Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 75.90
Liaison Deborah Steinberg
Submission Date Dec. 6, 2021

STARS v2.2

Carnegie Mellon University
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.42 / 5.00 Scott Siemens
Investment Manager
Investment Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
3,640,700,000 US/Canadian $

Value of holdings in each of the following categories:
Value of holdings
Sustainable industries (e.g., renewable energy or sustainable forestry) 32,400,000 US/Canadian $
Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance (e.g., using criteria specified in a sustainable investment policy) 42,900,000 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:
Sustainable industries: CMU invests in funds that manage natural forests. Selected managers are dedicated to carbon sequestration, ecological resilience, and sustainable timber harvesting. CMU’s partners in this area are committed to third-party certification standards, such as the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance: As part of the manager selection process, ESG factors are analyzed and weighed. CMU’s managers increasingly are developing a formal ESG policy or ESG framework. As a result, these managers are making investments with ESG matters in mind on a more formal basis.

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:
CMU Investment Office’s written ESG policy is integrated into the investment process versus held as distinct or layered on top. The language that guides sustainable investments is: "Environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios (to varying degrees across companies, sectors, regions, regulatory regimes, asset classes, and through time). Attention to ESG issues by investors and company management teams encourages accountability, transparency, sustainability, and ethical behavior in business practices, which may lead to reduced exposure to various risks and improved long-term value creation. Thus, in analyzing investment opportunities for the [investment portfolio] ESG factors appropriately are one of the inputs considered in assessing financial return potential."

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:
As detailed in the sustainable investment policy, ESG factors are one of many inputs considered in assessing the risk and financial return potential of an investment. As part of the investment approval process, each investment memorandum includes a dedicated ESG section detailing any risks or merits of a potential manager’s ESG policy or ESG track record. The university does not pursue ESG investing as a strategy distinct from its central investing focus. Carnegie Mellon integrates ESG factors into its multifaceted investment analyses and we expect our investment managers to do the same. Monitoring our managers’ incorporation of ESG initiatives into their value creation strategies gives us insight into their ability to persistently increase value in their operating companies, which benefits us all.

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:
With the majority of CMU’s invested assets in commingled vehicles, CMU has very few directly-held investments. However, CMU intends (1) to develop internal proxy voting guidelines and (2) to request and review the proxy voting disclosures and corporate engagement guidelines for those commingled vehicles to identify any areas to address that are inconsistent with CMU’s sustainable investment policy. The size and reputation of CMU’s managers often enable them to be leaders in promoting sustainability through corporate engagement.

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 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:

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:
CMU investment office staff communicates regularly with peer institutions to share ESG best practices.

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:

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.