Arizona State University
Endowment Value: $1.25 billion (June 2021)
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 with significant input from the senior leadership from ASU and their investment advisors at BlackRock.
The Investment Committee advises 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. Other voting members are appointed by the executive vice president, treasurer, and CFO.
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.
ASU’s revolving fund is called the Sustainability Initiatives Revolving Fund, or SIRF. The SIRF was established in 2010 to invest in projects that foster 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.
In January of 2015, the ASU Foundation partnered with the Intentional Endowments Network to host the Intentionally Designed Endowment Forum. Over 100 higher education administrators convened to discuss how endowments can be used to create a more sustainable and equitable future.
As of July 2019, the ASU Foundation offers a socially responsible investment fund for endowment donors to donate to rather than the traditional endowment pool.
Arizona State University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
- IEN Founding Member (2016)
- AASHE STARS: Yes, Platinum (2020)
- ACUPCC: Yes, 0 emissions by 2025
- 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: No
Sustainable Investing Resources from ASU:
- ASU Endowment
- ASU School of Sustainability
- ASU Sustainability Goals and Vision
- Arizona State University Case Study (October 2018)
- Investment Management Model