Endowment Value: $11 billion (June 2018)
University of California is a public university system in California. It has 10 campuses located in Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz. The Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents manages the entire UC system’s endowment.
In September of 2014, aligning UC’s investments arm with the goals of the broader institution, the Office of the Chief Investment Officer (OCIO) developed and adopted a framework on sustainable investing. The framework, developed with input from the UC Board of Regents, UC students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders, is designed to guide the process of evaluating ESG factors into the investment evaluation process of the OCIO with the same weight as other material risk factors influencing investment decision making. In 2017 UC adopted additional policy to strengthen its ESG framework. For example, the Office of the CIO applies a handful of negative screens to its investments including companies doing business in the Sudan, those involved in thermal coal or oil sands, tobacco and fire arm companies, and business which operate private prisons.
Given its size, the UC has made significant investments in various sustainable companies, funds, initiatives and is an active member in several climate related investor groups. For example, In 2015 the UC became the first and largest founder of the Aligned Intermediary, which helps long-term investors identify investable climate infrastructure projects in clean energy, water infrastructure and waste-to-value. In 2017 the UC endowment made a $50 million sustainable agriculture investment through the AI platform. That same year, the UC became the first and only institutional investor that is a signatory to the Bill Gates Breakthrough Energy Coalition to accelerate clean energy solutions. In 2018, UC announced a commitment to invest $1 billion over five years in climate change solutions.
In July 2019, UC’s Academic Senate announced the passage of a Memorial calling on the UC Board of Regents to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies. The memorial was voted on by faculty at all 10 campuses of the university system, and received a combined vote of 77% in favor.
The UC System and/or Individual Campuses are a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
- IEN Founding Member (2016)
- AASHE STARS: Yes, Nine Reporting Campuses
- ACUPCC: Yes, 10 Campuses With Various Goals
- Billion Dollar Green Challenge: Yes
- CDP: Yes
- Committee for Investor Responsibility: No
- Divestment Goal: Yes, Coal and Tar Sands Only
- INCR: Yes
- Montreal Carbon Pledge: Yes
- Sustainable Investment Fund: Yes
- Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes
- Principles for Responsible Investment: Yes
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
- Sustainable Investing Framework, Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents
- Chief Investment Officer of the Regents: Sustainable Investment Page
- Feb. 2015 - UC's Progress on Sustainable Investment Strategy
- Sept. 2014 - UC's Announcement of Sustainable Investment Strategy
- University of California Sustainability
The entire UC system is working to have clear socially responsible investing guidelines. UC Berkeley recently launched their own socially responsible investment fund. This fund has strict social and environmental values as well as excellent financial performance.
- UC Investments creates a program to increase the percentage of diverse management professionals working with the endowment (December 2019)
- UC investments are going fossil free. But not exactly for the reasons you may think Jagdeep Singh Bachher and Richard Sterman, LA Times (September 2019)
- UC Faculty Call on Regents to Divest UC Funds from Fossil Fuels (July 2019)
- UC Administration to Reinvest $500 Million Away from Fossil Fuels (April 2018)
- UC investment plan seeks solutions to climate change Jagdeep Singh Bachher, SF Chronicle (September 2015)