|Submission Date||Dec. 6, 2019|
Colorado State University
PA-9: Sustainable Investment
|2.53 / 4.00||
Director of Communications and Sustainability
Housing and Dining Services
Does the institution wish to pursue Option 1 (positive sustainability investment)?:
Total value of the investment pool:
Value of holdings in each of the following categories:
|Value of Holdings|
|Sustainable industries (e.g. renewable energy or sustainable forestry)||15,732,136.27 US/Canadian $|
|Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance (e.g. using criteria specified in a sustainable investment policy)||21,221,665.84 US/Canadian $|
|Sustainability investment funds (e.g. a renewable energy or impact investment fund)||5,027,734.89 US/Canadian $|
|Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent||22,138,253.88 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||0 US/Canadian $|
A brief description of the companies, funds, and/or institutions referenced above:
Colorado State University Foundation invests with third-party, external investment managers who manage portfolios of securities and companies. Through its external investment managers, Colorado State University Foundation has investments in renewable energy (wind turbine, solar panels), energy recycling, engineering services for alternative energy installations and other environmentally responsible investments. Many of Colorado State University Foundation's investment managers have ESG considerations interwoven into their decision-making processes. Many are signatories on the UN Principles of Responsible Investing list. Examples of CSU Foundation's sustainable holdings include Colorado-specific impact funds which focuses on Colorado community and economic development, funds who invest in sustainable agriculture and food production, funds invested in wind farms, climate tracking technology, and alternative renewable energy sources, and a fund who helps fund family-owned businesses in emerging markets.
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:
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:
Each year the Board of Directors for the Foundation sends the CSU Socially Responsible Investment Policy to all fund managers and tracks their responses to ensure they have read and reviewed the policy.
Within the last three years, the CSU Foundation has continued to invest in managers with a strong sustainability record. For example, within one recently selected asset space, there were several managers with similar performance and the manager who invested in sustainable food production was selected because of their commitment to sustainability. 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.
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:
The CSU Foundation carefully reviews and votes all received proxy votes in accordance with its Socially Responsible Investment 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:
CSU Foundation encourages each of its investment managers to consider investments in sustainable industries and renewable energy initiatives via a personalized letter from the President/CEO and endorsed by the Board of Directors. It also asks for a report on all holdings which would be ESG-compliant. Responses from each manager are tracked to ensure that the messages have been received and read by the companies that hold our investments.
To better assess its holdings, CSU Foundation regularly asks its discretionary investment advisor to review and rank investment managers and to consider investment managers with ESG policies as part of their investment process. CSU Foundation has invested in 6 investment managers over the last 3 years who have ESG integrated into their investment process.
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:
CSU participates in an annual forum for local/regional Universities (University of Colorado, University of Wyoming, University of Northern Colorado, and Metro State). These universities participate in the forum to review their investment policies with sustainability and social issues important aspects of the agenda. The CSU Foundation uses this network to share and identify best practices.
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
The $497,296,703 figure above only includes the CSU Foundation portion of the overall investment pool; it excludes the portion of our investment pool managed by the Colorado State Treasury as a state entity since CSU does not control those dollars and the boundaries of this report are for CSU and the not the system or the state. Per the state Investment Policy (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/atoms/files/2019 Investment Policy.pdf), “The constitution and laws of the State of Colorado vest in the State Treasurer [an elected position] the custody of all state monies and the authority to invest said monies in such manner as in the State Treasurer’s discretion and judgement will best serve the interest of the State."