Impax Asset Management LLC

Impax Asset Management LLC is a specialist asset manager focusing on the risks and opportunities arising from the transition to a more sustainable global economy. We believe that capital markets will be shaped profoundly by global sustainability challenges, particularly climate change, environmental pollution, natural resource constraints and demographic and human capital issues such as diversity, inclusion and gender equity. We believe these trends will drive growth for well-positioned companies and create risks for those unable or unwilling to adapt.

Impax, the North American division of Impax Asset Management Group, is investment adviser to Pax World Funds, which launched the first publicly available mutual fund in the United States to use social and financial criteria in the investment process in 1971, helping to usher in the field of sustainable investing.


Featured Executives

As Senior Vice President of Sustainable Investing, Julie Gorte oversees Impax Asset Management LLC’s sustainability research and engagement efforts. She leads the team that conducts social and governance-related analysis on prospective and current investments and works closely with the Impax investment team to ensure the firm’s investments align with its sustainable values and help advance the transition to a more sustainable economy.

Under Gorte’s leadership, the Impax sustainability team has had thousands of contacts with hundreds of companies on key issues including board and executive diversity, pay equity and climate change. Gorte has overseen numerous engagement milestones during her tenure with Impax, including successful dialogues with companies including Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Apple, T-Mobile and Alphabet. During recent months, Gorte has been very active on the public policy front, submitting comment letters to the Department of Labor about proposed rules that threaten to diminish shareholder engagement and ESG investing at the expense of stakeholders, and petitioning the Securities and Exchange Commission to require companies to disclose the physical locations of their significant assets so that investors may better understand their exposure to the physical risks posed by a changing climate.

Gorte earned a Ph.D. and Master of Science in resource economics from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in resource economics from Michigan State University and a Bachelor of Science in forest management at Northern Arizona University.


David Loehwing is Vice President of Sustainable Investing at Impax Asset Management LLC.

He is responsible for environmental, social and governance-related research on prospective and current investments, and he leads the construction and management of the Impax Sustainability Score. He is also a member of the Impax Gender Analytics Team.

David has worked in sustainable investing since 1998. Before joining Impax in 2007, he served as Senior Social Research Analyst at Citizens Advisers and as a Senior Account Manager at the Investor Responsibility Research Center.

He is a former member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Advisory Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility and the Sustainable Investment Research Analyst Network’s steering committee.

David is a graduate of Bowdoin College.


Resources

1. Impax Engagement Report
2. An Introduction to the Impax Sustainability Lens
3. ESG Policy
4. Assessment Report 2020 – Impax Asset Management

ESG Impacts

1. Impact Results – Pax Global Opportunities Fund
2. Impact Results – Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund

Funds to Watch


Name CUSIP Domicile Description
Pax Large Cap Fund 704223486 US

A core strategy that fully integrates analysis of ESG risks and opportunities and invests in a portfolio of companies we believe have strong prospects and attractive valuations. This fossil fuel free strategy uses the proprietary Impax Sustainability Lens and ESG research to better manage sustainability risks and identify opportunities.


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Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Leadership Fund 70422T109 US

This was the first broadly diversified mutual fund to invest in the highest-rated companies in the world for advancing women through gender-diverse boards, senior leadership teams and other policies and practices. The strategy also meets key ESG standards and is fossil fuel free.


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Pax Global Environmental Markets Fund 704223775 US

A global thematic strategy investing in companies that are developing innovative solutions to resource challenges in four key areas: new energy, water, waste and resource recovery, and sustainable food, agriculture and forestry.


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Pax High Yield Bond Fund 704223809 US

This strategy leverages the proprietary Impax Sustainability Lens to identify higher opportunity and lower risk subsectors of the high yield universe, focusing on companies with stable profits and manageable debt loads as well as growing businesses with improving credit profiles.


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Pax Sustainable Allocation Fund 704223205 US

This risk-focused asset allocation strategy offers a diversified portfolio of sustainable investments that provide impact across a range of sustainability issues — from the environment to gender equality — through full ESG integration within each underlying fund, compelling thematic strategies, direct high impact investments and engagement initiatives.


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ESG DDQ


Does the investment manager have a policy addressing its approach to the incorporation of ESG factors within the investment process? If there is no policy, please explain why.

Yes. Our sustainable investment approach integrates ESG factors across all our strategies as we seek to invest in companies that are well positioned to benefit from the transition to a more sustainable global economy. Fundamental analysis that incorporates long-term risks, including ESG factors, enhances our investment decisions. In-depth ESG analysis integrated in the investment processes informs our knowledge of companies’ character and quality.

The policy also undergirds how we engage with companies to encourage greater corporate transparency around significant environmental and social risks and opportunities based on a company’s sector and activities. Through our engagement process, we both help companies attain higher ESG standards and often garner insights about a company’s management of material ESG issues, which helps inform its overall sustainability profile. Engagement takes many forms at Impax, including direct company dialogue, filing shareholder resolutions, and proxy voting. From a firm-level perspective, we tend to focus our engagement on key topics, including diversity, pay equity, climate change and sustainability reporting.

Please explain what steps have been taken to ensure ESG specialists have authority in the portfolio management process?

Impax ESG research is fully integrated within our investment process across all strategies, and the firm undertakes dedicated policy research to understand policy and legislative drivers related to the transition to a more sustainable economy. A seven-member Impax ESG & Sustainability Research Team is dedicated to ESG research and analysis. Each sustainability research analyst serves as a liaison to dedicated internal portfolio management teams. The sustainability research analysts work closely with these portfolio management team members to review and provide context for ESG research, tailored to the asset class.

The team assesses key ESG issues for each sector, focusing on companies’ ability to manage operational and reputational risks, and their ability to capitalize on opportunities arising from the shift toward a more sustainable global economy. To ensure the rigor and consistency of our investment process, the ESG analysis conducted by each member of the ESG & Sustainability Research Team is subject to peer review.

How do you collaborate with other investors to achieve successful engagement outcomes?

We partner with other investors to catalyze progress on critical environmental, social and governance issues, which helps us expand our reach and influence beyond what we own in our portfolios. Currently, we are working with the New York State Common Retirement Fund to encourage companies in the S&P 500 Index to disclose the precise locations of assets whose loss or impairment would impact financial results as the physical risks associated with a changing climate increase.

In recent months we have teamed with dozens of other investors and organizations to encourage companies to:

• increase board diversity,
• adopt renewable energy targets,
• stop exporting plastic waste,
• address risks posed by toxic pesticides in supply chains to measure and report on pesticide use in their supply chains and set reduction goals,
• support continued regulation of methane, and
• encourage participation in the Chemical Footprint Project.

Impax is an active member of numerous industry bodies with whom we conduct collaborative engagement activities, including Ceres, CDP, ClimateAction100, ShareAction, PRI, TCFD, the Investor Network on Climate Risk, the Northeast Investors’ Diversity Initiative and US SIF. Impax is a founding member of the Thirty Percent Coalition in the U.S. and currently serves on the coalition’s institutional investor committee.

Describe what ESG data, research, third-party consultants and other resources the fund manager uses, and how these are incorporated in the investment and risk management processes.

With five decades of sustainable investing behind us, we have honed our approach and developed proprietary tools that help us uncover the compelling opportunities and hidden risks associated with the global economic transition.

Impax Sustainability Lens: A tool that facilitates systematic review of the economic opportunities and risks associated with the transition to a more sustainable economy. This tool highlights areas of the market with transition tailwinds and headwinds, enabling our investment teams to identify those with higher opportunity and lower risk.

Impax Sustainability Score: The Impax Sustainability Score is a proprietary ranking of companies’ environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance developed by Impax’s Sustainability Research Team. The scoring framework is shaped by the team’s collective experience and insights on how sustainability impacts financial performance.

Impax Gender Leadership Score: A proprietary rating of companies based on gender diverse leadership.

SmartCarbon: A proprietary, risk-based investment approach for managing exposure to companies with fossil fuel reserves on their balance sheets.

We also purchase third-party ESG research data that gets integrated into our proprietary conclusions and ratings.