Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 58.29
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date Feb. 6, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of Louisville
PAE-T2-6: Socially Responsible Retirement Plan

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.25 / 0.25 Justin Mog
Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives
Office of the Provost
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Does the institution offer a socially responsible investment option for retirement plans?:
Yes

A brief description of the socially responsible investment option for retirement plans:

Several socially responsible investment options are provided by our retirement plan providers, TIAA-CREF & Fidelty Investments:

https://www.mysavingsatwork.com/taxexempt/assets/tiaacref_io_uofl.pdf

CREF Social Choice Account

From Prospectus: http://www.tiaa-cref.org/public/prospectuses/cref_prospectus.pdf
Inception Date: March 1, 1990

"Investment Objective: A favorable long-term rate of return that reflects the investment performance of the financial markets while giving special consideration to certain social criteria.

Principal Investment Strategies: The Social Choice Account invests in a diversified set of domestic and foreign stocks and other equity securities, bonds and other fixed-income securities, as well as money market instruments and other short-term debt instruments. The Account invests only in companies that are suitable from a financial perspective and whose activities are consistent with the Account’s social criteria.

Current Social Criteria: The social criteria the Account takes into consideration, and any universe of investments that the Account utilizes, are nonfundamental investment policies. They can be changed without the approval of the Account’s participants.

The Account primarily invests in companies that are screened by KLD Research and Analytics, Inc. (KLD) to favor companies that meet or exceed the environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. The Account does this by investing in companies included in: (i) the FTSE KLD US All Cap Sustainability Index, which is a subset of the 3,000 largest publicly traded U.S. companies, and (ii) the FTSE KLD Global Sustainability Ex US Index (GSXU), which is a subset of global developed country large- and mid-cap companies excluding the United States (collectively, the KLD/FTSE Index).

Prior to being eligible for inclusion in the KLD/FTSE Index, companies are subject to a comprehensive ESG performance evaluation conducted by KLD, consisting of numerous factors. The ESG evaluation process favors companies that are:
• Strong stewards of the environment;
• Devoted to serving local communities and society generally;
• Committed to higher labor standards for their own employees and those in the supply chain;
• Dedicated to producing high-quality and safe products; and
• Managed in an exemplary and ethical manner.

Examples of environmental assessment categories are: management systems, types of products and services produced, natural resource use, effect on climate change, and waste and emissions. Social evaluation categories include the treatment of employees and suppliers and dealings with the community and society at large. Governance assessment categories include governance structure, business ethics, transparency and reporting, and response to shareholder resolutions.

KLD then ranks companies by industry sector peer group according to the ESG performance ratings. All companies must meet or exceed minimum ESG performance standards to be included in the KLD/FTSE Index. For each industry sector, key ESG performance factors are identified and given more weight in the process. Concerns in one area do not automatically eliminate a company from potential inclusion in the KLD/FTSE Index or the Account. When ESG concerns exist, the process gives careful consideration to how companies address the risks and opportunities they face in the context of their sector or industry and relative to their peers.

The social and environmental impact of corporate activities related to the production and sale of alcohol, tobacco, military weapons, firearms, nuclear power and gambling products and services are quantified and incorporated into a company’s overall ESG performance assessment. While not automatically excluded from the KLD/FTSE Index or the Account, most companies involved in these industries are ineligible for inclusion in the KLD/FTSE Index due to their poor overall ESG performance relative to their industry sector peers. The Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Committee of the Board of Trustees provides guidance with respect to the Account’s social criteria. TCIM seeks to ensure that the Account’s investments are consistent with its social criteria, but TCIM cannot guarantee that this will always be the case for every Account holding. Even if an investment is not excluded by KLD’s criteria, TCIM has the option of excluding the investment if it decides the investment is inappropriate. Consistent with its responsibilities, the Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility Committee will continue to review the ESG evaluation process.

Who May Want to Invest: The Social Choice Account may be best for individuals who want to avoid investing in companies that do not meet certain social criteria screens; want an Account balanced among stocks, bonds and money market instruments; and want an Account that may be less volatile than a stock Account."

http://louisville.edu/hr/benefits/retirement/Fidelity%20Brochure.pdf

Fidelity Select Environment and Alternative Energy Portfolio (FSLEX)

"The fund invests primarily in companies engaged in business activities related to alternative and renewable energy, energy efficiency, pollution control, water infrastructure, waste and recycling technologies, or other environmental support services. The fund normally invests at least 80% of its assets in securities of companies principally engaged in these activities.

These companies may include, for example, companies involved in alternative and renewable energy such as solar, wind, biofuels, hydropower, or geothermal power; energy efficiency and energy conservation products and services such as energy efficient home or building design and insulation, including heating and cooling, lighting, or appliances, as well as fuel efficient vehicles such as hybrid and electric cars; pollution reduction and prevention activities to control emissions; water infrastructure related to water distribution, water purification, the collection, treatment, or reclamation of wastewater, and other water storage and maintenance; and waste management and recycling activities such as the transportation, treatment, and disposal of hazardous or other wastes, transforming waste into energy and other recycling, and sanitation or filtration equipment or services."


The website URL where information about the program, policy, or practice is available:

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.