Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 69.61
Liaison Tina Woolston
Submission Date Nov. 2, 2022

STARS v2.2

Tufts University
PA-9: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Mike Howard
Executive Vice President
Office of the Executive Vice President
"---" 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:

The Board of Trustees of Tufts University has a fiduciary responsibility to steward the financial assets of Tufts University so as to maximize the resources available for support of the University’s mission, while taking a level of risk commensurate with the University’s financial position.

The Board recognizes that from time to time, the goal of maximizing financial resources may entail the support of activities which are believed to have a social impact, and that under certain circumstances it may be appropriate to take these potential social impacts into account when making investment decisions. While it expects such cases to be exceptionally rare, the Board nevertheless wishes to develop a process by which the Tufts community may raise and study concerns surrounding potential social impact caused by investing activities and provide advisory recommendations on such issues to the Investment Subcommittee, a subcommittee of the Trustee Administration and Finance Committee.

For clarity, decision making around issues of negative social impact should be distinguished from intentional positive investment activity --- directing investment toward the solution of social problems, usually called impact investing. Tufts has been a leader in impact investing, with the university’s investment of over $100 million through the Omidyar Tufts Active Citizenship Fund and the Tufts University Sustainability Fund.

Convening a Group
One or more of the approved sponsoring entities (hereinafter referred to as the “Sponsor”) shall be responsible for screening issues of potential social impact, and for recommending to the Administration that a group be convened. When the Sponsor makes such a recommendation, the President, Provost, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Investment Committee may at their discretion convene a non-standing Responsible Investment Advisory Group (RIAG).

RIAG Membership
- Three trustees (current or emeritus), one of whom to be designated as chair
- Two faculty
- Two students
- Chief Investment Officer or delegate
- Vice President Finance and Treasurer or delegate
The Chair of the Board of Trustees will appoint the three trustee members and designate the trustee chair.
The Provost will recommend two faculty members, taking into consideration those who may have knowledge and expertise in fields relevant to the issue(s) raised by the sponsoring entity, and the two student members, with a view to including when possible a student associated with the sponsored proposal.

RIAG Procedures and Work Product
Any member of the Tufts community may submit a proposal to one or more of the Sponsors. If the Sponsor recommends that a Responsible Investment Advisory Group be convened, and the
Administration agrees, this proposal will form the basis for the RIAG’s deliberations.
The proposal must include the following information, clearly stated, with supporting factual detail:
- The social issue that is of concern: its nature, extent, degree of harm being caused.
- The breadth of concern and level of consensus within the Tufts community; whether and to
what degree the issue might conflict with Tufts’ primary academic mission.
- The action that is being proposed to remedy or mitigate the university’s position
- How the proposed action will impact the entities engaging in activities that create the social
impact, and whether the action can be expected to lead to genuine and durable change by those
entities.
- Consideration of the potential impact on university investments.
The Chair of the RIAG will convene meetings, set the group’s agenda, and coordinate meeting schedules so as to expeditiously consider the proposal before the group. The Group will consider the proposal, request additional information as necessary, and make a written recommendation on the proposal supported by its findings, to the Investment Committee. The Group will conduct its work primarily during the academic year and aim to develop its recommendation no later than the semester following its convening.
The recommendation will be advisory and therefore non-binding on the Investment Committee. The final decision on any changes to endowment investment policy rests solely with the Board of Trustees.

The RIAG will recognize proposals from these Sponsors: Faculty Senate, Tufts Alumni Council, Tufts Community Union Senate, Arts Sciences and Engineering Graduate Student Council, Tufts University School of Medicine Student Council, The Tufts Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences - Graduate Student Council, Dental School Executive Board (any one of the class executive boards), Fletcher School Student Council, Cummings School Class Council (any one of the class councils), Friedman School Student Council


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:

Fossil Fuel divestment RIAG members:
Robert R. Gheewalla, Trustee, Chair of RIAG
Steven M. Galbraith, Trustee Emeritus
James Hurley, Vice President, Finance & Treasurer
Paul Joseph, Professor, Sociology
Barbara Kates-Garnick, Professor of Practice, Fletcher School
Temple S. Miller-Hodgkin, Undergraduate Student, Class of 2022
Douglas A. Rachlin, Trustee
Daniel Richards, Professor, Economics
Lori Roth, Trustee
Craig W. Smith, Co-Chief Investment Officer ad interim
Katherine B, Sulka, Ph.D. Student, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 3G
Jada Sullivan-Brito, Undergraduate Student, Class of 2022


Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

In late 2019, students, supported by members of the faculty, used this process to successfully petition trustees to establish a RIAG to consider possible fossil-fuel divestment. The group was preparing to begin its deliberations in early Spring 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic intervened. In September 2020, the group convened for the first of six meetings to take up the question, examine potential responses and ramifications, and issue its recommendations.

In 2021, following a formal review, the Board of Trustees approved a broad set of actions for the endowment related to the climate change crisis. These actions included:  divestment from direct holdings of the largest coal and tar sands reserves companies, a commitment to make positive impact investments aimed at climate change mitigation and adaptation, a commitment to work with the endowment’s investment partners to continue their progress on climate change and broader ESG goals, enhanced reporting on the endowment’s progress toward these measures, and a formal review on progress made and consideration of additional steps in a few years’ time.

With the adoption of the 2021 RIAG recommendations, the Board of Trustees identified coal and tar sands reserves as a primary contributor to the future release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The Investment Office has partnered with a leading data analytics provider in this space to identify the 100 largest coal reserve owners and 20 largest tar sands reserve owners in the world. This list is updated annually, and the endowment is restricted from direct holdings in these companies through internally managed accounts. In addition, the Investment Office will continue to seek ways to reduce indirect exposures to these companies in the endowment. The data below reflects the portfolio exposure to these companies over recent years. Finally, the Board of Trustees directed the Investment Office to invest a minimum of $10 million over the next five years in positive impact funds and companies whose primary focus is on activities that mitigate or are adaptive to the impacts of climate change. In fiscal year 2021, the following positive impact investments were made:

- $10 million commitment to a private infrastructure fund, which owns, operates, makes efficiency improvements, and expands wind and solar energy projects in the United States.

- $8 million commitment to a venture capital/growth equity climate change fund, which invests in companies that provide technologies and services required to meet carbon-neutrality objectives.


Website URL where information about the institution’s committee on investor responsibility is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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