Endowment Value: $776 million (June 2018)
The University of New Hampshire is a public research university with its main campus in Durham, New Hampshire. It has a student body of approximately 15,000 across its six campuses. The UNH Foundation manages the endowment.
UNH considers sustainability to be a "university-wide endeavor" and a core value underpinning all university academics, research, and operations. UNH has received a perfect score on the Princeton Review’s Green College Honor Roll and as of 2019, is one of only four universities to have received a Platinum STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), which measures sustainability leadership in operations, academics, and investments.
The University’s commitment to sustainability, largely thanks to conversations sparked by students, is now being increasingly integrated into its endowment investment practices. Since 2017, the UNH Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR) with its membership including students, faculty, alumni, endowment stakeholders, and external advisors, has helped support the Foundation in sustainable, socially responsible investment practices and policies through actions such as:
UNHF’s investment policy takes a multi-pronged approach, including positive and negative screening, full ESG integration into financial analysis, and active ownership through shareholder engagement opportunities. Furthermore, ESG factors are also strongly considered in manager selection and monitoring process is a responsibility shared by the investment committee, Foundation staff and our investment consultants. As a signatory of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment, much of the Foundation’s sustainable investment commitments are guided by those principles.
UNHF currently has an environmental, social and governance (ESG) endowment pool, which was created in 2015. The initial $1 million seed funding has grown to approximately $40 million as of March 2019. In 2017, the Foundation also invested $3 million into the NH Community Loan Fund as a component of the fixed income segment of the main pool. NHCLF is the Foundation’s first direct impact investment with a purpose to make affordable financing options available to economically disadvantaged individuals and communities in New Hampshire.
University of New Hampshire is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Resources, Practices and News:
Sustainable Investing at UNH | University of New Hampshire Website
Panel: An Introduction to The IEN Roadmap & How The University of New Hampshire Intentionally Invests l Intentional Endowments Network and WISE, May 2019
Q&A Series: Making an ESG Impact Through Public Fixed Income l Intentional Endowments Network, April 2019
Q&A Series: The Power and Impact of Community Investing l Intentional Endowments Network, September 2018
Article: Feature School - University of New Hampshire l Intentional Endowments Network, Quarterly Newsletter, July 2018
Panel: What Might Community Investing look Like for a College Endowment? l Intentional Endowments Network, Community Investing Roundtable, June 2018
Endowment Value: $$878.4 million (June 2018)
Carleton College is a private college, located in Northfield, Minnesota. The Carleton Responsible Investment Committee (CRIC) was established in 2005 and is comprised of students, staff, and faculty. The primary purpose of the CRIC is to make recommendations about the management of the endowment to the Board of Trustees that embody Carleton's values. For example, within the past three years, The Committee has supported multiple shareholder resolutions that strengthened environmental, social and governance policies of companies within its investment portfolio.
In addition, in lieu of growing student interest and mobilization around fossil fuel divestment, students from the CRIC organized a student-led town hall discussion on the pros and cons of divestment in the fossil fuel industry
According to the most recent STARS Report, “while Carleton does not have a sustainable investment policy, the College aims to invest with managers whose standards of propriety, fairness, and ethical integrity align with those of the College. The College tries to select managers that will generate superior returns, but not at all costs, and make investments in a responsible manner that takes into account societal impacts.” The College also reports that a percentage of it’s endowment portfolio is invested in sustainable industries such as renewable energy and sustainable forestry.
Carleton College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News:
Endowment Value: $215.8 million (June 2018)
The University of Ottawa is a public university located in Ottawa, Ontario. Approximately 42,500 students attend the university. The Finance and Treasury Committee manages the endowment.
As a signatory of the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Montreal Carbon Pledge (and the first Canadian university to do so), the University of Ottawa has “has made a public commitment to make investment decisions that consider ESG issues while taking appropriate steps to meet its fiduciary responsibilities to optimize investment returns”.
In April 2016, uOttawa’s Finance and Treasury Committee released a 19 page report describing the University’s response to addressing climate change in response to a request by the Board of Governors for uOttawa to consider the question of fossil fuel divestment. The report recognizes the role of the student-led Fossil Free uOttawa divestment campaign in sparking a debate about the role the University should play in the fight against global warming.
While UOttawa is currently not pursuing full divestment, uOttawa has committed to expanding actions towards an ESG-tilting portfolio such as increasing investments in clean technologies by creating a separate Clean Innovations Fund of $10 million for investment with uOttawa, by providing the initial seed capital from the long-term portfolio; and increasing exposure to investments in enterprises involved in creating and selling these technologies. It is also making considerable action towards reducing its carbon footprint across campus facilities and operations in addition to its investment strategies.
The University of Ottawa is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News:
Endowment Value: $84.9 million (June 2018)
Chatham University has an enrollment of over 2,200 students and over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs in four areas of excellence: sustainability; health & lab sciences; business & communication; and the arts & humanities. All undergraduates, save for those in the nursing program, are required to take a course on sustainability.
Currently, Chatham is among the five higher education institutions out of Pennsylvania’s 164 colleges and universities to formally adopt and apply ESG practices as part of their investment strategy. The University’s sustainable investment policy outlines key guiding principles that include reducing fossil fuel investments, advocating against corporations that deny climate change, and favoring investments that have positive environmental impacts, promote sustainability and support positive local community development. More than 13 percent of Chatham’s investment pool is in positive sustainable investments.
With regards to Chatham University’s efforts to divest its endowment funds from fossil fuels, administration has worked closely with students on the Student Investment Team (SIT) and committee on investor responsibility to assess they University’s exposure to fossil fuels and draft recommendations towards sustainable investing. In the Spring of 2017, the investment committee of the Board of Trustees voted to approve two new investment opportunities that are specifically aimed at excluding fossil fuels and supporting sustainable energy. Chatham’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Walt Fowler, said reducing the university’s support of fossil fuel companies is in line with its goal of pursuing sustainability in every part of its operations. “It’s important to us ethically, because we believe the world needs to reduce their use of fossil fuels,” Fowler said. At the end of this year, the university will replace a hedge fund with a private equity fund focused exclusively on supporting wind power. It will also swap investment in a standard equity fund, which includes fossil fuel companies, for a BNY Mellon fund that is filtered specifically for green companies but matches the performance of the current fund.
Chatham University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News:
Endowment Value: $2 billion (August 2019)
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global center for research and teaching with a student body of around 60,000 located in British Columbia, Canada. The market value of the Endowment Fund directly managed by UBC Investment Management Trust Inc. (IMANT) and is overseen by the Board of Governors.
In 2013, UBC adopted its Responsible Investment Policy to direct UBC to consider environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors to make more informed investment decisions for the UBC Endowment. In 2014 through 2015, The Board carefully considered a student and faculty proposal for divestment and a detailed third-party analysis by Koskie Minsky, an external law firm with expertise on responsible investment.
Although The Board did not approve the proposal, it did allocate $10 million to establish the Sustainable Future Pool as a far for donors especially concerned about climate change more choice when donating to UBC. This fund specifically aims to lower carbon emissions and excludes fossil fuels. In April of 2019, April 18, the Board voted to approve an additional $25 million contribution to the Sustainable Futures Pool over the next three years, bringing the total contributed to the pool to $50 million by 2022
UBC Vancouver also has a Sustainability Fund, established in 2011 with $1 million in seed funding, for projects that help the University achieve its sustainability goals through reducing campus energy and water consumption, reducing operational waste generation, increasing operational waste diversion from landfill and increasing the use of alternative energy and alternative transportation.
The University of British Columbia is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other UBC Information:
Endowment Value: $887.4 million (June 2018)
Oberlin College is a four-year liberal arts college and conservatory of music with a student body of around 3,000. Located in Oberlin, Ohio, the campus has as suburban atmosphere. Oberlin's board of trustees manages the endowment.
The Office of Environment Sustainability has been implementing programs throughout the campus and educational curriculum to fulfill carbon neutrality and sustainability goals. In order to engage students, staff members, and the surrounding community, Oberlin hosts an annual Ecolympics. The Ecolympics is comprised of several sustainability oriented competitions. Along with the competitions, the school hosts sustainability workshops, educational campaigns, and film sessions throughout the ceremonies.
In 2013 the board of trustees allocated $5 million to establish the Impact Investment Platform (IIP) Subcommittee of the Board of Trustees Investment Committee to provide guidance to the Investment Committee on social and environmental issues. The IIP established an investment policy that would consider proposals submitted by any student, alum or faculty for divestment from entities that contribute to activities that "shock the conscience”. Such parameters include instances of human suffering, natural calamity and injury and Oberlin currently conducts 100% negative screening within its portfolio based on these parameters.
Oberlin College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
Endowment Value: $715 million (June 2018)
Villanova University is a private research Roman Catholic university located in Radnor Township, Pennsylvania. Founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842, VU is the oldest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It has a student body of approximately 6,800 students.
In 2007, Father Donohue signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), vowing that Villanova would achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. To achieve this, Villanova will invest in improving campus infrastructure efficiency, as well as purchase carbon offsets and renewable energy for the energy required to run campus operations. In April 2014, Father Peter signed the St. Francis Pledge, committing the University to protect God's Creation and advocate on behalf of people in poverty who face the hardest impacts of global climate change.
In January 2019, over 200 students and faculty held a town hall meeting to discuss the issue of climate change. Proposals at the meeting called upon the administration to take stronger initiatives including hiring new personnel, both in faculty and operations, to focus on climate change, moving to being carbon neutral by 2030 instead of 2050, creating a new Center for Sustainability and divesting any fossil fuel investments.
Villanova has a Committee on Social Responsibility Proxy Votes that is comprised of faculty, student, and staff representatives. It conducts its activities in accordance with the investment guidelines issued by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. It was established in order to fulfill Villanova’s investment policies that require exercising its rights as a shareholder to vote proxies in a socially responsible manner.
Villanova’s School of Business is home to the first socially responsible student managed fund in the country which invests in socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens.
Villanova University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices
Endowment Value: $76.4 million (June 2018)
Portland State University (PSU) is a public, nonprofit, coeducational research university located in Portland, Oregon with a student body of around 25,000. The Investment Committee of the PSU Foundation Board of Trustees oversees the endowment.
Portland State University is on its way to becoming the first university in Oregon to have no investments in the Carbon Underground Top 200 companies, which are companies that own the most global fossil fuel reserves and hence have the most potential for producing high amounts of carbon emissions.
As a result of student advocacy on the Divest Portland State (DPS) campaign, an Environmental Social Governance (ESG) statement was added to the PSU Foundation’s investment policy in early 2015 and entails both a quarterly investment portfolio review and a negative fossil fuel screening across 100% of its portfolio. Nearly 50% of the value of PSUF’s holdings are in funds with positive SRI screenings.
PSU currently has a Green Revolving Fund (GRF), established after its pledge to the Billion Dollar Green Challenge that provides funding for efficiency projects across campus that support energy reduction and climate action goals. The fund is currently holds $1.5 million and has funded nearly 20 projects since inception in 2013..
Portland State University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Practices
Ball State University is a public university, located in Muncie, Indiana. It has an endowment of $224 million that is managed by the Ball State University Foundation. The mission of the Ball State University Foundation is to maximize sustainable support for Ball State University by obtaining, investing, and administering private gift support and prudently discharging its fiduciary obligations to the university, donors, and designated beneficiaries.
In spring 2012, the university launched its geothermal district heating and cooling system — the nation’s largest ground-source, closed-loop district geothermal energy system, benefiting the economy and the environment. Now, nearly fully operational, the system will cut the university’s carbon footprint in half and result in an annual savings of $2 million, said Jim Lowe, director of engineering, construction, and operations at Ball State.“When we shut down the coal-fired burners in March 2014, we not only reduced our dependence on fossil fuels, we also reduced carbon dioxide emissions and sulfur matter produced by burning coal,” Lowe said.
In 2015, after more than a year studying industry standards, and the fossil fuel stock divestment positions of universities and companies around the world, board members of the Ball State University Foundation supported pursuing an alternative investment portfolio that adopts environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. The foundation is encouraging its fund advisors and managers to incorporate ESG strategies. Further, foundation employees are developing opportunities for donors who wish to have gifts managed via more specific, restrictive criteria.
Ball State University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
Endowment Value: $734 million (June 2019)
Arizona State University (ASU) is a top-ranked research university in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area. ASU has a student body of over 80,000 students. The ASU Foundation manages ASU's endowment. The foundation also serves as the university’s entrepreneurial arm in technology commercialization, real estate investment, and other emerging initiatives.
In November of 2018, IEN published a Case Study for Arizona State University which provides in-depth coverage of the University's move toward sustainable investing. This case study was developed in part with significant input from the senior leadership from ASU and their investment advisors at BlackRock
The Investment Committee is advisory to the executive vice president, treasurer, and CFO in guiding the investment of university operating cash and endowment funds. The committee approves university investment policies, selects investment consultants and managers, monitors performance, and advises on investment strategies. Voting members of the committee include faculty from the W. P. Carey School of Business, and others as appointed by the executive vice president, treasurer, and CFO.
As of July 2019, the ASU Foundation now offers a socially responsible investment fund for endowment donors to select rather than the traditional endowment pool.
ASU’s revolving fund is called the Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund, or SIRF. The SIRF was established in the fiscal year 2010 to invest in projects that foster and enable sustainability efforts and provide an economic return on investment. SIRF funds are available to ASU community members. With the exception of small SIRF grant projects (less than $5,000), SIRF projects have certain investment criteria (e.g., IRR, NPV, and payback goals). Projects include lighting retrofits, HVAC improvements, and central utility infrastructure improvements.
Arizona State University’s on-site solar portfolio is one of the largest of any university in the United States consisting of both ASU owned and third-party owned systems. ASU’s portfolio includes more than 24 MW dc equivalent of photovoltaic (PV), concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) and solar thermal capacity from 88 systems located throughout four major campuses and the ASU Research Park. ASU’s portfolio of renewable energy accounts for approximately 13% of ASU’s total electric use, avoiding approximately 21,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions per year, roughly the same as the annual emissions of 4,500 passenger vehicles.
Arizona State University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Sustainable Investing Resources from ASU: