Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 65.89
Liaison Jonathan Rausseo
Submission Date Nov. 25, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Ottawa
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.67 / 5.00 Tom Valks
Chief Investments Officer
Pension Fund Investment Management
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
1,385,174,000 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) 0 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

A brief description of the companies, funds, and/or institutions referenced above:
At various meetings, the Finance and Treasury Committee evaluated a number of options for the development of a Clean Innovation Fund. These discussions centred on the investment structure and the risk and return objectives of such a fund, along with implementation options. While investment staff continue to look for and research investment opportunities. the initial allocation of $10 million is invested in a Canadian Green Bond mandate. Green bonds are designated bonds intended to encourage sustainability and to support climate-related or other types of special environmental projects. More specifically, green bonds finance projects aimed at energy efficiency, pollution prevention, sustainable agriculture, fishery and forestry, the protection of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, clean transportation, sustainable water management and the cultivation of environmentally-friendly technologies.

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

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

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:

The sustainable investment policy:

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

A brief description of how the sustainable investment policy is applied:
The actions set out below largely apply to publicly listed equities and, since the Portfolios are managed by external managers, actions such as exercising proxy voting rights and shareholder engagement initiatives are carried out through external investment management firms. The University takes the same approach with external investment management firms whether the securities are held in separate accounts or through pooled fund vehicles.

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?:

A copy of the proxy voting guidelines or proxy record:

A brief description of how managers are adhering to proxy voting guidelines:
Exercising proxy voting rights and shareholder engagement initiatives are carried out through external investment management firms

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?:

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

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

A brief description of the divestment effort or negative screens and how they have been implemented:
According to uOttawa's 2020 UN PRI transparency report, screening is not used as an ESG strategy in any of its public equity or fixed income assets: https://reporting.unpri.org/surveys/PRI-reporting-framework-2020/1A71BBA9-05E7-4BF1-ADA7-936A3E05A35C/79894dbc337a40828d895f9402aa63de/html/2/?lang=en&a=1

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

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

A brief description of the investor networks and/or collaborations:
The University of Ottawa (“University”) plays a leadership role by having established a responsible
investment approach that is in line with the United Nations supported Principles for Responsible Investment (“PRI”). The approach and related actions facilitate the ability to collaborate with other investors and undertake engagement initiatives, which is the most effective method to achieve positive changes with respect to ESG issues.

In 2020, the University of Ottawa has joined forces with 15 universities across the country to tackle climate change by pledging to follow responsible investment practices. The efforts and intentions of this pledge are outlined in Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities.


Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable investment efforts is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.