are not eligible for investment.

Fossil Fuel Free Criteria: Common Stock and Preferred Equity Securities

  • We do not invest in companies in the business of owning, extracting, producing, processing, or refining the fossil fuels of oil, gas, and coal (S&P Global definition: “Companies that hold fossil fuel reserves, which are defined as economically and technically recoverable sources of crude oil, natural gas, and thermal coal.”)
  • We do not invest in companies that are in the business of storage, transportation, exploration, or production of carbon-related fuels or energy sources.
  • We do not invest in the common stock of companies that are in the oil or gas equipment and services businesses.
  • Investments may be made in utilities that have current fossil fuel power sources above 15% but are actively transitioning to renewable sources.
  • Investments may be made in companies that are pursuing alternative energy technologies or are in alternative energy sectors.
  • Investments may be made in companies that are working to transition away from fossil fuels.

Proxy Voting Guidelines

As an active investor strongly concerned with corporate responsibility, we support communication with company management about organizational practices we would like improved. We engage in active, ongoing dialogue with clients to ensure that the views we express to corporations reflect our opinion and theirs as well.

We support:

  • Corporate boards that include adequate representation for independent, women, and minority directors; we will withhold votes from all corporate board nominees that result in fewer than two women directors.
  • Shareholder resolutions calling for separation of the CEO and board chair functions.
  • Corporate disclosure, reporting, and transparency resolutions, especially in regard to disclosure of climate risk and gender pay gap.
  • “Say on pay” and similar efforts to give a company’s owners a voice in management compensation.
  • Company benefits and/or compensation plans for all regardless of gender, race, age, or sexual orientation.
  • Policies that promote the voting power of the share classes offered to the public.
  • Companies that recognize the carbon intensity of their businesses.
  • Safe working conditions for all employees, suppliers, and contractors regardless of global location.