A FRESH PHILOSOPHY FOR OUR FUTURE
EXPLORING OUR OPTIONS
The Treasury Office is committed to the university’s strategic priorities regarding sustainability and reducing carbon emissions. Inclusion of sustainability factors as part of the criteria on which investment managers are evaluated is a means to align the university’s values with the Investment Committee’s fiduciary responsibility. The Treasury Office will lead discussions with the Investment Committee during the 2019-20 academic year to consider the development of a sustainable investment policy statement.
1. Review emphasis on sustainable investing We will work with, and seek approval from, the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee to incorporate sustainability guidelines into the university’s investment policy. 2. Add new investment managers that incorporate sustainability We will explore the possibility of selecting investment managers that focus specifically on renewable energy sources. We will also consider adding sustainability to the criteria we use to evaluate prospective investment managers across all other asset classes to support both sustainability efforts and long-term potential for financial return. 3. Ensure existing managers prioritize sustainability We will start a dialogue with each of our current investment managers to make sure we understand how they assess Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risks in the investment process, and our due diligence reports will incorporate information about managers’ sustainability efforts.
Incorporating sustainability investments The University of St. Thomas endowment does not currently have an official mandate related to sustainable investments. However, we have been incorporating sustainable investments into aspects of the portfolio for some time. For example, through an external fund manager, we have investments in a group of plants located across Denmark that produce a renewable energy source called biogas. Biogas is a renewable energy produced from raw materials (farm animal manure, crops, food/industrial waste, sewage and other organic waste). It can be used to generate electricity, heat homes and businesses, and fuel vehicles.
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