Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 64.57
Liaison Sherri Mason
Submission Date June 14, 2023

STARS v2.2

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.84 / 5.00 Sherri Mason
Director of Sustainability
School of Science
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
4,466,800,000 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) 1,750,000 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:
Partly in response to student advocacy, Penn State conducted a study several years ago to evaluate investment managers who are "environmental, social and governance" (ESG) focused as compared to their non-ESG peers. This study led Penn State to hire a management firm which invests using an ESG strategy. About $175M of the investment pool is currently subject to this investment strategy.
In addition, funds under other management strategies likely include investments that would fall into the "sustainability investment" category; however it was not practicable to search through individual investments that are overseen by a variety of managers within different funds. Furthermore, lack of a universally-recognized definition/list of sustainability investments further complicates this task.

Percentage of the institution's investment pool in positive sustainability investments:
0.04

Does the institution have a publicly available sustainable investment policy?:
No

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:
The sustainable investment policy:
The overall Long Term Investment Policy (LTIP) is attached. The specific text as it relates to sustainability is include on page 7 regarding the "Return Objective" and states: "LTIP will be invested to achieve maximum return with an acceptable degree of risk. Within the context of its fiduciary responsibilities PSIC may continue to take social and environmental considerations into account in the administration of the University’s investments."

Does the institution use its sustainable investment policy to select and guide investment managers?:
No

A brief description of how the sustainable investment policy is applied:
The Investment Policy Statement (“IPS”) serves as the “institutional memory” of the rationale behind the investment strategies that are in place. The IPS establishes the overall Investment Policies, Objectives and Guidelines, and provides an overview of the investment strategies utilized in the University’s LTIP investment program.

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?:
Yes

A copy of the proxy voting guidelines or proxy record:
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A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:
Penn State authorizes its investment managers to vote on its behalf. Therefore the managers who are focused on ESG investments (described above) are engaged in proxy voting on behalf of Penn State in a way that supports their environmental, social and governance goals.

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:
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Does the institution participate in a public divestment effort and/or have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:
No

A brief description of the divestment effort or negative screens and how they have been implemented:
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Approximate percentage of endowment that the divestment effort and/or negative screens apply to:
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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:
Penn State investment managers network and collaborate with other institutional investors and investment managers to understand best practices and current trends with respect to ESG investing.

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable investment efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Data source(s) and notes about the submission:
Penn State investments are done for the entire system. All numbers reported here are taken from those reported by Pennsylvania State University in 2019.

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.