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

STARS v2.2

Toronto Metropolitan University
PA-9: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 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) or equivalent body?:
Yes

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:

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, 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. For the Fixed Income and Canadian, US and International Equity components, 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. Engagement is also an important focus for the endowment portfolio. 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. This is a complement to Fiera Capital's engagement process, where 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. In 2021, Fiera updated its Proxy Voting Policy and became a signatory of the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative which includes a group of asset managers committed to playing a more active role in battling climate change. In addition to this, Fiera became a signatory of Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative to ensure the world's largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. Fiera also became an official supporter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures in 2022. Additional details regarding Fiera’s responsible investment journey can be viewed on their website and in the most current attached 2022 Fiera Capital Sustainable Investing Report. Link to Investment policy for Non-Expendable Funds https://www.torontomu.ca/policies/policy-list/investment-non-expendable-funds/ Link to Fiera's website https://www.fieracapital.com/en/about-fiera-capital/sustainable-investing


Does the CIR include academic staff representation?:
Yes

Does the CIR include non-academic staff representation?:
Yes

Does the CIR include student representation?:
Yes

Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role:

 


Nathan Sugunalan - Student Undergraduate Representative: A recognized student leader and advocate, he has played a key role in explaining and holding the administrative workings of the University to account. Starting out in his program's union, and at the urging of his peers to become a stronger advocate for: them, the community, and ultimately the university; he has progressively reached higher leadership positions, until reaching the pinnacle as an elected Student Governor last year.


Tanya Darisi, Student Graduate Representative: In addition to being a second year student at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law at TMU, Tanya is an entrepreneur and social innovator with more than 20 years experience working across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. She is co-founder of Openly, a certified B-Corp committed to advancing social and environmental good. Tanya is an active volunteer, speaker and business coach. Tanya has a Masters degree in Applied Social Psychology from the University of Guelph, and feels a day without learning is like a day without sunshine.


Bala Venkatesh (Academic staff - Elected by Faculty): Dr. Bala Venkatesh is academic director of the Centre for Urban Energy, and a tenured professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering, at Toronto Metropolitan University. He specializes in electric power systems with interests in transmission and distribution systems, renewables, energy storage and smart grids. He works with many industry partners including Hydro One, Toronto Hydro, the Independent Electricity System Operator, Schneider Electric, and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited. With a Ph.D. from Anna University (India), Dr. Venkatesh is a registered professional engineer in Ontario, Canada. Since 1994, he has also taught at the University of New Brunswick, Multimedia University (Malaysia) and Anna University. Dr. Venkatesh has published extensively in journals and conferences, and has supervised numerous graduate students for masters and PhD degrees.


Janice Fukakusa, Chair (TMU Chancellor)


Mohamed Lachemi, President David Porter,


David Porter, Chair


Tony Staffieri, Vice Chair


Mohamed Lachemi (President)


Catherine Paisley, Vice Chair


David Miller, Government Appointee 


Grace Leong,Government Appointee


Nazmin Gupta, Government Appointee


Marie Crosta, Administrative staff  


Jack Cockwell, Honorary


Full list of the member biographies can be found by clicking each individuals name's bio found here: https://www.torontomu.ca/governors/members/board-committees/#!accordion-1501780734113-finance-committee


Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

The Finance Committee has expanded their expectations of investment managers to report on their Responsible Investing processes and Environmental, Social and Governance initiatives. With the formation of a new Investment Advisory Committee, the University has started formalizing a review of a Responsible Investing framework to guide the University's investment managers’ actions. In addition, TMU joined 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. Additional details can be found in PA.10.


Website URL where information about the institution’s committee on investor responsibility is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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