Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 71.65
Liaison Laura Bain
Submission Date Jan. 19, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Furman University
PA-9: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 4.00 Laura Bain
Associate Director of Sustainability Assessment
David E. Shi Center for Sustainability
"---" 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:
661000000 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) 0 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:

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 Investment Committee and staff support the University’s sustainability initiatives within the context of seeking long-term, risk-adjusted returns as outlined in this policy. While performing research and diligence, investment staff and the consultant will monitor impact opportunities and seek to understand how external investment managers
incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors within the overall investment process.

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:

Furman has initiated a process, through its external consultant, to study and ascertain how each external manager integrates ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors into their investment processes. The output organizes each manager into a scale of 0-3, in terms of the role of ESG in investment decision-making. As an extension of the aforementioned project, we inventoried each external manager’s exposure to products/services within sustainable energy industries. Furman’s portfolio includes:
· Multiple managers which are signatories to the UNPRI initiative: (ex/ Commonfund, Barings, PIMCO, Orion)
· Multiple managers that have ESG Policies, ESG Statements, Responsible Investment Policies, Impact Investment Policy, etc.: (ex/ Iridian, Mondrian, Kintbury, Neuberger Berman, Greenspring, Orion, GEM Realty, Juniper, PIMCO, Barings
· Incorporates ESG factors into the investment process, but no formal policy: (Westwood, MFS, Silchester, Colchester, Wellington, SSGA
In addition, Furman has clean energy holdings (see examples below - unable to publicly specify exact position size and/or manager/company names) in each of the following asset classes:
· Public Equity – examples include companies that produce LED lighting, or test equipment for high-efficiency lighting systems. Firms that have a significant portion of their generation mix from wind/hydro. Other examples are renewable pure-plays or have enhanced energy efficiency as part of their revenue streams.
· Flexible Capital/Hedged Strategies – small positions in wind turbine manufacturers or wind farms. Also, we have exposure to pollution control firms.
· Private Equity/Venture Capital- Commonfund & Greenspring confirmed multiple portfolio funds/companies that have clean energy exposure
· Credit/Fixed Income-several small positions in renewable energy companies
· Natural Resources-significant exposure in one fund in renewable energy within the International Power segment
Currently, Furman’s investment office is performing later-stage due diligence on a dedicated private impact fund.

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 overwhelming majority of Furman’s invested assets are via commingled vehicles and therefore, proxy voting is performed by the external investment managers.

At least on a quarterly basis, each investment manager or fund shall communicate the following to the University and its investment consultant, who in turn may provide a summary for the University: (i) major changes in the manager’s investment outlook, strategy or portfolio structure; (ii) significant changes in the manager’s ownership, organizational structure, financial condition or senior personnel; and (iii) transactions, holdings and performance reports. Managers of long-only security strategies should be prepared to report corporate action and proxy voting records if requested.

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:

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:

To share best practices surrounding all areas of investment management, Furman’s investment office networks with multiple investor networks: other college & university investment offices, consultants, involvement on the editorial board of The Investment Institute, attendance at institutional investor conferences where ESG topics are often discussed in panel format, etc.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:

Additional documentation to support 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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.