Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.45
Liaison Lindsey Lyons
Submission Date March 1, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Dickinson College
PA-8: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Neil Leary
Director
Center for Sustainability Education
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a formally established and active committee on investor responsibility (CIR) that makes recommendations to fund decision-makers on socially and environmentally responsible investment opportunities across asset classes?:
Yes

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 Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group (DSIG) was established as a subcommittee of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability (PCES) in fall 2014. The DSIG 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.


Does the CIR include staff representation?:
Yes

Does the CIR include faculty representation?:
Yes

Does the CIR include student representation?:
Yes

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

The 2016-2017 members of Dickinson’s Sustainable Investment Group are:

Bronte Burleigh Jones, Vice President, Finance & Administration
Jim Chambers, Trustee, member of the Committee on Investments
Charles Dickey '16, Young Alumnus
Rachel Gross '19, Student
William Irving '19, Student
Will Kochtitzky ’16, Young Alumnus
Neil Leary, Director, Center for Sustainability Education
Maxwell Lee '19, Student
Ian McManness '18, Student
Greg Oldsey '19, Student
Krysti Oschal '17, Student
Michelle Richardson, Trustee, Chair of the Committee on Investments
Ken Shultes, Associate Vice President, Sustainability/Facilities Planning
Helen Takacs, Associate Professor & Dept. Chair, International Business & Management
Olivia Termini '19, Student
Hunter Tuccio '18, Student
Nicky Tynan, Associate Professor, Economics
Emily Whitaker '17, Student
Sean Witte, Associate Vice President, Financial Operations & Controller


Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

The Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group (DSIG) has engaged students and other members of the campus community in dialog about Dickinson’s endowment, other investment activities and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues as they pertain to investment decisions. This engagement includes campus forums convened in April 2015, January 2016, February 2016 and October 2016 that were attended by students, staff and faculty. Student members of DSIG began researching questions in fall 2016 about defining ESG investments, carbon offsets, carbon pricing and “soft returns” to Dickinson’s sustainability investments. Preliminary results were presented at a meeting in February 2017 to our Committee on Investments and the CEO of Investure, a financial management firm that functions as the Investment Office of Dickinson and a dozen other nonprofit institutions. The students are continuing their research on these topics and will make recommendations later in spring 2017.

In 2015 and 2016, DSIG developed and adopted an Investment Beliefs Statement that provides a framework for conversations among those entrusted with managing investments on behalf of Dickinson College for aligning our investment policies and practices with Dickinson’s ESG values. DSIG is now working to clarify what we at Dickinson mean by ESG investments and criteria for evaluating whether investments qualify as ESG investments.

DSIG actively engages with Dickinson’s Committee on Investments, Investure and other colleges that are members of the Investure consortium. We have joined with Investure consortium members Middlebury and Smith Colleges to form the Sustainability Advisory Group. This advisory group succeeded in getting Investure to offer a sustainable investment fund to consortium members. Dickinson has committed $8 million of its endowment to the sustainability fund. Dickinson is working with the Sustainability Advisory Group to better understand the opportunities and limitations of ESG investing and the ESG policies of fund managers who work with Investure and make investments on behalf of the consortium.

DSIG 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, while also recommending 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 Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group as a forum for dialogue about ESG investment.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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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