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:
UNH President Dean signs IEN/Second Nature Call to Action for Higher Education Leadership | University of New Hampshire Website
Sustainable Investing at UNH | University of New Hampshire Website
UNH Expands Sustainability Leadership with Alignment of Investments and Values | UNH Newsroom, May 2019
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: $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: $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: $37 million (June 2018)
Lane Community College (LCC) is the third largest community college in Oregon, with five campuses and a total annual enrollment of over 36,000 students. The Lane Community College Foundation Board of Trustees oversees the endowment.
In 2006, LCC became one of the first signatories of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and has since developed a comprehensive climate action plan for becoming climate neutral and regularly submits progress reports.As a participant of the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, the College has established its Living Green Revolving Loan Fund to finance energy efficiency improvements on campus.
Lane Community College 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: $1.124 billion (June 2018)
Middlebury College is a private liberal arts college in Middlebury, Vermont. The Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees and College Administration oversees the endowment. In 2005, management of Middlebury’s endowment was outsourced to Investure, an investment office specializing in managing endowments and foundations. In 2010, the college established the Sustainable Investments Initiative, a fund dedicated solely to investment vehicles that meet the college’s sustainability guidelines.
The Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investment was founded in 2011 to promote the socially responsible investment of Middlebury’s endowment through making recommendations to the trustees based on voting proxies and shareholder engagement; positive screening and impact investing; and negative screening and divestment.
In 2014, Middlebury’s president Ron Liebowitz announced that $25 million of Middlebury’s endowment would be devoted to impact investing, directed towards “investments focused on sustainability business such as clean energy, water, climate science, and green building projects.” He also announced that $150,000 of the endowment would be placed under the management of the Socially Responsible Investment Club, a student group devoted to socially responsible investing. As of 2016, the student-run SRI Club is working to develop ESG frameworks to be utilized in Middlebury’s endowment investment decisions, as well as pushing for more transparency in Middlebury’s investments.
In January of 2019, Middlebury announced its Energy2028 plan, an ambitious, whole-institution initiative to address climate change. Under this plan, the College’s endowment and sustainable investment policy will be key levers by integrating fossil fuel divestment goals that include a commitment to not invest new dollars into fossil fuels beginning in mid-2019, a phaseout of direct fossil fuel investments over a 15 year spean. Learn more about Middlebury’s Energy2028 plan and its divestment strategy by checking out IEN’s blog.
Middlebury College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
Endowment Value: $15 (September2018)
Unity College is a private college with a student body of 700 located in Unity, Maine. The Spinnaker Trust and an Investment Committee, comprised of three members of the board of Trustees, manages the endowment. Unity College is known as “America’s Environmental College” and is a founding member of the Intentional Endowments Network.
In 2012, the Unity College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to divest from investments in fossil fuels. As the first institution of higher learning in the United States to divest, Unity College became the standard bearer for a national movement. That Fall, UC’s finance officials released an internal report showing its portfolio has performed ahead of expectations since the decision. “Divestment has had no negative effect on our endowment portfolio,” said former Unity College President Dr. Stephen Mulkey, a leader in the growing campus divestment movement. “Divesting from fossil fuels is not a concession that means you automatically have a lower rate of return over the long run,” said Mulkey.
Critics point out that divesting institutions still use fossil fuels, but Mulkey sees an analogy to tobacco. “You can still be addicted while working on quitting,” he said. And in much the same way so-called “climate deniers” have tried to cast doubt on data that show rapidly rising global temperatures, some have questioned the significance of Unity’s divestment, given its relatively modest endowment – $13.5 million at the time, now $15 million. But given recent extremes in weather – and with the news of ever-larger institutions deciding to divest – both such arguments may be losing strength.
Unity College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
Endowment Value: $1.18 billion (June 2018)
The University of Utah is a public research university in Salt Lake City, Utah with over 20,000 students. The University of Utah's endowment has experienced steady growth while being managed by the Investment Advisory Committee.
With regards to sustainable, responsible investment, the Sustainability Office oversees and coordinates the Socially Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Investment Advisory Committee (SRESIAC). This committee is comprised of students, faculty, and others with financial expertise and provides advice on strategies for endowment investment, infrastructure investment, and other investment initiatives related to environmentally sustainable action. The establishment of this SRESIAC along with various sustainability funds stems from a 2016 resolution brought to the Academic Senate by the ad hoc Committees for Responsible Investment and Reinvestment Dialogue.
One such fund is the social choice fund which strictly avoids companies in the industries of tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, military weapons, and nuclear power. They also evaluate this fund based on environmental stewardship, human rights, and other ESG criteria. Through its retirement options, the University of Utah also offers SRI options for employee retirement holdings from TIAA and Fidelity Investments. The Sustainable Campus Revolving Loan Fund (SCRLF) is another fund that finances pro-carbon neutrality projects on campus and is made possible primarily by a $2.50 fee that is part of every students’ tuition.
In May 2016, after conversation on campus since 2012 initiated by students, the Academic Senate also narrowly passed a resolution calling on University administrators to “strategically” divest from fossil fuels over the next five years. The administration has yet to fully implement a full divestment policy.
The University of Utah is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices: