Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.06
Liaison Brad Spanbauer
Submission Date June 18, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
PA-14: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 4.00 / 4.00 Brian Kermath
Sustainability Director
Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
26,100,000 US/Canadian $

Value of holdings in each of the following categories::
Value of Holdings
Sustainable industries (e.g. renewable energy or sustainable forestry) 13,100,000 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 loan funds that are funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

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

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s commitment to sustainability extends to university-related investments made by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation (UWOF). Since 2010, UWOF has invested more than $10 million in three sustainability-related projects.

The first effort involves a $3.7 million investment matched with $1.3 million in grants for a total project cost about $5 million to construct the first commercial scale dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester in the Americas. This facility converts food, yard and other organic waste into biogas, which is burned to generate electricity. The feedstock includes most of the food waste from UW Oshkosh (500 tons per year), food waste from area grocery stores and many suppliers from off campus. The plant presently processes some 10,000 tons of organic wastes annually and generates the equivalent of nearly 8% equivalent of campus electricity needs. If operated at full capacity the 320 kW turbine would generate about 2.8 million kW hours of electricity annually, or the equivalent of 13% percent of campus electricity needs at present levels of demand. An additional amount of heat energy will soon heat the Facility Services building at UW Oshkosh. The digestate is being processed into high quality compost and is attracting additional potential investors.

The value of the second investment stands at $7 million. This investment was used to construct a wet anaerobic digester on Wisconsin’s largest dairy farm in Rosendale. The facility began operating in December 2013. It will process 110,000 tons of manure from more than 8,000 cows to generate 12.3 million kW hours of electricity annually from a 1.4 megawatt turbine. Waste heat is now warming barns on the farm. The digestate from this facility will be processed into a high quality compost soil amendment. Carbon credits will be offered in the near future.

The third investment was made as a community redevelopment project in a blighted part of Oshkosh. Specifically, UWOF has invested more than $1.1 million dollars as a partner in a $16.7 million hotel renovation project that is centrally located along the city’s downtown riverfront redevelopment initiative. The hotel has been open for several months now and already has a significant and visible presence along Oshkosh’s Riverwalk. UWO and UWOF believe that healthy downtowns are important for maintaining vibrant, sustainable communities, and that universities should play a prominent role in their development and maintenance.

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

A copy of the sustainable investment policy:

The sustainable investment policy:

UW Oshkosh and the UWO Foundation follow practices consistent with the University’s broader sustainability commitment including the Earth Charter and the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

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

A brief description of how the policy is applied, including recent examples:

Does the institution's sustainable investment policy include negative screens?:

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

Approximate percentage of the endowment that the negative screens apply to:

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

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

UW Oshkosh representatives regularly advocate for better policy with elected officials.

The website URL where information about the institution's sustainable investment efforts is available:

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.