Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 73.25
Liaison Meredith Moore
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.93 / 5.00 Meredith Moore
Sustainability Programs Coordinator
Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
2,328,500,000 US/Canadian $

Value of holdings in each of the following categories:
Value of holdings
Sustainable industries (e.g., renewable energy or sustainable forestry) 0 US/Canadian $
Businesses selected for exemplary sustainability performance (e.g., using criteria specified in a sustainable investment policy) 0 US/Canadian $
Sustainability investment funds (e.g., a renewable energy or impact investment fund) 0 US/Canadian $
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 0 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 26,709,433 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

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

The University of Illinois has invested nearly $160 million of the system endowment into its commitment to sustainability, becoming the first investor in a new environmentally and socially focused strategy launched by BlackRock Inc., a global asset manager and leader in sustainable investing.

The investment in BlackRock’s new sustainable strategy is rooted in the high-aspiration goals of its Guiding Principles, which call for managing both its physical and fiscal resources with future generations in mind.

Based on the conviction that more sustainable portfolios will drive better long-term investment outcomes, BlackRock’s strategy tilts toward companies that rate highly on economically relevant environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria within the Russell 3000 U.S. equities index. In creating the BlackRock ESG Insights Strategy, BlackRock assessed companies’ performance across various sustainability factors and the relevance of sustainability factors on companies’ future financial performance.


Percentage of the institution's investment pool in positive sustainability investments:
1.15

Does the institution have a publicly available sustainable investment policy?:
Yes

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:
The sustainable investment policy:

In accordance with the Illinois Sustainable Investing Act (30 ILCS 238/), investment staff will strive to prudently integrate environmental impact, social impact and governance factors across the investment program, including investment decision-making, investment analysis, portfolio construction, due diligence and investment ownership. Factors to be considered may include, but are not limited to: (1) corporate governance and leadership factors; (2) environmental factors; (3) social capital factors; (4) human capital factors; and (5) business model and innovation factors.

The BlackRock strategy aligns with the System’s Guiding Principles and the factors outlined in the Illinois Sustainable Investing Act.


Does the institution use its sustainable investment policy to select and guide investment managers?:
Yes

A brief description of how the sustainable investment policy is applied:

The U of I's sustainability efforts are inspired by the goals of its Guiding Principles, which lay out its position on six pressing academic and campus culture issues currently facing higher education across the country.

Regarding sustainability, the Guiding Principles state: “Our sustainability legacy will reflect the effort we put into it. By acting mindfully, we will leave our universities, our state, and our world better than we found it.
Per above: The University of Illinois System has invested nearly $160 million of the system endowment into its commitment to sustainability, becoming the first investor in a new environmentally and socially focused strategy launched by BlackRock Inc., a global asset manager and leader in sustainable investing.

The three-university system’s lead investment in BlackRock’s new sustainable strategy is rooted in the high-aspiration goals of its Guiding Principles, which call for managing both its physical and fiscal resources with future generations in mind.

Based on the conviction that more sustainable portfolios will drive better long-term investment outcomes, BlackRock’s strategy tilts toward companies that rate highly on economically relevant environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria within the Russell 3000 U.S. equities index. In creating the BlackRock ESG Insights Strategy, BlackRock assessed companies’ performance across various sustainability factors and the relevance of sustainability factors on companies’ future financial performance.


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?:
No

A copy of the proxy voting guidelines or proxy record:
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A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:
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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?:
No

Examples of how the institution has engaged with corporations in its portfolio about sustainability issues during the previous three years:
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Does the institution participate in a public divestment effort and/or have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:
No

A brief description of the divestment effort or negative screens and how they have been implemented:
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Approximate percentage of endowment that the divestment effort and/or negative screens apply to:
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Does the institution engage in policy advocacy by participating in investor networks and/or engage in inter-organizational collaborations to share best practices?:
No

A brief description of the investor networks and/or collaborations:
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Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable investment efforts is available:
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Additional documentation to support the submission:
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