Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.50
Liaison Breeana Sylvas
Submission Date Feb. 28, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of California, Merced
PA-9: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.00 / 2.00 Breeana Sylvas
Assistant Director
"---" 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?:

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 University of California’s Board of Regents (“the Regents”) makes all investment policy decisions regarding the UC endowment and delegates all other investing decisions to the Chief Investment Officer. The Chief Investment Officer reports directly to the Regents, thus adding a measure of oversight and accountability around sustainable investing beyond most separately constituted committees on investor responsibility.

The Chief Investment Officer presents an annual environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and governance (ESG) update to the Board of Regents and quarterly ESG updates to the Board’s Investments Committee. Webcasts, agendas, minutes and presentations from the Regents’ meetings are available at: https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/

The Board of Regents’ policy regarding sustainability in endowment investments states in relevant part:
“The Office of the Chief Investment Officer shall incorporate environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and governance (ESG) into the investment evaluation process as part of its overall risk assessment in its investments decision making. ESG factors are considered with the same weight as other material risk factors influencing investment decision making.

The Office of the Chief Investment Officer uses a proprietary sustainability framework to provide core universal principles that inform the decisions and assist in the process of investment evaluation. The Office of the Chief Investment Officer manages the [endowment] consistent with these sustainability principles. The Framework can be found on the Office of the Chief Investment Officer website in the sustainability section.”

The above policy is available at: https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/policies/6102.pdf

Does the CIR include academic staff representation?:

Does the CIR include non-academic staff representation?:

Does the CIR include student representation?:

Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role:
Members of the CIR are represented by students, academic staff, non-academic staff, and alumni:

Maria Anguiano, Regent & Vice-Chair of the Investments Committee
Richard C. Blum, Regent
Laphonza Butler, Regent
Michael Cohen, Regent
Gareth Elliott, Regent
Cecilia Estolano, Regent & Board Vice-Chair
Howard "Peter" Guber, Regent
George Kieffer, Regent
Sherry L. Lansing, Regent
Richard Leib, Regent
Hadi Makarechian, Regent
Eloy Ortiz Oakley, Regent
Lark Park, Regent
John A. Pérez, Regent & Board Chair
Janet Reilly, Regent
Richard Sherman, Regent & Chair of the Investments Committee
Jonathan "Jay" Sures, Regent
Jamaal Muwwakkil, Student Regent
Charlene Zettel, Regent
Gavin Newsom, Ex Officio Regent
Eleni Kounalakis, Ex Officio Regent
Anthony Rendon, Ex Officio Regent
Tony Thurmond, Ex Officio Regent
Michael Drake, M.D., Ex Officio Regent
Debby Stegura, Ex Officio Alumni Regent
Eric Mart, Ex Officio Alumni Regent
Mary Gauvain, Faculty Representative
Robert Horwitz, Faculty Representative
Ann Jeffrey, Staff Advisor

Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:
Climate Change: On numerous occasions over the past three years, the UC Regents have discussed and expressed support for integrating environmental and social factors into endowment investment decisions. First, with regard to fossil fuel investments, the Regents, and in particular of the Board Chair and Investment Committee Chair, worked closely with the Chief Investment Officer to reduce stranded asset risks to the endowment by selling off fossil fuel reserve owning companies in 2019-2020. Earlier the Regents established the working group to develop our Sustainable Investing Framework, which led to our sale of thermal coal and oil sands producing companies. The Framework commissioned by the Regents also led to UC Investments’ commitment to invest $1 billion in clean energy and other sustainable technologies.

Integration of Environmental and Social Factors: In 2018, the Regents voted to amend the endowment’s Investment Policy Statement to require that environmental and social factors be given the same weight as other material risk factors in our investing process.

Public Access and Comment: Our CIR’s thrice-annual meetings are open to the public and allow public comment. In the past three years, members of the public including students, faculty, staff and alumni, have provided comments on a wide range of environmental and social issues pertaining to UC investments, including for example: climate change and fossil fuel divestment, human rights in Turkey and the private prison industry. In particular, students from “Fossil Free UC” have, on numerous occasions, engaged directly with the Chief Investment Officer and the Regents at these meetings.

Adding Resources to ESG Integration: In 2019, the Regents approved UC Investments’ hiring of its first Director of ESG Integration, who is fully dedicated to integrating environmental, social and governance issues into UC Investment’s processes and decisions.

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:
The full investment policy can be found here: https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/policies/6102.pdf

Minutes from the meetings are publicly available and can be found here: https://regents.universityofcalifornia.edu/minutes-index/index.html

All information for this credit was provided by the University of California Office of the Chief Investment Officer.

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.