Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 66.71
Liaison Greg Kozak
Submission Date March 6, 2020

STARS v2.2

Northwestern University
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.54 / 5.00 Sarah Tulga
Sustainability Program Coordinator
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
10,900,000,000 US/Canadian $

Value of holdings in each of the following categories:
Value of holdings
Sustainable industries (e.g., renewable energy or sustainable forestry) 24,000,000 US/Canadian $
Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance (e.g., using criteria specified in a sustainable investment policy) 133,000,000 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 0 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 0 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

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

The above investments in sustainable industries represent an array of companies engaged in sustainable industries, including renewable energy research and installation, energy efficiency, and energy storage technology.

We partner with two third-party investment managers that select stocks in Emerging Markets, largely based on the ability of such stocks to achieve sustainable growth. One manager completes a 25 point ESG assessment for all investments and engages with management on the most material ESG issues affecting the respective businesses. This manager believes that companies that effectively address E, S, and G issues will be long-term winners in the markets in which they invest. Additionally, this manager conducts thematic research into evolving ESG trends. The other manager manages its portfolio utilizing the Norges Bank exclusion list, which avoids investment in companies involved in business lines such as coal or armaments. Then, the manager overlays internal ESG analysis to further select stocks. One feature of this fund is that the portfolio targets carbon emissions exposure that is at least 20% less than the relevant benchmark index.

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

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

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:

The sustainable investment policy:

The University is a signatory to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. As a long-term investor, we believe that environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues can affect the performance of investment portfolios – now and in the future. Therefore, where consistent with our fiduciary duties, Northwestern University commits to the following six Principles of the PRI organization:

•To incorporate Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes;
•To be an active owner and to incorporate ESG issues into our ownership policies and practices
•To seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest;
•To promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry;
•To work with the PRI Secretariat and other signatories to enhance their effectiveness in implementing the Principles;
•To report on our activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.

The above commitment places no explicit or prescriptive restrictions upon the investment activities of the Investment Office, without further consent and approval by the Investment Committee.

Does the institution use its sustainable investment policy to select and guide investment managers?:

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

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 participate in a public divestment effort and/or have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:

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

Approximate percentage of endowment that the divestment effort and/or 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:

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable investment efforts 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.