Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 67.46
Liaison Brandon Raco
Submission Date Sept. 2, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Guelph
PA-9: Committee on Investor Responsibility

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 2.00 Audrey Jamal
Chief of Staff
Office of the 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 Governors’ Investment Subcommittee is responsible for engaging with investment managers and providing expert advice to the Board in the area of responsible investing. Social and environmental responsibility is an explicit part of mission of the Subcommittee as indicated in the University’s Endowment Investment Policy and Statement of Investment Beliefs and Principles for the Endowment Fund. The Statement of Investment Beliefs states that:
• The generation of long‐term, sustainable investment returns is inextricably linked to stability in social, environmental and economic systems. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change are important guides for future economic development and financial systems.
• The University, through its endowment fund, should promote awareness of the importance of transitioning the economy in line with the SDGs and the Paris Agreement (the central aim of which is keeping a global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre‐industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius). Stewardship (which includes proxy voting, corporate engagement and policy advocacy) is an important tool for the endowment fund to influence companies and policy makers in support of a low‐carbon, resilient and inclusive world.
• The University should play an active role in advancing responsible investing within the investment industry, and amongst universities in particular.

As a primarily expert committee, the Investment Subcommittee does not include academic staff or student representation. Non-academic staff with expertise and in leadership roles are members of the committee.

Through the Special Action Policy, the Board and Investment Subcommittee provide a means through which all members of the University community may submit expressions of concern regarding specific holdings in the endowment portfolio. Concerns raised through this policy are considered by an ad-hoc committee on special action requests which includes academic staff, non-academic staff and student representation.


Does the CIR include academic staff representation?:
Yes

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

Does the CIR include student representation?:
No

Members of the CIR, including affiliations and role:

• 5-6 External Members with Investment Expertise
• John Ewing (Chair), Co-President & Chief Investment Officer, Ewing Morris Investment Partners Ltd.
• Paul Gallagher, Vice President (Investments), Carfin Inc.
• Rocky Ieraci, Managing Director and Head of Investment Risk, CPPIB
• Virginia McLaughlin, President, Helmhorst Investments Limited and Ferdinand Holdings Limited
• Chair, Board of Governors
• Shauneen Bruder, Corporate Director
• President & Vice-Chancellor
• Charlotte Yates, President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Guelph
• Vice-President (Finance, Administration & Risk) [non-voting]
• Martha Harley, Interim Vice-President (Finance, Administration & Risk), University of Guelph


Examples of CIR actions during the previous three years:

• Conducted a survey of all investment managers with current mandates to understand their ESG approaches and capabilities. The results of this survey will be used to inform future decision making.
• Undertook a full review of the Statement of Investment Beliefs and Principles for the Endowment Fund to more fully integrate the University’s commitment to ESG and carbon reduction
• Implemented a ten percent reduction in the carbon footprint of the endowment portfolio ahead of the Board mandated two-year deadline
• Launched a process to create long-term responsible investing goals, including undertaking a full asset/liability study and establishing benchmarks
• Advised the Board and administration on the Board-approved commitment to full divestment of the endowment fund from fossil fuels


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