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  • AASHE-STARS

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.51
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date July 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
PA-8: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Erik Gross
Treasurer
UNH Foundation
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a formally established and active committee on investor responsibility (CIR) that makes recommendations to fund decision-makers on socially and environmentally responsible investment opportunities across asset classes?:
Yes

The charter or mission statement of the CIR or other body which reflects social and environmental concerns or a brief description of how the CIR is tasked to address social and environmental concerns:

A vote to establish this committee was made by the Asset Allocation Committee of the UNH Foundation Board in spring 2017, and the first meeting of the committee was held in July 2017.
Its charter is as follows:
Sustainability is a core value at the University of New Hampshire and it underpins our academics, research and practice. As part of UNH’s ongoing institution-wide commitment to sustainability, the UNH Committee on Investor Responsibility (CIR) shall be formed to help support the Foundation in sustainable, socially responsible investment practices and policies.
Operating Principles
- The UNH Endowment Fund is capital of the University of New Hampshire Foundation (UNHF) created by donors, invested and managed for the benefit of the University of New Hampshire, and providing funding to support the academic, research, and public service missions of the University.
- The primary investment objective of the Endowment is to achieve the highest long-term return on investment assets that is compatible with the University’s risk tolerance and time horizons and consistent with prudent investment practices.
- “Sustainable investment” practices are consistent with that objective in that they entail consideration of short- and long-term risks of environmental and social harm—which can present financial risk for investors.
- By acting in an advisory role to the Asset Allocation Committee (AAC), the CIR can increase the AAC’s capacity for making informed and prudent decisions regarding the management of the Endowment. The role of the CIR is purely informational; all decision-making authority will continue to rest with the AAC and UNHF Board of Trustees

Roles and Responsibilities of the Committee
- Research opportunities relevant to the sustainable investment of the Foundation’s endowment monies—including opportunities that may arise for increased shareholder engagement or proxy voting, as well as specific investment strategies or opportunities.
- Consider proposals from the UNH community (e.g. students, staff, faculty, alumni, etc) relevant to sustainable investment of Endowment monies.
- Make recommendations to the Asset Allocation Committee (AAC) of the UNHF Board of Directors on possible courses of action.
- Help educate and inform the broader UNH community about sustainable investment practices in general and about UNH’s sustainable investment practices in particular.
Operational Processes
• The Committee shall meet quarterly, or as called by chair/s.
• The initial work of the committee will be to set goals and identify priority actions or research questions for the Committee’s work during AY17-18 (i.e., to create an AY17-18 work plan.) Thereafter the Committee’s priority goals/issues will be revisited and updated annually.
• UNH community members may submit concerns/suggestions regarding sustainability issues and the University's investments to the Committee on Investor Responsibility. The UNH CIR will consider and vote on what recommendations (if any) to make to the Foundation's Asset Allocation Committee and/or Board regarding proposals brought to them.


Does the CIR include staff representation?:
Yes

Does the CIR include faculty representation?:
Yes

Does the CIR include student representation?:
Yes

Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role (e.g. student, faculty, staff, alumni):

Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role (e.g. student, faculty, staff, alumni):
The committee membership will generally include 10 members: including 2 alumni, 2 faculty, 2 students, 2 staff, 2 external advisors, and an AAC representative. Initial membership is as follows:
• Julie Gorte - Pax World Funds (industry professional)
• Alison Pyott - Veris Wealth Partners (alumna and industry professional)
• Ned Dane - UNH Foundation Board member and vice chair of the Asset Allocation Committee (alumnus and AAC rep)
• Alexys Gilcreast - undergraduate student and president of the Atkins Investment Group (student)
• Kelsey Lozier - undergraduate student and Student Environmental Action Coalition coordinator (student)
• Fiona Wilson - Clinical Associate Professor of Social Innovation, Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability and Executive Director of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise, Peter T Paul School of Business (faculty)
• Cameron Wake - Research Professor of Climatology and Glaciology at the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space; Josephine A. Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability; and Program Chair, Sustainability Dual Major (faculty)
• Stephen Trzaskoma - Associate Professor in Classics; and Director of the Responsible Governance and Sustainable Citizenship Project (faculty)
• Erik Gross - Treasurer, UNH Foundation (staff)
• Jennifer Andrews - Project Director, UNH Sustainability Institute (staff)
This initial roster of committee membership was recommended by the President of the UNH Foundation and the Executive Director of the UNH Sustainability Institute to the UNHF Asset Allocation Committee.
• Thereafter, Faculty and Student Senates may make recommendations to fill their respective vacancies.
• The ideal member will have a demonstrated interest in the area of responsible investing, and a dedication to the advancing the missions of the Foundation and UNH.


Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

Since this committee is very new there are not yet outcomes on which to report.
Moving forward, the CIR will make recommendations to the Asset Allocation Committee, conduct research on sustainable investment options under consideration, and will support Foundation efforts to conduct outreach to the broad UNH community (including alumni and donors) on the benefits of ESG investing and the option of designating that their gift be allocated to the ESG sleeve.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.