University of New Hampshire

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Endowment Value: $404 million (June 2019)

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 a core value underpinning university academics, research, and operations. UNH has received a perfect score on the Princeton Review’s Green College Honor Roll. In 2019, UNH was one of only four universities to receive a Platinum STARS rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

The University’s commitment to sustainability, largely thanks to conversations sparked by students, is now integrated into its investment practices. Since 2017, the UNH Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR), with membership including students, faculty, alumni, endowment stakeholders, and external advisors, has helped support the Foundation in sustainable, socially responsible investment practices and policies through:

  • Researching sustainable investment opportunities
  • Considering sustainable investment proposals from the UNH community 
  • 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 strongly considered in manager selection. 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 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 to make affordable financing options available to economically disadvantaged individuals and communities in New Hampshire.

In 2020, UNH was featured in the Intentional Endowment Network’s case study on ESG investing. The study revealed that schools employing ESG investing practices saw the same or better returns as schools employing a traditional approach to investing. Read the full study here.

University of New Hampshire is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:

  • AASHE STARS: Yes, Platinum
  • ACUPCC: Yes, Carbon 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: No
  • Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes
  • Principles for Responsible Investment: Yes

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

  • On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, President Dean signed a cal to action that aims to accelerate climate solutions in higher education institutions

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.

UNH Expands Sustainability Leadership with Alignment of Investments and Values | UNH Newsroom, May 2019

  • UNH completed the transition of 16% of its investable assets to ESG investments as it works to align the university's investments and sustainable values

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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