Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 54.26
Liaison Stephanie MacPhee
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Ryerson University
PA-8: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 2.00
"---" 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?:
No

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:

Within the Governor’s Board structure of the University, the Finance Committee has high level oversight of "all matters related to the fiscal policy, revenue and expenditures, physical plant and purchases of real and personal property of the University". The Finance Committee also advises on non-expendable and expendable investments.

In Ryerson’s Investment Policy for Non-Expendable Funds, it states under, Environmental, Social, & Governance: “The funds’ active investment manager may consider all qualitative and quantitative factors affecting financial performance of existing and potential investments, including environmental, social and governance factors. An investment manager's ability and desire to incorporate these factors into their investment selection process may be used as part of the decision criteria when evaluating investment opportunities.

Ryerson follows an ethical investing approach that is described below:
The Endowment, Foundations and Trust Fund in which Ryerson’s endowment funds are invested employs an Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) approach. There are two elements to screening companies when analyzing the merits of each investment from an ESG perspective.
The first screen that managers employ excludes companies based on the products they produce, the geographic area in which they operate, or alternatively their performance record in specific areas which will typically result in the exclusion of companies that are primarily involved in tobacco, alcohol, pornography, weapons related production or are involved in gambling. Exclusionary screening is generally based on a threshold of involvement in an area.

The second screening involves qualitative analysis. As there are no truly “black or white” corporate entities, it is necessary to examine corporations in their totality to choose those companies that on balance are employing sound social and environmental practices. This requires a “best practices” approach and ranks individual entities against their peers in the same industry. As no company is perfect, we are looking for companies that demonstrate an awareness of ESG issues and are making an effort to improve areas of weakness. Such qualitative criteria includes compliance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the environment, ethics and corporate practices, involvement in the community, labour relations and practices that are connected and the safety purpose of the product.

Finally, as part of our ESG approach, a proxy voting policy is applied for equity portfolios. In doing so, we aim to improve the management of firms we invest in and promote social values of the fund’s participants. In our assessment of the level of preparedness to Environmental, Social and Governance issues of companies in our portfolios, we rely on the research prepared by Sustainalytics.
Sustainalytics is a pioneer in research on environmental, social and governance issues. When looking at controversies affecting a company and their impact on stakeholders, Sustainalytics classify the controversies on a scale of one (minor impact) to five (major violations of human rights, environmental disasters, strong impact on stakeholders, etc.). During the portfolio review process, Sustainalytics provides insight and highlights the controversies that have a major impact on the stakeholders, and might represent an important non-financial risk. Their detailed view on controversies ensures the portfolio managers are well aware of ESG issues and enable them to adjust their understanding of the potential risks. They would analyze the issues that have the potential to impact the profitability and future business growth of the company and, based on their judgment, they would discuss the issues with the management of the companies in order to raise awareness on ESG issues.
More information can be found here : https://www.ryerson.ca/financial-services/financial-reporting/trust-endowments/


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

Finance Committee members:
Hanah Harb, Elected by Alumni
Jennifer Gonzales, Elected by Administrative Staff
Michael Kolios, Elected by Faculty
David Porter, Government Appointee
Jack Cockwell, Government Appointee
Mohamed Lachemi, President & Vice Chancellor
Toni Staffieri, Board Appointee, Vice Chair
Mitch Frazer, Board Appointee, Chair


Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

NA


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