Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 81.34
Liaison Mary Whitney
Submission Date Nov. 26, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Chatham University
PA-9: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.55 / 4.00
"---" 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:
80,057,156 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) 9,618,873 US/Canadian $
Sustainability investment funds (e.g. a renewable energy or impact investment fund) 1,000,000 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 loan funds that are funded from the endowment ---

A brief description of the companies, funds, and/or institutions referenced above:
Chatham University utilizes:
Dimensional DFA US Sustainability Core 1 Portfolio, which uses stocks with high sustainability ratings. Companies are judged on climate change, environmental vulnerability, and environmental strength variables.
Mellon Carbon Efficiency that targets companies with lower carbon footprint than their industry average, as determined by CSR reports.
Blackrock Global Renewable Power Fund, that invests in renewable power projects worldwide.

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:
Guiding Principles
The following guiding principles are derived from Chatham’s sustainability mission and are to be used as a compass for assessing sustainable investments. These principles reflect the three pillars of sustainability - planet, people and prosperity – as a guide for investing.
1. Reduce fossil fuel investments, since fossil fuels are the main contributors to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions
2. Favor and assess investments that have a positive impact on the environment, particularly those that work to alleviate pollution and combat climate change.
3. Favor and assess investments that promote positive sustainability – businesses that exhibit exemplary social and environmental standards and performance.
4. Favor and assess community development investments other investments that promote sustainable local growth.
5. Advocate against corporations that deny climate change.

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:
We have just transitioned to a CIO, as of October 2018, and they were provided with the Guiding Principles for investing. They will be meeting with the Sustainable Investment Advisory Board over the next quarter as we complete the transition.

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:
A copy of the 1st Q 2017 is attached, with climate-related proxy record. Detailed records are available for the year, we can only post one here.

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:
Dimensional considers the impact that companies may have on the environment and other sustainability issues when making investment decisions for its sustainability portfolios. In these portfolios, Dimensional may evaluate carbon and other greenhouse emissions (or potential emissions), land use, cluster munitions manufacturing, biodiversity, involvement in toxic spills or releases, operational waste, water use, tobacco, child labor and factory farming activities. When evaluating companies for sustainability, Dimensional may refer to various sources, including but not limited to, third party screens, company filings, financial statements, NGO lists and existing proxy proposals.

Regarding child labor, Dimensional has engaged MSCI ESG Research to identify companies that have had recent controversies related to child labor. MSCI is recognized as an expert in the industry for its ESG screening practices. Factors impacting the evaluation of companies may include, but are not limited to, a history of involvement in child labor-related legal cases, widespread or egregious instances of child labor in the firm’s supply chain, resistance to improved practices, and criticism by NGOs and/or other third-party observers.

The screen for factory farming is performed internally by Dimensional using multiple data sources. This detailed review of each company attempts to identify companies believed to be using particularly intensive methods of livestock rearing.

The US Sustainability Core 1 fund seeks to exclude companies that have had controversies related to child labor as determined by MSCI ESG Research or have involvement in factory farming as determined by Dimensional. The child labor and factory farming screens are designed to meet the social investing needs of shareholders.

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:
Sustainable Endowments Network

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:

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.