Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 70.16
Liaison Kylee Singh
Submission Date Sept. 19, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

California Polytechnic State University
PA-9: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Ericka Horn
Director of Administrative Services & Board Operations
University Development & Alumni Engagement
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution wish to pursue Option 1 (positive sustainability investment)?:

Total value of the investment pool:
215,000,000 US/Canadian $

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

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

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

Does the institution wish to pursue Option 2 (investor engagement)?:

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

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:
The sustainable investment policy:


A.The Board of Trustees of the California State University adopted a resolution urging its recognized CSU Auxiliary organizations to issue statements of social responsibility and to follow those precepts in examining past and considering future investment policies. In response to the Trustees’ resolution, the Cal Poly Foundation will endeavor to consider all relevant facts and circumstances in making investment decision, including the risks and opportunities of environmental, social and corporate governance features. The Cal Poly Foundation has a fiduciary responsibility to maximize investment returns on its endowment consistent with the level of risk while ensuring good stewardship of these assets that will enable continued financial support to further the educational mission of the University.

A.The Foundation Board of Directors recognizes and accepts its social responsibility with respect to the investment of funds.
B.The investment policy and practices of the Foundation shall include Cal Poly Foundation
the evaluation of present and contemplated investments, not otherwise restricted in trust, in companies which do business abroad in the light of said responsibility.

C.Definitions. (1)“Socially Responsible Investing”, a term that is interchangeable with “Sustainable and Responsible Investing”, is an investment discipline that considers environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria to generate long-term competitive financial returns and positive societal impact.

D.Reporting. (1)To ensure transparency, accountability and progress, the Investment manager will establish a reporting cycle with the Investment Committee.

A.The Investment Committee of the Foundation Board of Directors will review this policy five years from the most recent updated date to determine its effectiveness and appropriateness. The policy may be evaluated before that time as necessary to reflect substantial organizational, financial, or physical change(s) at the Foundation or any change required by law or by other governing policy.

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

A brief description of how the policy is applied, including recent examples:

Board approved Cal Poly Foundation Fund Manager Kapsick to offer an ESG fund option for new donors.

The California State University as a system became a signatory to the Global Investor Statement on Climate Change. Consistent with our fiduciary responsibilities, this statement includes a broad range of commitments to address climate risks and opportunities. The statement may be found here: https://www.iigcc.org/resource/2014-2015-global-investor-statement-on-climate-change/

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:

Policy Review Schedule Summary
Draft Cal Poly Foundation 401 Social Responsibility Concerning Investments
Mr. Ronca called on Treasurer Marc Benadiba to review proposed changes to Cal Poly Foundation Investment Policy 401 Social Responsibility Concerning Investments. Policy 401 has been in effect since January 1, 2007, and had not been reviewed or amended since its effective date. The purpose of the review was to determine its continued relevancy; validate references; propose modifications to improve the policy. A motion was made, seconded, and passed approving the policy.

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:

Does the institution have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:

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

Approximate percentage of the endowment that the 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:

On January 9, 2017, Cal Poly Foundation Board Liaison Ericka Horn and then Treasurer of the Foundation, Grant Trexler attended a panel about sustainable investing at the 2017 CSU of Auxiliary Organizations Association (AoA) conference in San Diego hosted by SF State Foundation President Robert Nava spoke. Socially responsible investing is a major issue on campuses across the country, and the CSU campuses are no different. In the past, the approach was largely reactionary (i.e. divesting), but three campuses within the California State University system – CSU Northridge, San Francisco State University and CSU Fresno – have taken a more proactive approach to sustainable investing. The AoA conference session provided an opportunity to describe the three campuses’ approach in incorporating environmental, social and governance strategies into their investing.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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