Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.48
Liaison Heather Albert-Knopp
Submission Date March 30, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

College of the Atlantic
PA-8: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Andy Griffiths
Administrative Dean
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a formally established and active committee on investor responsibility (CIR) that makes recommendations to fund decision-makers on socially and environmentally responsible investment opportunities across asset classes?:

The charter or mission statement of the CIR or other body which reflects social and environmental concerns or a brief description of how the CIR is tasked to address social and environmental concerns:

The sustainable investment committee manages the college's sustainable investment fund and provides an educational experience for COA students such that they will work to:

• Understand what constitutes sustainable investments

• Refine the College’s definition of sustainable investments through analyzing businesses’ environmental and social impact

• Understand basic investment strategies, including the impact of risk

• Compare the performance of sustainable versus traditional investments

• Support businesses that demonstrate social and environmental stewardship

• Gain knowledge by utilizing firsthand experience to research, analyze, choose, monitor and report the fund’s investments

Does the CIR include staff representation?:

Does the CIR include faculty representation?:

Does the CIR include student representation?:

Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role (e.g. student, faculty, staff, alumni):

Committee membership is open to college students, faculty, and staff. The committee works closely with the trustee finance and investment committees. Current membership includes students, Andy Griffiths (COA's administrative dean/CFO), and Jay Friedlander (faculty member, Sharpe-McNally Chair of Green and Socially Responsible Business). The committee is chaired by one of its student members.

Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

The committee was first convened in January 2015. With the receipt of a $15,000 donation to launch the sustainable investment fund, the committee researched and developed sustainability criteria to invest the funds. The committee collectively decided on investments with advice from a local bank. In the past two years, the committee has developed more structured negative and positive screens for the investment fund. As a result, the committee has reinvested in funds that align more accordingly with the investment fund standards.

Investment criteria:

The committee seeks out companies and funds that are leaders in their field according to environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, with priority given to sustainable industries and companies with transformative potential to green their industry. Assets are restricted from being invested in weapons, tobacco and companies whose primary business involves the extraction, refining or combustion of fossil fuels. The committee is additionally interested in investing in companies advancing the transition away from fossil fuels through renewable energies and sustainable transportation. The fund searches for investments that meet as many as possible positive screen criteria by exemplifying best-in-class practices.

Outline of positive screens:


Advancing and/or practicing energy efficiency

Low greenhouse gas emissions

Minimized air pollution

Limited contamination of waterways and oceans

Sustainable land-use and reduction of ecological encroachment

Effective material conservation and sustainable waste practices


Treatment of employees and relationship with labor

Observance of the right to organize, and health and safety standards

Community relations, specifically communities impacted by company activities

Observance of human rights and fair labor standards, including child labor restrictions


Transparent reporting

Fair executive compensation, with regards to median worker pay

Strong shareholder rights

Disclosure of lobbying activities, including through third party organizations

Show intent and credible plan for advancing sustainable goals

Sustainable industries:

The committee defines sustainable industries as those primarily concerned with advancing ESG factors in the wider marketplace and world, subject to the negative screen restrictions imposed on the investment fund.

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