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: $220 million (June 2018)
Founded in 1865, the University of Maine is the flagship campus of the University of Maine System. The University of Maine Foundation manages the University of Maine's endowment.
A recent change in the UMaine System's investment policy prioritizes environmental stewardship by taking into consideration nonfinancial factors that reflect environmental, social and governance, or ESG, principles when allocating assets and managing investments in the Managed Investment Pool. The pool has a market value of $304 million and includes the system's endowment funds as well as funds held for foundations tied to the University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine School of Law and the University of Southern Maine. Currently, UMS conducts a negative screening of coal within its investments.and requires that all consultants must be a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), and take ESG factors into consideration when advising on asset allocation and manager selection..
Strategic investments in biomass energy systems using locally sourced fuel at the University of Maine at Farmington and the University of Maine at Fort Kent have both reduced emissions and helped to support job growth in the state's biomass industry. The universities also released a report that shows the seven-campus UMaine System has achieved a 34% decline in carbon emissions over the last decade.
The University of Maine is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable 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
Endowment Value: $236.5 million (May 2018)
Lewis & Clark College is a private liberal arts college located in Portland, Oregon.The Board of Trustees manages Lewis and Clark's endowment. Since the 1990’s, the college has utilized its Sustainability Council comprised of students and faculty to lead environmental education and initiatives among its now 3,500 students. Lewis & Clark College has a strong legacy of integrating sustainability on its campus and has earned itself the number one spot on Princeton Review’s “Green Colleges” list in 2015 (and continues to rank high today) and has been named one of Sierra Club’s ‘Cool Schools. For example, the college boasts sourcing 100% of its energy from wind and is only one of thirty higher education institutions nationwide to divest from all fossil fuel holdings in the endowment.
Spurred largely by student divestment campaigns, In February of 2018, the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees voted to divest from all fossil fuel holdings in the endowment by 2023. The college’s investment policy is also guided by a set of ESG Guidelines in addition to explicit fossil fuel divestment. The Operations Committee of the Sustainability Council is charged with advising on proxy voting for investments and contributing to ESG program development/re-assessment, with several members also participating in a Divestment Sub-Committee.
Lewis and Clark College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing 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:
Endowment Value: $568 million (June 2018)
The University of Dayton is a private Roman Catholic research university located in Dayton, Ohio. It has approximately 11,000 students. All University investments are overseen by the Investment Committee of the University's Board of Trustees.
In 2014, the board of trustees at the University of Dayton unanimously voted to divest from coal and fossil fuels. At the time of the announcement, Dayton was the largest university and first U.S. Catholic educational institution to divest from fossil fuels. Daniel J. Curran, president of the University of Dayton, cited the necessity of aligning investments with the university’s values as the reason for divestment, stating “Our Marianist values of leadership and service to humanity call upon us to act on these principles and serve as a catalyst for civil discussion and positive change that benefits our planet.” UD’s Roman Catholic background also made it a fitting host to the 2015 conference titled “Acting on Pope Francis’ Call: Divestment and Investment in Care for Our Common Home”, which brought together a contingent of business leaders, health care professionals, academics and environmental activists.
In 2016 and 2017, specific investments were made in “sustainable” funds that focus on renewable energy investments and in companies that have track records of environmentally sustainable business practices. University of Dayton also houses the Hanley Sustainability Fund (HSF) is a student-managed equity portfolio.
The University of Dayton is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Activities and Resources:
University of Dayton Trustee, Georges Hanley speaking at the Intentionally Designed Endowment Forum in Denver, May 2015
Endowment Value: $193.6 million (June 2018)
Pratt Institute is a private college, located in Brooklyn, New York. Pratt Institute has shown strong support for sustainability-related issues at the local and national level, as well as within the art, design, and higher education communities.
Pratt was one of the earliest signatories to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (now known as the Climate Leadership Commitments) in 2007. That same year, the Institute accepted New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s 30/10 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017 and has been named one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review for several consecutive years.
While Pratt does not have an official Committee on Investor Responsibility, it does have a Sub-Committee on Investments which in 2016 recommended and approved to divest from coal equities immediately and other fossil fuels over time.
Pratt Institute is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices: