Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 76.45
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Oct. 17, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Green Mountain College
PA-13: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Robert Gould
Vice President for Enrollment, Finance & Operations
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:

Formed in spring 2010, the Socially Responsibility Investment Advisory Committee (SRIAC) recommended that the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees approve an initial investment equal to 10% of GMC's current endowment portfolio in a socially responsible investment fund. The Board approved this investment and added an additional 5% the following year.

The SRIAC committee charge is as follows:

Review the College’s investment portfolio and provide recommendations regarding socially responsible investment initiatives to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees.

The SRIAC is chaired by the chief financial officer of the College and consists of up to two well-qualified students appointed by student senate and one faculty member appointed by the FCEB and approved by the provost.

The committee meets four times per year, once at the beginning of each semester and once toward the end of each semester, unless additional meetings are necessary. They review quarterly returns from the investment portfolio and changes in the portfolio. On the basis of this review, they make recommendations to the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees for action. These recommendations may relate to proxy voting, increased transparency of the portfolio, divestment of certain securities, or positive and negative screening of investments.

The SRIAC's objective is to assist the College in making investment decisions that reflect its environmental mission. In the case that SRI returns are not equal to or exceed non-SRI returns, alternative SRI funds are suggested.

The SRIAC's deliberations are guided in part by best practices in socially responsible investing, as identified by the Sustainable Endowments Institute and AASHE’s sustainability tracking and rating system’s investment section. The recommendations are made public knowledge through the College newspaper, presentations, or a branch of the College website.

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

Robert Gould, Vice President for Enrollment, Finance and Operations, Green Mountain College

Frank Pauzé, Professor of Business and Economics, Director of the Resort and Hospitality Management Program

Lauren Buss, Student Senate Appointee

Shannon Saulsbury, Student Senate Appointee

Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

The committee recommended the Socially Responsible Investment Fund be increased to 15% of the endowment in FY 2011.

In 2013 the committee recommended that the College divest from 200 publicly-traded companies which hold most of the world’s known coal, oil, and gas reserves at its May 10th meeting. In May 2013, the Green Mountain College Board of Trustees approved this divestment. The proposal to divest in fossil fuels resulted from a collaboration between student groups, including Divest GMC, the College administration, and the sustainability office. Students in Divest GMC hosted a “teach-in” which included an interview with author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, a long-time friend of the College. In response to the board’s decision, McKibben said “I’m delighted Green Mountain College has taken a leadership role in this important issue. GMC has long had a great reputation for environmental studies. Now they’ve demonstrated that it’s a core part of their value. What leadership!”

Now the committee is working on creating an ESG (A positive shielding screen that includes Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria). This screen would be applied to all investments. Part of the ESG will be dedicated to institutional aid.

In addition to the SRIAC's actions, the campus sustainability council continues to actively manage the green revolving loan fund. In the last three years, the council has implemented three investment projects: 1) A replacement of all 80 outdoor lamp posts with LEDs, construction of a 5.8 kW solar charging station, and a renovation of the Two Editor's Inn (A College-owned residence used to house guests) to be a model for residential energy efficiency for older buildings.

The website URL where information about the CIR is available:

The performance year for this credit is FY 2013.

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.