Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
PA-8: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Edyta Rogowska
Associate Director
"---" 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?:

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 Board of Governors has an Investment Committee composed of community representatives and members of the Board and a Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR), details of which are noted below.

Mandate of the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility - CAMSR advises the Board on matters concerning social responsibility related to University investments within the mandate of the Investment Committee of the Board Social Responsibility and Investment Policy Matters

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing mandate, the Committee:

- Shall report to the Board within a reasonable time frame following each meeting and may make recommendations in writing, with appropriate supporting evidence and documentation, concerning the following:

i. proposed revisions to existing policy, guidelines and practices concerning endowment investments;

ii. follow-up with a company concerning a matter which was the subject of the Committee’s review or study, including proposed changes in corporate practice;

iii. support for shareholder resolutions recommending changes in a company’s management practice;

iv. proposed alternate actions, other than divestment of holdings, as deemed appropriate by the Committee.

- May undertake studies of socially responsible investment policies and best practices;

- May review information, data, analysis, reports and publications touching on issues of social responsibility;

- May seek input and feedback from the University community as deemed appropriate. Expressions of Concern, Submissions and Consideration

Without limiting the generality of the foregoing mandate, the Committee also:

Shall consider, report on and make recommendations to the Board with respect to written expressions of concern from the University community about matters of social responsibility related to University investments falling within the mandate of the Investment Committee of the Board, in accordance with the following provisions.

Does the CIR include staff representation?:

Does the CIR include faculty representation?:

Does the CIR include student representation?:

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

Composition of Committee

1. The Committee shall consist of six members, excluding the ex officio members, comprised as follows:
1. one member of the Board's Investment Committee;
2. one Board member from among the Academic Staff Members or the Senate Members;
3. one Board member from among the Administrative and Support Staff Members;
4. one Student Member;
5. up to two members selected from among the following: At-Large members or Alumni Association Members of the Board, Governors Emeriti or Honorary Governors;
6. One member of the Committee may be from the general public.
2. The Principal, Vice-Chancellor, and Chair of the Board of Governors shall serve as ex officio members of the Committee.
3. The Chair of the Committee shall be selected from among the At-Large Members, Alumni Association Members, Governors Emeriti or Honorary Governors serving on the Committee.
4. The Secretary-General or her/his delegate shall serve as Secretary to the Committee.

Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

The Committee reviewed a submission it received from Divest McGill regarding fossil fuel divestment in February 2015. It has also commissioned a study of socially responsible investment practices (spring 2015). The Committee has reviewed its terms of reference and proposed revisions which were approved by the Board in 2014. The revisions included expanding the definition of social injury to include grave, injurious impact, which the activities of a company are found to have on the natural environment. The Committee has also considered a submission pertaining to fossil fuel divestment, in which the following response was given:

"CAMSR proposes that the Board ask the Investment Committee, while exercising its fiduciary
duty, to consider and report back on by December 2016, measures such as set out below.

- Establishing a socially responsible investment fund option for donors interested in such
an option - similar to the fund established for pension investments
- Looking at opportunities for, and supporting, sound investments in alternative
(renewable) energy firms, alternative technology development and commercialization
- Developing ESG principles and guidelines for endowment investments
- Asking investment managers to report annually on ESG and UNPRI implementation and
compliance, which will in turn be reported to the Board
- Supporting and initiating shareholder resolutions to encourage changes in company
practices deemed inconsistent with ESG and UNPRI

CAMSR also proposes that the Board ask the University administration to provide it by the May
2016 meeting with a preliminary overview of all current sustainability and climate-related
activities. This overview would form the basis for the Board and senior administration to work
collaboratively on further integrating and expanding initiatives, consistent with the McGill
mission, to create a comprehensive climate action plan. CAMSR also proposes that the Board
ask the University administration to report annually to the Board on all sustainability and
climate initiatives. Such initiatives would encompass, but not be limited to:
- Sustainability research and education across all fields of study, efforts to advance
understanding of climate change and promote innovative mitigation and adaptation
- Ongoing implementation of Vision 2020 and the development of a further sustainability
strategic plan and action plan for 2017-2020
- Projects to quantify and reduce McGill’s own carbon footprint that set measurable goals
and contain indicators of performance and progress."

Source/Link to full report: https://www.mcgill.ca/boardofgovernors/files/boardofgovernors/gd15-44_camsr_report_0.pdf

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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