Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 53.11
Liaison Elizabeth Malcolm
Submission Date Jan. 19, 2023

STARS v2.2

Virginia Wesleyan University
PA-10: Sustainable Investment

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Kelly Cordova
Chief of Staff
Office of the President
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total value of the investment pool:
113,742,801 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) 31,836,610 US/Canadian $
Sustainability investment funds (e.g., a renewable energy or impact investment fund) 24,158,971 US/Canadian $
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) or the equivalent 0 US/Canadian $
Socially responsible mutual funds with positive screens (or the equivalent) 10,998,929 US/Canadian $
Green revolving funds funded from the endowment 0 US/Canadian $

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

Significant holdings include Brown Advisory Sustainable Bond Fund Cl Inst, which "seeks impact through investing in a concentrated portfolio of high-conviction bonds that have undergone concurrent fundamental and ESG research. In pursuit of this goal, the fund will invest at least 80% of the value of its net assets (plus borrowings for investment purposes) in fixed income securities of issuers that satisfy the fund's investment and ESG criteria. The fund invests in corporate, municipal, mortgage-backed and asset-backed fixed income securities that are issued as “Green Bonds” or that otherwise meet the fund’s ESG criteria. Additionally, the fund also invests in securities issued by the U.S. Government and foreign government entities that are both dollar-and non-dollar-denominated." (https://www.brownadvisory.com/mf/funds/sustainable-bond-fund)
The figures in the table above underrepresent some positive impact exposures as it focuses on our most readily available data from the public part of the portfolio, and the total endowment also includes significant private exposure that has additional positive impact and sustainability oriented exposures.

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:

At the Fall 2021 meeting of the Board of Trustees, the Board voted to make Brown Advisory our new outsourced Chief Investment Officer (oCIO) in line with the university's sustainable investment policy. Brown Advisory is one of 100 financial institutions who are members in the Intentional Endowments Network, a group committed to investing for an equitable, low-carbon, and regenerative economy.

The Board of Trustees approved the following:
Consistent with achieving the applicable investment objectives set forth above, the investment policy will be implemented while incorporating the University’s mission as core components of the investment and risk management processes governing the management of the portfolio. Furthermore, the Endowment has environmental sustainability as one of its core pillars. Consistent with the Strategic Plan and the Honors College pillars, the endowment investment strategy may incorporate environmental and social concerns in investment decision making. The Advisor will seek to align the portfolio with the mission of the organization when there is an opportunity to do so while also aligning with the overall performance and asset allocation goals. During normal portfolio and performance reviews, the Advisor will report on the portfolio’s mission alignment characteristics and progress, including supplemental information as needed.

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:

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:

VWU is a member of the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN), the leading network for endowment fiduciaries investing for a thriving, sustainable economy. VWU also served as one of the "host institutions" for IEN and Second Nature's 2021 Climate Action Pursuit virtual conferences where participants shared best practices and attended sessions on sustainable and responsible investing. VWU's President and Director of Sustainability regularly attended meetings and conferences organized by IEN.

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Investment figures were provided by Brown Advisory in December 2022.

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.