Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.87
Liaison Elias Platte-Bermeo
Submission Date July 29, 2021

STARS v2.2

University of Southern California
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.25 / 5.00 Elias Platte-Bermeo
Sustainability Program Assistant
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
7,000,000,000 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:
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Percentage of the institution's investment pool in positive sustainability investments:
0

Does the institution have a publicly available sustainable investment policy?:
No

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

The institution has a private endowment Investment Stewardship policy, which is not public and therefore not included in this STARS Report.

The Investment Stewardship Policy is part of the endowment’s Investment Policy Statement (IPS). The IPS is the document adopted by the university to govern and set rules for Investment Staff to manage the endowment. By including the Investment Stewardship Policy into the endowment’s governing document, the university has acknowledged the importance of Stewardship for endowment management.


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 Investment Stewardship Policy guides endowment investments as they relate to environmental, social, and governance issues. These issues may arise from a fund manager or underlying investment. For example, USC uses its Investment Stewardship Policy to select and guide investment managers as ESG concerns are examined during initial due diligence. As it pertains to a manager or fund investment, the “E” could relate to a real estate fund investing on a beachfront, the “S” could relate to labor laws in the governing jurisdiction, and the “G” could relate to manager and operating company ownership. In practice, these factors are discussed and analyzed as part of due diligence. Importantly due diligence does not end at initial investment; USC’s ongoing manager research takes ESG factors into account as part of existing investments, regulatory updates, market research, et cetera.


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?:
Yes

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

On February 4, 2021, the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees voted to freeze making new investments in fossil fuels and to liquidate current fossil fuel investments.

More information: https://news.usc.edu/182493/usc-sustainability-fossil-fuel-free-investment-strategy/


Approximate percentage of endowment that the divestment effort and/or negative screens apply to:
5

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:

USC Investment Office Staff regularly engage other asset owners in conversation regarding sustainability, environmental, social, and governance issues. These issues can occur at the management, fund, position level. The Investment Office has participated in networks and group discussions in a public and private capacity.


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 total value of USC's investment pool is approximately $7 billion as of Dec 31. 2020. Additional information on value of holdings is not 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.