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-9: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.33 / 4.00 Sophie Leblanc
Chief Investment Officer
Office of Investments
"---" 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:
1,450,700,000 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) 129,986,669 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 14,300,000 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:

Re. businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance: 53% of our managers have an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy and a Signatory to the United Nations "Principles for Responsible Investment". Our holdings include companies like the Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Sun Life Financial, BCE, Manulife Financial Corp, and the Bank of Montreal.

Methodology for 2nd Category
Companies listed in McGill's investment holdings were cross listed against 4 major sustainability indices (Dow Jones Sustainability Index, UN Global Compact 100, Jantzi Index, and the Corporate Knights Top 100) and/or submitted a GRI report between 2014-16. Those listed on at least 2 of the above were included in the "businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance".

Re. community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent: refers to investment in senior residence assisted living.

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:

Section 8: Socially Responsible Investing
While the primary purpose of the management of the MIP is to optimize the real rate of return on the fund’s assets with an acceptable level of risk, the Committee will follow the instructions of the Board of Governors, pursuant to the recommendation of the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR).

From: https://www.mcgill.ca/secretariat/files/secretariat/statement_of_investment_policy.pdf#page=4

For more information about CAMSR: https://www.mcgill.ca/boardofgovernors/board-governors-committees-and-terms-reference/social

Furthermore, McGill's Vision 2020 Sustainability Strategy has made progress on its objective to " Convene a public consultation on the revision of the terms of reference of the Committee to
Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility." (Action 13) The Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility has held public consultations on mandate and revised Terms of Reference. The definition of “social injury” is now broadened to include not only the impact to the human environment, but the impact on the natural environment too.

Source: https://www.mcgill.ca/sustainability/files/sustainability/v2020_progress_report_2015.pdf#page=7

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:

The policy is given to investment managers and it will guide their selection of investments. However, the policy does not guide selection of investment managers.

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:


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:

McGill's has implemented negative screens for socially unethical investments, such as those for Burma and tobacco, and has enforced these screens through the guidelines given to the managers.

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:


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:

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.