Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.82
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Feb. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Green Mountain College
PA-9: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.51 / 4.00 Ryan Ihrke
Director of Sustainability
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution wish to pursue Option 1 (positive sustainability investment)?:
Yes

Total value of the investment pool:
3018388 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) 166920 US/Canadian $
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 0 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 788806 US/Canadian $
Green revolving loan funds that are funded from the endowment 30000 US/Canadian $

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

Green Mountain College currently invested approximately 26% of the College's endowment in Portfolio 21, an environmentally screened global equity mutual fund. It is a fund that uses positive and negative screens, searching for companies that uphold environmental practices and excluding those that do not meet their criteria.

“Portfolio 21 invests only in companies that are integrating intelligent and forward-thinking environmental strategies into their overall business planning. We designed Portfolio 21 to address the ecological risks and opportunities of the investment process in the 21st century” (www.portfolio21.com)

The College also is invested in iSHARES GLOBAL CLEAN ENERGY ETF who's Investment objective is to track the investment results of an index composed of global equities in the clean energy sector.

The College operates a $30,000 Green Revolving Loan fund that is funded from the endowment and supports energy efficiency projects at the College.


Percentage of the institution's investment pool in positive sustainability investments:
32.66

Does the institution wish to pursue Option 2 (investor engagement)?:
Yes

Does the institution have a publicly available sustainable investment policy?:
Yes

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:
The sustainable investment policy:
Does the institution use its sustainable investment policy to select and guide investment managers?:
Yes

A brief description of how the policy is applied, including recent examples:

Green Mountain College uses the sustainable investment policy to our guide investment managers in selecting holdings that are in line with the College's mission both with positive requirements of a percentage of holdings with an ESG and negative screens for fossil fuel holdings.

After being among the first schools in the nation to commit to divestment in 2013, we completed our divestment from fossil fuels in 2015. Our divestment models the criteria suggested by 350.org, which is to divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The holdings are reviewed with our investment managers on regular basis to maintain our divested status.

GMC uses Portfolio 21 and the revolving loan fund to guide positive investments. The investment manager will have to sign off on investments, indicating compliance with the ESG. These investments are reviewed annually and the Board of Trustees gives final approve of them.


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:
---

A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:
---

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:

Given how small GMC's endowment is, it's not cost-effective to engage closely with corporations because of the small amount of holdings in any given company. Besides the recent divestment from fossil fuels, the College maintains passive management over its endowment funds.


Does the institution have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:
Yes

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

We divested from fossil fuels in 2015 and were among the first schools in the nation to commit to divestment in 2013 when the divestment wave started. The campaign to divest was student driven. Our divestment models the criteria suggested by 350.org, which is to divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The list of these companies is maintained by Fossil Free Indexes, LLC.

The sustainability director and the SRIAC works with the bank responsible for our endowment to monitor and make adjustments to our holdings when necessary to maintain our divestment commitment.


Approximate percentage of the endowment that the negative screens apply to:
100

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:

In November, 2015, Green Mountain College and Efficiency Vermont hosted the Vermont Campus Sustainability Network(VCSN) meeting at their campus. Half of the day was focused on sustainable investment in higher education and fossil fuel divestment. Representatives from schools across Vermont engaged in discussion about current activities at their schools and held a conference call with sustainable responsible investment management firm, Trillium Asset Management.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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The endowment snapshot here is from June 30, 2017, the end Green Mountain College's fiscal year FY 2017.

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.