University of New Hampshire

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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:

  • Researching opportunities relevant to the sustainable investment of the Foundation’s endowment monies
  • Considering proposals from the UNH community (e.g. students, staff, faculty, alumni, etc) relevant to sustainable investment of Endowment monies.
  • Making recommendations to the Asset Allocation Committee (AAC) of the UNHF Board of Directors on possible courses of action. 
  • Educating and informing the broader UNH community about sustainable investment practices in general and about UNH’s sustainable investment practices in particular.

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:

  • AASHE STARS: Yes, Platinum
  • ACUPCC: Yes, Climate Neutral By 2099
  • Billion Dollar Green Challenge: Yes
  • CDP: No
  • Committee for Investor Responsibility: Yes
  • Divestment Goal: No
  • INCR: No
  • Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
  • Sustainable Investment Fund: Yes
  • Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes
  • Principles for Responsible Investment: Yes

Other Sustainable Investing Resources, Practices and News:

Sustainable Investing at UNH | University of New Hampshire Website

  • Part of UNH's investment pool is comprised of ESG-targeted assets and ESG-screened active and passive (index) funds, in order to achieve better operational performance, innovation, and risk management within their investments.

Panel: An Introduction to The IEN Roadmap & How The University of New Hampshire Intentionally Invests l Intentional Endowments Network and WISE, May 2019

  • At the event, we heard University of New Hampshire stakeholders describe the why’s and how’s of the journey they are on to align investments with their campus-wide sustainability goals.

Q&A Series: Making an ESG Impact Through Public Fixed Income l Intentional Endowments Network, April 2019

  • In this Q&A article, IEN approached industry experts to gain insight on opportunities and trends within the sector and how managers and asset owners measure the impact of their investments.

Q&A Series: The Power and Impact of Community Investing l Intentional Endowments Network, September 2018

  • In this Q&A article, IEN approached specialists within the Community Investing space to get their perspectives on the value of Community Investing, understanding how to incorporate such investments in one's portfolio and how to truly make an impact regardless of varying levels of assets under management.

Article: Feature School - University of New Hampshire l Intentional Endowments Network, Quarterly Newsletter, July 2018

  • This feature article in IEN's newsletter discusses the UNH Foundation's commitment to sustainable investing and UNH's history of sustainability and sustainable investing.

Panel: What Might Community Investing look Like for a College Endowment? l Intentional Endowments Network, Community Investing Roundtable, June 2018

  • On this panel, Kate Dumas (Principal/Consultant, Prime Buchholz) invited Erik Gross (Board Treasurer, UNH Foundation) and John Hamilton (Vice President of Economic Opportunity, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund) to illustrate what community investing might look like for a college endowment. Both gave accounts on how their partnership came to be and how the two institutions are working together to create resilient communities in New Hampshire.

 

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