Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Allie Schwartz
Submission Date Aug. 29, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Columbia University
PA-9: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 4.00 April Croft
Associate Director, SRI & Finance Communications
"---" 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:
9,990,000,000 US/Canadian $

Value of holdings in each of the following categories:
Value of Holdings
Sustainable industries (e.g. renewable energy or sustainable forestry) ---
Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance (e.g. using criteria specified in a sustainable investment policy) ---
Sustainability investment funds (e.g. a renewable energy or impact investment fund) ---
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent ---
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) ---
Green revolving loan funds that are funded from the endowment ---

A brief description of the companies, funds, and/or institutions referenced above:


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:

The ACSRI's socially responsible investing (SRI) "Proxy Voting Guidelines" are posted on the homepage of its website. Please see the document link below.


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:

Please see the annual reports posted on the Committee's website.

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:

One of the core annual activities of the ACSRI is to make recommendations to the Trustees on how the University, as an investor, should vote on selected shareholder proposals addressed to U.S. registered, publicly-traded corporations whose securities are directly held in Columbia’s endowment portfolio. SRI proxy voting records are captured in the ACSRI's meeting minutes and annual reports posted at http://finance.columbia.edu/content/socially-responsible-investing.

The ACSRI, not managers, is responsible for reviewing ESG/SRI shareholder resolutions.

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:

The ACSRI conducts an annual review of the part of the endowment that is within the University’s direct control. Currently, Columbia performs negative screenings for tobacco producers/manufacturers, private prison operators, companies deriving more than 35% of their revenue in thermal coal production, and publicly-traded non-U.S. companies whose current activities substantially enhance the revenues available to the Khartoum government of Sudan. Columbia’s negative screening efforts are documented in the meeting minutes and in the annual reports posted on the Committee's website.

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:

Please see the ACSRI's annual reports posted at http://finance.columbia.edu/content/socially-responsible-investing.

The lists of companies affected by the negative screens are provided to the investment team for implementation.

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:

Based on an ACSRI recommendation, the University Trustees approved participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Climate Change Program (March 2017). The ACSRI also shares its work with peer academic institutions.

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.