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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 Silver
Overall Score 45.51
Liaison Mat Thijssen
Submission Date Nov. 6, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Waterloo
PA-8: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 2.00 Mat Thijssen
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability Office
"---" 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?:
No

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:
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Does the CIR include staff representation?:
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Does the CIR include faculty representation?:
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Does the CIR include student representation?:
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Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role (e.g. student, faculty, staff, alumni):
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Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:
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The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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While Waterloo does not currently have a committee on investor responsibility, the University of Waterloo formed the Responsible Investment Working Group of the Board of Governors in 2017. The mandate of this working group was to make recommendations to the Board of Governors through the appropriate committees and subcommittees (outlined below) as to whether and how to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into decision making re: the investment of the endowment and pension funds, taking into consideration:
 The legal and regulatory requirements including, among other things, fiduciary responsibilities, investing and investments, ESG reporting and contractual commitments;
 The goals and purposes of the University pension and endowment funds;
 Existing University investments, policy and governance frameworks;
 The financial context of the University;
 Research into options for incorporating ESG factors into investment decisions;
 Review of approaches taken at peer institutions;
 Consultation with University stakeholders e.g. retirees, alumni, donors; and
 Advice provided by University investment advisors.
In 2017, the Working Group was formed and populated, and initiated a process for collecting feedback from the University, including initial comments and thoughts, as well as retaining additional consultants to conduct industry research. A compilation of the feedback and documents received was released to the University community in early 2018 for further comment and input. In June 2018, the Board of Governors voted in favour of accepting all recommendations of the RIWG, including to:
o formally adopt ESG factors as a valid and important lens to be integrated into investment decision-making processes;
o adopt the guiding principles and the guidelines for the application of ESG principles contained in the report;
o make amendments to the Pension SIPP and to the Investment Guidelines for endowment and trust funds, to reflect the adoption of ESG factors in the investment decision-making process;
o prepare for the University to become a signatory in good standing to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment;
o explore and evaluate potential social impact investments with the aim to launch a pilot investment in this space in one year’s time;
o annually review progress on the implementation of these recommendations
Implementation of these recommendations is ongoing.

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.