Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.20
Liaison Kimberly Williams
Submission Date March 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

George Washington University
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.24 / 5.00 Meghan Chapple
Director & Senior Advisor
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
1,778,559,424.77 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) 173,000,000 US/Canadian $
Sustainability investment funds (e.g., a renewable energy or impact investment fund) 1,412,019 US/Canadian $
+ Date Revised: March 10, 2021
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 251,451.67 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 0 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 32,963.21 US/Canadian $

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

Businesses Selected For Exemplary Sustainability Performance: GW's endowment is predominantly invested in pooled vehicles managed by third-parties. GW applies an intentional and comprehensive framework designed by our outsourced CIO, Strategic Investment Group, with input from the GW Office of Sustainability. The framework is based on ESG and sustainability issues for each sector and industry, which GW uses to analyze the managers' practices. GW then determines the level to which the managers incorporate ESG and sustainability into their work.

Highly ranked managers embody the following attributes:
• ESG principles thoroughly incorporated in the manager’s operations
• Portfolio allocation and risk management includes in-depth consideration of ESG objectives
• Consistent use of ESG criteria in security selection and analysis

Sustainable Investment Funds: Also, within its endowment, GW maintains the Sustainable Investment Fund (SIF), which specifically invests in vehicles that promote and produce innovation in sustainable environmental practices. The SIF was created in response to strong student support for sustainable investing. The SIF aims to identify and invest in strategies that generate and sustain long-term environmental, social and governance (ESG) value, as well as economic value. By adhering to ESG principles in the investment strategy, the SIF will not only mitigate negative ESG impacts but also support solutions to complex problems in these areas. The SIF is informed by the Committee for Sustainable Investment with student, faculty, and staff involvement.

Community development financial institutions (CDFIs): The university has approximately $251K invested in a local CDFI. This amount is not included in the University's total endowment value but is considered an investment in a long-term strategic partnership with a local CDFI.

Green revolving loan funds that are funded from the endowment: An additional GW endowment fund, known as the "Class of 2007 Campus Green Fund," was established in 2007 by members of that year's graduating class. While not a revolving loan fund, it is a sustainable investment fund, and its purpose is to fund initiatives designed to conserve energy and promote a more environmentally-friendly campus. Funds are used for projects designed by students through competitions including the GW Charged Up competition, GW Eco-Equity Challenge and the DC Climathon at GW, with mentorship and support from the Office of Sustainability and other partners across the university including Finance, Facilities, Planning, and Construction Management, and others.


Percentage of the institution's investment pool in positive sustainability investments:
9.82

Does the institution have a publicly available sustainable investment policy?:
No

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:
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The sustainable investment policy:
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Does the institution use its sustainable investment policy to select and guide investment managers?:
No

A brief description of how the sustainable investment policy is applied:

The GW Endowment’s investments are managed by Strategic Investment Group, an Outsourced CIO. Strategic Investment Group is a signatory to the United Nations’ Principles on Responsible Investing, and seeks to incorporate these Principles in investment analysis and decision making on GW’s behalf. In addition, a portion of the GW Endowment is invested in a Sustainable Investment Fund. The majority of this fund is invested in a strategy driven by a sustainable investing approach, combining rigorous financial analysis with equally rigorous environmental, social and governance (ESG) analysis in order to identify investments.

SIG manages GW's assets in a comprehensive way that incorporates responsible investing perspective in their evaluation of opportunities for GW investment. For example, SIG selects the investment managers of GW's funds. In doing so, SIG conducts a rigorous selection process that incorporates responsible investing criteria. SIG's managers conduct the overwhelming majority of the security selection in GW's portfolio. SIG strongly prefers managers with processes that incorporate responsible investing. This is part of a holistic selection process.


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:
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A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:
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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:
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Does the institution participate in a public divestment effort and/or have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:
No

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

No. However, a portion of the Endowment is invested in a Sustainable Investment
Fund. The majority of this fund is invested in a global environmental markets strategy
which seeks to invest in companies with positive overall environmental performance
and whose products or services help other companies and countries improve their
environmental performance. The fund seeks to avoid investing in companies with
significant environmental problems or worsening environmental profiles and is
expected to be fossil fuel free (not invested in securities of companies that are
determined by the investment manager to be significantly involved in the extraction
and/or refining of fossil fuels).


Approximate percentage of endowment that the divestment effort and/or negative screens apply to:
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Does the institution engage in policy advocacy by participating in investor networks and/or engage in inter-organizational collaborations to share best practices?:
Yes

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

The GW Endowment’s investments are managed by Strategic Investment Group, an
Outsourced CIO. Strategic Investment Group has been a signatory to the United
Nations’ Principles on Responsible Investing (UNPRI) since 2014. The PRI Initiative
has become the leading global network for investors to:
- Publicly demonstrate their commitment to responsible investment,
- Collaborate and learn with their peers about the financial and investment
implications of ESG issues, and
- Incorporate these factors into their investment decision making and
ownership practices.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable investment efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.