Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.71
Liaison Sharmilla Raj
Submission Date May 6, 2024

STARS v2.2

Toronto Metropolitan University
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.41 / 3.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
197,526,697 US/Canadian $

Value of holdings in each of the following categories:
Value of holdings
Sustainable industries (e.g., renewable energy or sustainable forestry) 5,800,000 US/Canadian $
Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance (e.g., using criteria specified in a sustainable investment policy) 48,885 US/Canadian $
Sustainability investment funds (e.g., a renewable energy or impact investment fund) 340,260 US/Canadian $
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 0 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 90,208 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

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

Brookfield Renewable Bond: Brookfield Renewables operates one of the world’s largest publicly traded platforms for decarbonization technologies. The diversified portfolio consists of hydroelectric, wind, solar, distributed energy and sustainable technology solutions across five continents. Ontario Provincial Green Bonds: Ontario’s Green Bonds capitalize on the Province’s ability to raise funds at low interest rates and serve as an important tool to help finance public transit initiatives, extreme-weather resistant infrastructure, and energy efficiency and conservation projects. Quebec Provincial Green Bonds: Green Bonds issued by the government raise capital for specific projects that generate tangible benefits with regard to protecting the environment, reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or adapting to climate change in Québec. Funded projects comply with Québec’s environmental protection statutes and regulations, and demonstrate concrete benefits for the environment. Fiera Diversified Real Assets Fund is comprised of ~23% Climate Infrastructure Investments (Renewables, Energy from Waste, and Environmental).

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:

TMU’s Investment Policy for Non-Expendable Funds includes a section related to Environmental, Social and Governance Factors, specifically that “The funds’ active investment managers 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.” The university’s investment manager for its endowment funds, Fiera Capital, also integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors in the fundamental decision-making process of each Fiera Capital investment strategy. The way in which ESG factors influence the decision-making process is, however, unique to each strategy. An exclusionary filter is applied to the investment universe and a company is deemed ineligible if it derives more than 10% of its revenue, either directly or indirectly, from the following products: adult entertainment, alcohol, firearms, gambling, military contracting, nuclear power, tobacco, and cannabis. https://www.torontomu.ca/policies/policy-list/investment-non-expendable-funds/

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:

The university includes requirements and questions related to social initiatives and responsible investing as part of investment manager RFP searches. This section forms part of the overall scoring of the RFP.

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:

Yes, the university engages in proxy voting via its investment manager, Fiera Capital. A copy of Fiera Capital’s Proxy Voting Guidelines is attached.

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:

As part of the university’s participation in UNIE, TMU has signed the following engagement letters: Dollarama - The purpose of this engagement was to understand the company’s progress towards fulsome Scope 1-3 GHG emissions disclosure, and the company’s plans to align its actions and targets with a 1.5°C scenario (by committing to achieving net-zero GHG emissions by 2050). Fiera Capital - The purpose of this broader engagement request was to discuss how Fiera is acting more specifically on climate risks and opportunities, human rights, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in its investment stewardship activities and its operations. The following are also examples of engagements that Fiera Capital, the university’s investment manager for its endowment portfolio, has led. Integrated Fixed Income Engagements included the following: 50 meetings with management teams in Q1 2023; 72 in fiscal year 2022; 95 in fiscal 2021; 92 in fiscal 2020) Q1 2023: Meeting with the Real Estate sector in a series of ESG focused meetings to share views on best practices in the sector and encourage issuers to set ambitious goals and targets (including committing to science-based targets for net zero emissions across scope 1, 2 and 3). 2022: Holding several engagements with utilities and power generation companies to discuss ESG initiatives, emission reduction targets, and reporting. Q4 2022: Engagement with a Canadian Province on regulatory matters, including the province’s interference in its local electricity market and overriding of pending decisions on pricing. 2021: Engagement with 10 of Canada’s largest Energy companies to discuss GHG emissions and relevant disclosures. Q2 & Q3 2020: Engagement with a leading owner and operator of senior residences in Canada to review ESG related risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the company’s business model/financial profile. Additional details can be found in the attached Fiera Capital IFI ESG Efforts - Q2 2023 document. Equity engagements included the following: 21 operational (non- SASB) engagements 52 SASB engagements broken out by the following sustainability dimensions: Leadership and Governance: 3 Business Model and Innovation: 16 Environment: 15 Human Capital: 5 Social Capital: 13 Additional details can be found in the attached Fiera Capital Equities Engagement Efforts document.

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:

The university has an exclusionary filter that is applied to 100% of the Fiera Balanced EFT Fund in which the endowment portfolio is invested. A company is deemed ineligible if it derives more than 10% of its revenue, either directly or indirectly from “sin stocks” including the following products: adult entertainment, alcohol, firearms, gambling, military contracting, nuclear power, tobacco, and cannabis. The university also places importance on engagement, as described in the next section.

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:

TMU is part of the University Network for Investor Engagement (UNIE), which is a climate-aligned investor engagement program that has been established by the Shareholder Association for Research & Engagement (SHARE) and aims to use member universities' voices to address and influence climate-related risks and opportunities within their investment portfolios. TMU’s involvement in UNIE serves as a complement to the engagement process of our investment manager, Fiera Capital. At Fiera Capital, ongoing dialogue with the management of the businesses they have invested in on behalf of clients extends beyond short-term financial metrics and towards long-term strategy, brand building, customer loyalty, capital allocation, compensation, and much more. As long-term investors, engagement is Fiera’s preferred method of advocating on ESG disclosure and practices. Fiera Capital interacts with and participates in a number of industry working groups focused on ESG reporting standards, including the following: Better Buildings Partnership (BBP) Climate Commitment Canadian Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) Canadian Fixed-Income Forum (CFIF) Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Climate Action 100+ Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) Impact Management Norms by Impact Frontiers Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative (NZAM) Responsible Investment Association (RIA) Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Task Force on ClimateRelated Financial Disclosures (TCFD) UK Net Zero Carbon Buildings Standard United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI) See “Pillar IV” starting on page 71 of the attached 2022 Fiera Capital Sustainable Investing Report for additional details and descriptions of each of the above working groups.

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.