Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 56.33
Liaison Ryan Kmetz
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Maryland, Baltimore County
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.23 / 5.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
1,465,765,046 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) 10,000,000 US/Canadian $
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 13,750,000 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 1,234,000 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

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

In December 2014, USMF committed $10,000,000 to CIM Group, a private real estate firm that seeks to purchase and reposition assets in urban areas in order to improve neighborhoods and thereby increase real estate values.

In December 2014, USMF (alongside the United Nations and other institutions) provided seed capital for the iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF (Ticker: CRBN). Details on the fund can be found at: https://www.ishares.com/us/products/271054/ishares-msci-acwi-low-carbon-target-etf.

In July 2018, USMF committed $7,500,000 to FCP Realty, a private real estate firm that operates a value-add strategy primarily in moderate-income, class C residential properties with a focus on community development. An estimated 50% of the Fund is invested in such properties; thus, we have included 50% of the commitment in the total CDFI exposure estimate. Note that committed capital has yet to be fully drawn by the manager.

In August 2019, USMF committed $10,000,000 to Ecosystem Investment Partners (EIP), a private equity firm that makes investments in large-scale ecological and conservation projects. Note that committed capital has yet to be fully drawn by the manager.


Percentage of the institution's investment pool in positive sustainability investments:
1.70

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

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

The Committee for Socially Responsible Investing of the University System of Maryland Foundation (USMF) was formed to evaluate a proposal to divest from fossil fuels, put forth by the USM student group Fossil Free Maryland. After considerable deliberation and consultation with the students and with national thought leaders on this topic, the Committee made the following recommendations, which were approved by the USMF Executive Committee and the USMF Investment Committee. These actions were the direct result of the students’ initiatives and the Foundation commends the students for their passion, thoughtfulness and willingness to work with the Committee as these issues were deliberated.

1. The Foundation will make no direct investments in the Carbon Underground 200 companies.

The Carbon Underground 200 (sometimes referred to as the Carbon Tracker 200) is an annually updated listing of the top 100 public coal companies globally and the top 100 public oil and gas companies globally, ranked by the potential carbon emissions content of their reported reserves. The list is produced and maintained by Fossil Free Indexes, LLC.

Update: In FY 17, the University System of Maryland Foundation made zero direct investments in Carbon Underground 200 companies.

2. The Foundation will establish a position on the investment staff to seek out investments in renewable energy.

The Foundation has established and filled a position on its investment staff responsible for seeking out investments in renewable energy and it looks forward to maximizing this new opportunity set.

Update: The staff person hired for this position has been actively seeking out investments in renewable energy.

3. The Foundation will become a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.

The Foundation is committed to integrating ESG (environmental, social and

governance) factors into the investment process. About ten years ago the “Principles for Responsible Investment” were developed by an international group of institutional investors reflecting the increasing relevance of environmental, social and corporate governance issues to investment practices. The process was convened by the United Nations Secretary-General. To date about 1,525 asset
owners, investment managers and service providers have become signatories to the PRI, including most of the managers the Foundation does business with and many universities and colleges.

Update: The Foundation became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment in November of 2016.

4. The Foundation will join the Intentional Endowments Network.

The Intentional Endowments Network is an organization that supports colleges, universities and other tax-exempt organizations in aligning their mission, values and sustainability goals without sacrificing financial returns. It provides opportunities for education and training, peer networking, convening, thought leadership and information exchange.

Update: The Foundation joined the Intentional Endowments Network in July of 2016.

5. The Foundation will renew its appeal to investment fund managers to consider the carbon footprints of the companies they invest in and to choose renewable energy investments over fossil fuel investments, all else being equal.

Three years ago the Foundation sent letters to each of our investment managers and called each of our managers to advise them that we would prefer that they choose investments in renewable energy over fossil fuel, all else being equal. The Foundation will refresh this letter and send it again to all of our managers.

Update: The Foundation refreshed this letter and sent it to investment fund managers in August of 2016.

The Committee and the Foundation again want to thank the students for bringing the important issue of climate change to the forefront.


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:

1) In FY 17, the University System of Maryland Foundation made zero direct investments in Carbon Underground 200 companies.
2) The Foundation became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment in FY 17.
3) IN FY17 the Foundation sent letters to each of our investment managers and called each of our managers to advise them that we would prefer that they choose investments in renewable energy over fossil fuel, all else being equal. The Foundation will refresh this letter and send it again to all of our managers.


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:
---

A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:
---

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?:
Yes

Examples of how the institution has engaged with corporations in its portfolio about sustainability issues during the previous three years:

In August of 2016, the Foundation sent letters to each of our investment managers and called each of our managers to advise them that we would prefer that they choose investments in renewable energy over fossil fuel, all else being equal.


Does the institution participate in a public divestment effort and/or have a publicly available investment policy with negative screens?:
Yes

A brief description of the divestment effort or negative screens and how they have been implemented:

The Foundation will make no direct investments in the Carbon Underground 200 companies.
The Carbon Underground 200 (sometimes referred to as the Carbon Tracker 200) is an annually updated listing of the top 100 public coal companies globally and the top 100 public oil and gas companies globally, ranked by the potential carbon emissions content of their reported reserves. The list is produced and maintained by Fossil Free Indexes, LLC. In FY 17, the University System of Maryland Foundation made zero direct investments in Carbon Underground 200 companies.


Approximate percentage of endowment that the divestment effort and/or negative screens apply to:
100

Does the institution engage in policy advocacy by participating in investor networks and/or engage in inter-organizational collaborations to share best practices?:
Yes

A brief description of the investor networks and/or collaborations:

In July 2016, USMF joined the Intentional Endowments Network. Details on the IEN can be found at: http://www.intentionalendowments.org/


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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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.