Overall Rating Expired
Overall Score Expired
Liaison Rochelle Owen
Submission Date Jan. 7, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Dalhousie University
PA-14: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete Expired Colin Spinney
University Treasurer
Financial Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
478000000 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) 162520000 US/Canadian $
Sustainability investment funds (e.g. a renewable energy or impact investment fund) 0 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 0 US/Canadian $

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

Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance

At Dalhousie, eight managers representing 34% of our funds have formal ESG policies and are signatories to the UNPRI and another two managers accounting for 6% of our funds have formal ESG policies. Of the eight managers signed onto the UNPRI: three managers are using their own rating system and research plus using services such as Sustainalytics; two managers are noted for analyzing proxy voting and aligning with proxy policies; and three private equity firms with ESG policies sit on advisory boards for invested companies. Two fixed income managers that have formal ESG policies and use Sustainalytics to supplement their ratings. To determine a dollar figure number that meets the STARS criteria; 34% of investment decisions by eight managers use outside sustainability analytical services and/or plus their own services and are signed onto the UNPRI. This represents 34% x $478 million in investments = $162,520,000

The 8 investment management firms that have signed the UNPRI and have formal ESG processes are:
1. Fiera Capital
2. Montrusco Bolton
3. SSgA
4. Addenda Capital
5. BlackRock Asset management
6. Commonfund
7. Pantheon Ventures
8. JP Morgan Asset Management

Information on investment types is available in the annual investment report:
http://www.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/pension/Jun14%20BoG%20-%20IC%20Annual%20Report.pdf

See additional reports:
http://www.dal.ca/dept/university_secretariat/board_of_governors/reports.html

Community development financial institutions (CDFI) or the equivalent
Currently no CDFI holdings.

Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens or the equivalent
Not applicable - Do not invest in mutual funds.

Green revolving loan funds
$0 from the endowment; however, money is invested annually from operations related funding for on-campus sustainability projects. In the last five year over $45 million has been invested in sustainability related projects.


Does the institution have a publicly available sustainable investment policy?:
Yes

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:
The sustainable investment policy:

In the Dalhousie Statement of Investment Policies and Guidelines the following sections of the policy reference sustainable investments:
 section 5.7 – “The Endowment Funds shall be invested in a manner to maximize risk adjusted returns. Dalhousie University believes that over the long term, companies that exhibit responsible corporate behavior with respect to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors will have a positive impact on long-term financial performance. The assessment of ESG factors along with the assessment of the business, management and financial metrics will enhance the identification of good investment opportunities and to help mitigate risk to the Endowment Funds.”
 section 5.8 – “The Endowment Funds will encourage its external investment managers to develop and enhance their ESG assessment capabilities. The Administration will include ESG assessment progress and capabilities in each investment manager’s annual review.”
 Section 5.9 - The Endowment Funds will include ESG assessment capabilities when evaluating investment managers for new mandates.
 Section 15.2. B. 1V. Quarterly. In addition to the monthly report and within 30 days: Report on any environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks they have discovered in their portfolio. The report shall also include information on any ESG issues that have been identified and discussed with the management of any of the companies that are in the portfolio or information on ESG issues that are made available through industry publications or events.

http://www.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/financial-services/Policies/Treasury%20and%20Investments/Endowment%20SIP%26G%20Nov%202013.pdf


Does the institution use its sustainable investment policy to select and guide investment managers?:
Yes

A brief description of how the policy is applied, including recent examples:

The last annual report of the Investment Committee indicates some follow-up with managers on ESG criteria including quarterly reports. Since the incorporation of the ESG principles, managers are developing and expanding their internal ESG capabilities in the areas of assessment, proxy execution and engagement.

Also, in the Dalhousie Statement of Investment Policies and Guidelines section 5.8 – “The Endowment Funds will encourage its external investment managers to develop and enhance their ESG assessment capabilities. The Administration will include ESG assessment progress and capabilities in each investment manager’s annual review.”


Does the institution's sustainable investment policy include negative screens?:
No

A brief description of the negative screens and how they have been implemented:

Dalhousie encourages external investment managers to include ESG factors in their evaluations. Managers do not utilize negative screening


Approximate percentage of the endowment that the negative screens apply to:
---

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?:
No

A copy of the proxy voting guidelines or proxy record:
---

A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:

The Investment Policy provides direction for investment managers to report on ESG proxy voting. Section - 13.6 The Investment Committee or Administration will require the Investment Managers to provide a summary of how proxies have been voted. This report shall also disclose any ESG issues that may have arisen and how this ESG issue has impacted positively or negatively the exercise of any proxy vote.”


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?:
No

Examples of how the institution has engaged with corporations in its portfolio about sustainability issues during the previous three years:
---

Does the institution engage in policy advocacy by participating in investor networks and/or engaging in inter-organizational collaborations to share best practices?:
No

A brief description of the investor networks and/or collaborations:

Dalhousie participates in CAUBO sessions on sustainable investment and other conferences as on-going learning process but is not an active member on a particular sustainable investors network.


The website URL where information about the institution's sustainable investment efforts 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.