Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.69
Liaison Laurie Husted
Submission Date June 8, 2020

STARS v2.2

Bard College
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.75 / 3.00 Taun Toay
Associate Vice President
Vice President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
280,000,000 US/Canadian $

Value of holdings in each of the following categories:
Value of holdings
Sustainable industries (e.g., renewable energy or sustainable forestry) 0 US/Canadian $
Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance (e.g., using criteria specified in a sustainable investment policy) 0 US/Canadian $
Sustainability investment funds (e.g., a renewable energy or impact investment fund) 0 US/Canadian $
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 0 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 0 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

A brief description of the companies, funds, and/or institutions referenced above:

We use a broad range of selection criteria to determine investments, so funds and companies chosen strictly on the criteria above are very few. All of the investments are subject to the scrutiny of the SRIC and it should be noted that the criteria as outlined only reward investments within sustainability, as opposed to using investments to foster greater sustainability.

Percentage of the institution's investment pool in positive sustainability investments:

Does the institution have a publicly available sustainable investment policy?:

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:

The sustainable investment policy:

N.A. Although all holdings are publicly available.

Does the institution use its sustainable investment policy to select and guide investment managers?:

A brief description of how the sustainable investment policy is applied:

N.A. Drop down message should refer to the previous question.

Has the institution engaged in proxy voting, either by its CIR or other committee or through the use of guidelines, to promote sustainability during the previous three years?:

A copy of the proxy voting guidelines or proxy record:

A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:

Proxy votes guidelines are made by the student members of our SRIC. Students received trustee approval to vote the proxy rights on any of the holdings on the endowment and to make investments themselves.

SRIC has held blind votes in the campus center, where we hand out ballots with descriptions of companies without their titles, and students have chosen where they would like change to occur.

How SRIC is unique to Bard: Clubs similar to SRIC, such as UPenn’s Social Responsibility Advisory Committee, exist at other institutions, but they are only advisory committees and have little to no rights to make investments like students at Bard do. They are only allowed to make recommendations to the managers of funds at their institutions.

Students in similar committees at other institutions, such as Divest Harvard, generally call for the divestment of funds from companies or industries they believe to be immoral, and to reinvest in a socially responsible company.

At Bard we specifically choose to invest in companies we feel need improvement to be more socially responsible in order to make positive changes from within.

Establishment: SRIC was founded in 2007 by an empowered group students who wanted to see where the college’s investments were going. These students received trustee approval to vote the proxy rights on any of the holdings on the endowment and to make investments themselves. They also established Bard’s Social Choice Fund, which is a fund that invests in companies that demonstrate direct and measurable environmental and social impacts and screens out any “sin” stocks.

Past Initiatives: SRIC​ ​at​ ​Bard​ ​introduced a resolution for McDonald’s that asked the company to stop its use of harmful pesticides on its potatoes. McDonald’s now monitors all of its potato pesticide use, which is over 25 percent​ ​of​ ​​potatoes​ ​in​ ​North​ ​America, alongside phasing out the most harmful pesticides and meeting with Bard SRIC on an annual basis.

Has the institution filed or co-filed one or more shareholder resolutions that address sustainability or submitted one or more letters about social or environmental responsibility to a company in which it holds investments during the previous three years?:

Examples of how the institution has engaged with corporations in its portfolio about sustainability issues during the previous three years:

Through the Bard College Socially Responsible Investment Committee (a group of 4 elected student representatives and 4 faculty and staff members), Bard actively screens its investments and engages companies over issues of concern. This shareholder engagement has taken the form of letter writing, proxy voting, and resolution filing. Bard has engaged companies over issues such as, but not limited to: oil sands drilling; operation in Darfur; and pesticide practices, monitoring and reduction. Most notably, the College lead-filed a shareholder resolution over cotton engagement in Uzbekistan . This dialogue remains ongoing, as do the active screening and engagement of holdings within the endowment. Bard also offers a Social Choice Fund that negatively screens its holdings for donors wishing to contribute to the endowment through predefined social screens.

Does the institution participate in a public divestment effort and/or have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:

A brief description of the divestment effort or negative screens and how they have been implemented:

Bard also offers a Social Choice Fund that negatively screens its holdings for donors wishing to contribute to the endowment through predefined social screens.

Approximate percentage of endowment that the divestment effort and/or negative screens apply to:

Does the institution engage in policy advocacy by participating in investor networks and/or engage in inter-organizational collaborations to share best practices?:

A brief description of the investor networks and/or collaborations:

We have worked with the Investor Environmental Health Network and the Responsible Endowment Coalition. Socially Responsible peer to peer, that works with other colleges.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable investment efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

Updated URL SRIC

Para on Cotton Engagement

SRIC Voting Proxy public plan

Updated URL SRIC

Para on Cotton Engagement

SRIC Voting Proxy public plan

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.