Sustainable Investment Program (3.0)

Credit Language

PA 4: Sustainable Investment Program – version 3.0


  • 4.1. Sustainable investment policy or committee
  • 4.2. Negative screening and divestment
  • 4.3 Investor engagement

Questions & Answers

How has this credit changed between STARS Version 2 and Version 3?

  • These credits have been reorganized for clarity. Investor engagement and positive sustainability investments are no longer scored together, raising the target to earn full points for the latter to 100 percent.
  • The criteria on sustainable investment programs are now less prescriptive.
  • A new sustainable investment category has been added to recognize place-based investments that target positive social and environmental impacts in economically divested areas. 
  • A comprehensive list of differences can be found in the STARS 3.0 Summary of changes.

Do standard investment committees qualify under Indicator 4.1?

To qualify, a multi-stakeholder body must be explicitly tasked with ensuring that the sustainability and/or environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects of an institution’s investments are aligned with its mission and goals, both financial and otherwise. A general committee that oversees the institution’s investments does not count for this credit unless social and environmental responsibility is an explicit part of its mission and/or a regular part of its agenda.

Do student-managed investment funds qualify under Indicator 4.1? 

This credit is focused on investment decisions affecting the institution’s primary investment pool. Investment in student managed funds (e.g., student managed funds that only impact green revolving loan funds) or other types of funds that are not focused on the total investment pool are not sufficient for this Indicator. Student-managed sustainable investment funds or other types of funds that are not focused on the total investment pool are covered in an Innovation & Leadership bonus credit. 

What types of negative screens and/or divestment efforts qualify under Indicator 4.2?

This Indicator recognizes institutions that employ negative screening and/or targeted divestment in support of sustainability, as evidenced by a published policy or directive or a public commitment. Examples may include intentionally not investing new capital in specific Sectors; and/or excluding or selling off shares in companies because they are engaged in activities such as fossil fuel production, human rights violations, or weapons manufacture.

What types of sustainability or ESG-focused investor networks qualify under Indicator 4.3.C?

Active participation in a sustainability or ESG-focused framework may be indicated by current membership, service on an advisory or governance committee, support for network initiatives, and/or sharing case studies. Common examples include:

  • Global Investor Coalition on Climate Change (GIC)
  • Intentional Endowments Network (IEN)
  • Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Ceres
  • Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability
  • Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Resources, Templates & Tools

Suggestions for Institutions

  • Work with your Investment Office, Foundation, or similar to collect the information requested under this credit.

Potential Data Quality Issues

  • A credit status of “Not Applicable” is only allowed if the institution does not have an endowment, or the institution’s endowment is less than USD $1 million. 
  • Affirmative responses must be supported by information provided in descriptive fields for all Indicators.

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