Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 80.17
Liaison Mike Wilson
Submission Date May 5, 2020

STARS v2.2

University of Victoria
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.33 / 4.00 Andrew Coward
Budget Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
738,000,000 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) 108,000,000 US/Canadian $
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 2,000,000 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 0 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 250,000 US/Canadian $

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

The short-term investments has a $250,000 CAD Revolving Sustainability Fund for conservation projects on campus and has $2,000,000 invested in impact GICs.

In January 2020, the University of Victoria released a new responsible investment policy on its short-term investments and committed to investing 25% of its short-term investments in thematic-impact investments.

More info: https://www.uvic.ca/financialplanning/investments/index.php


In addition, the short term investments invested $63,000,000 CAD and the University of Victoria Foundation invested $45,000,000 CAD in a private debt thematic-impact investment in a new student housing and dining project to be completed by 2023. The Student Housing and Dining Project will provide much-needed housing and a new dining facility for 621 students who are currently living off-campus. The project demonstrates UVic’s commitment to sustainability and meeting its sustainable goals as design and construction of the new buildings will meet Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold and Passive House standards, which is the most rigorous global building standards for sustainability and energy efficiency.

More info: https://www.uvic.ca/campusplanning/current-projects/new-student-housing/

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:

The University of Victoria Foundation’s Sustainable Investment Policy can be found at: https://www.uvic.ca/universitysecretary/assets/docs/obfoundations/summary_of_invesment_beliefs_june_2019.pdf

The University of Victoria’s Short-Term Investments’ Responsible Investment Policy can be found at https://www.uvic.ca/financialplanning/assets/docs/Investments%20docs/responsible-investment-policy.pdf

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:

For our investment pool, we have created guidelines for manager selection, including:
• In evaluating prospective investment managers, the Board considers how environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are incorporated into the investment decision-making process;
• In evaluating prospective investment managers, the Board considers how investment managers engage with management to improve ESG practices;
• Existing equity investment managers are requested to provide proxy voting reports and to highlight exceptions to their proxy voting policy; and
• Requests annual disclosure by investment managers regarding the processes by which ESG factors are incorporated into the investment decision-making process.

As an example of our university’s commitment to responsible investing, the university is a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) and we encourage all our external managers to be signatories to the UNPRI. All of our managers are signatories of the UNPRI.

More examples about how our external managers exercise responsible investing and active ownership can be found at our website: https://www.uvic.ca/universitysecretary/otherbodies/foundations/responsible_investment/active_ownership.php

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:


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:

The University of Victoria has adopted a Responsible Investment Policy that has set a target to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 45% by 2030. This will lead to the divestment of high-carbon emitting companies from our portfolio. The short-term investments fund the university’s operations and has $250,000,000 AUM (assets under management).


The short-term investments is part of the university’s investment pool and is independent from the endowment. Our carbon reduction target applies to 33.87% of the investment pool.

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:

Signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing

Western North American Principles For Responsible Investment Network Event

Shareholder Association for Research & Education Annual Conference

Website URL where information about the institution’s sustainable investment efforts is available:

Additional documentation to support the submission:

The UVic endowment board adopted a Responsible Investing Brief in May of 2012 and managers are now reporting annually on ESG initiatives and how ESG issues are incorporated into the investment decision making process. Managers are also including how proxies are voted.

Information regarding the University of Victoria Foundation including its responsible investment beliefs and holdings can be found at: https://www.uvic.ca/universitysecretary/otherbodies/foundations/index.php

Information regarding the University of Victoria Short-Term Investments including its responsible investment policy and holdings can be found at: https://www.uvic.ca/financialplanning/investments/index.php


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.