RI President's Message, December 2016
I joined Rotary as an engineer. There are almost as many classifications in the profession of engineering as there are in Rotary, but I happen to be a mechanical engineer.
A mechanical engineer calculates the heating
and cooling loads for a new building, makes sure the right lights
are in the right places, and plans the plumbing so your hot water
pipe doesn’t end in a drinking fountain.
But every time you get in an elevator, turn the key in your ignition, or cross the street when the light says go, you are entrusting your life to an engineer somewhere whom you’ve never met. You trust that your elevator will open at the floor you want it to. You trust that your car will start and stop as it should.
You trust that the traffic light is going
to turn red before the walk light goes on. Every day, you put your
life in the hands of people whose names you do not know and whom
you might never meet. You might not think about them at all –
but they touch your lives every day.
- John F Germ
Dec. 2016 Trustee Chair's Message
Trustee Chair 2016-17
Responsible investing for doing good
We also consider how each of our investment managers incorporates socially responsible investing as part of their process. Currently seven of these managers, responsible for about 36 percent of the Foundation's total assets, were signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
These principles offer possible actions for incorporating environmental, social, and governance issues – such as climate change, public and workplace safety, and shareholder rights – into investment practice. Following these principles could reduce risk, improve returns, and better align our portfolio with our mission.
Does this mean the Foundation will categorically exclude specific companies or industries from investment? That's where the "no" part of my answer comes in. Given Rotary's diverse membership and its various cultural beliefs, agreeing on such restrictions would be extremely difficult.
The Trustees of The Rotary Foundation and the Rotarian financial experts on our Investment Committee take their job very seriously. Rotarians have entrusted us with millions of dollars that they have designated to do good in the world.
Our capacity to provide clean water and education,
improve health care and economic development, and promote peace
depends heavily on our investment income So it
is especially important that we invest your gifts wisely.
Because The Rotary Foundation belongs to all of us, we believe strongly in transparency. To that end, we have posted a wealth of information on www.rotary.org. You can find audited statements for the Foundation for the past three years and tax returns for the past six years, along with extensive material on investment practices, philosophy, and historical returns. I hope this detailed information will reinforce your confidence in our Foundation and inspire your continued generosity
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