Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.29
Liaison Tonie Miyamoto
Submission Date March 23, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Colorado State University
PA-13: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
2.00 / 2.00 Tonie Miyamoto
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
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Does the institution have a formally established and active committee on investor responsibility (CIR) or similar body that has multi-stakeholder representation (i.e. includes faculty, staff, and students) and otherwise meets the criteria for this credit?:

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 CSU Foundation Board is explicitly charged with developing and supporting initiatives in sustainable investment as outlined by the Socially Responsible Investment Policy. The policy recognizes that there are social and environmental issues that have adverse impacts to humanity and the world.

Proxy Voting Guidelines from Socially Responsible Investing policy:
"Due to the nature of certain investment vehicles (mutual fund type investments), most funds do not afford the Foundation the ability to submit a proxy vote. However, occasionally the ability to vote arises. The management and staff of the Foundation, where possible, have been given the charge to vote proxy votes in a manner in which the environment and other socially responsible initiatives are supported."

At least annually the Foundation encourages each manager to consider investments in sustainable industries and renewable energy initiatives via a personalized message from the President/CEO and endorsed by the Board of Directors.

In addition, the Summit Student Investment Fund directly engages students and their faculty/staff advisors in socially and environmentally responsible investing through the management of an actual investment fund within the Foundation valued at more than $300,000. Approximately twenty-five students per semester are given the charge to run the Summit Fund following the Socially Responsible Investing Principles as follows:

"Colorado State University, the College of Business and the Summit Student Managed Investment Fund values firms that are good stewards of society’s human and natural resources. The Fund therefore seeks to direct investments away from firms whose operations are inconsistent with this principle.

This socially responsible investing principle will be implemented by conducting an analysis of the social and environmental consequences of a candidate firm’s activities, relative to competitors in the same and similar lines of business. It is expected that databases will be acquired to facilitate this comparison, and that this analysis will become a standard part of the discussion and analysis prior to investing in any firm.

Suggested criteria include:
The Fund shall generally not invest in companies
1. Producing or supplying, as its core business, distilled alcoholic (hard liquor) beverages.
2. Manufacturing or distributing, as its core business, cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco or smokeless tobacco
3. Owning or managing, as its core business, casinos, racetracks, or off-track betting parlors or any goods or services related to the gaming or lottery industries
4. Condoning human rights violations, pornography, abusive labor practices including the exploitation of child labor, flagrant or egregious damage to the environment, and unethical business practices
5. Engaging in business practices that are unfair, deceptive, harmful or fraudulent with respect to consumers, employees, or communities."

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

James A. Martell (chair), CSU alumnus, community member
Toby Cromwell, CSU alumnus, community member
Scott Thisted, CSU alumnus, community member
Kathleen Henry, President & CEO of CSU Foundation, CSU alumna
Tony Frank, President of CSU
Brett Anderson, VP of CSU Advancement Services, CSU alumnus
Amy Parsons, VP of CSU University Operations, CSU alumna
Dorothy A. Horrell, Ph.D., Representative of CSU Board of Governors, community member

Summit Fund:
School of Business faculty/staff advisors
25 School of Business students

Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

Within the last two years, CSU Foundation has invested in two different investment managers that focus on supporting Colorado technology and on making an impact on Colorado socially and environmentally. We continue to look at investments and investment managers that not only meet our mandate of providing the best possible investment return while preserving the endowment corpus, but also seek to make meaningful socially responsible investments.

In May the CIR also reviewed our comprehensive Sustainable Investment Policy and reaffirmed CSU's commitment to its principles.

The Summit Student Investment Fund is now valued at more than $300,000 and has beat the S&P 500 index for six out of the last 10 years.

The website URL where information about the CIR is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.