Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 74.24
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date April 30, 2015
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Dickinson College
PA-13: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Neil Leary
Center for Sustainability Education
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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 Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) was established as a subcommittee of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability (PCES) in fall 2014. The SIG is charged to:

1. Provide a forum for members of the Dickinson community to raise and discuss questions regarding environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices of the college, recognizing that there is no commonly held definition or criteria of ESG principles or goals.

2. Annually, meet with the Committee on Investments of the Board of Trustees to discuss a regular annual report on our investment portfolio. As a participant in that discussion, provide input and share policies, practices, and goals of other higher education institutions and other relevant sectors.

3. Act as a liaison between the Dickinson community and the Committee on Investments with regard to the annual review of our investment portfolio.

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

The 2014-2015 members of Dickinson’s Sustainable Investment Group are:

• Jim Chambers, Trustee and member of Committee on Investments
• Brady Hummel ’17, student
• Bronte Jones, CFO and VP for Finance and Operations
• Will Kochtitzky ’16, student
• Neil Leary, Director, Center for Sustainability Education
• Caryn Sennet ’15, Student
• Ken Shultes, Associate VP, Sustainability & Facilities Planning
• Helen Takacs, Associate Professor, International Business & Management
• Nicky Tynan, Associate Professor, Economics
• Sean Witte, Associate VP, Financial Operations and Controller

Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

The Sustainable Investments Group (SIG), formed in fall 2014, developed and agreed its terms of reference and its work plan for the year in consultation with Dickinson College’s president and the Board of Trustee’s Committee on Investments (COI). At a joint meeting of the SIG, the COI, and Investure held in January 2015, information was shared, perspectives on ESG investing were discussed, and a strong working relationship was established. Investure functions as the investment office of Dickinson College and a dozen other non-profit institutions and manages a pooled endowment of $11 billion for the consortium members. The SIG is researching investment beliefs statements, ESG investment practices and policies of peer institutions, and opportunities for advocacy through investor networks. The SIG is also planning a campus forum for April 2015 to engage the Dickinson community in dialogue about sustainable investment.

The SIG was preceded by the Sustainability Investment Task Force (SITF), a temporary task force that was created by the Board of Trustees in 2013 to examine and discuss fossil energy divestment and other questions concerning Dickinson’s endowment. The SITF met monthly from May 2013 through January 2014, and hosted a campus forum in November 2013. The SITF presented recommendations to the Board of Trustees in January 2014. The SITF recommended that Dickinson not divest from fossil energy at that point in time, but also recommended that the College (i) communicate to Investure that fossil fuel investments are in tension with Dickinson’s sustainability values, (ii) increase investments in Investure’s sustainable investment fund, (iii) create a forum for structured dialogue by the Dickinson community of ESG investment concerns, and (iv) create a revolving fund to help finance sustainability investments in the campus. Positive action was taken on all these recommendations, including creation of the Sustainable Investment Group as a forum for dialogue about ESG investment.

The SIG and SITF build on earlier work of Dickinson’s Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Discussion Group, which was active from 2007 through 2009. The SRI Discussion Group led to Dickinson adopting triple-bottom-line principles for investment management and to Investure creating a sustainable investment fund for members of the consortium.

The website URL where information about the CIR is available:

Information about the activities Sustainable Investment Task Force in 2014 can be found here: http://www.dickinson.edu/homepage/527/sustainable_investments_task_force.

Information about activities of the Socially Responsible Investment Discussion Group can be found here: http://www.dickinson.edu/info/20052/sustainability/2807/socially_responsible_investment_sri.

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