Environmental, Social and Governance Principles
Members of the Dickinson community have voiced concerns at various times about environmental, social and governance issues as they relate to the investment of Dickinson’s endowment, as well as investments that Dickinson makes in its students, faculty, staff, campus, and in the wider community. Issues have included, for example, apartheid in South Africa, genocide in Darfur, and environmental effects of fossil energy. Dickinson responded by convening temporary committees or task forces to examine the issues, share perspectives and seek agreement on actions that reflect the values of our community while meeting our fiduciary responsibilities. These included:
- Socially Responsible Investment Committee: Active in 2007-2009, was formed initially to examine questions about investments in companies active in Darfur, Sudan, but expanded its activities to encompass socially responsible investing more broadly.
- Sustainable Investments Task Force: Active from 2013-2014, was established by the Board of Trustees in response to students advocating for divestment from fossil energy.
In 2014, because of ongoing interest of community members in environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles, the Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group (DSIG), a permanent standing subcommittee of the President’s Commission on Environmental Sustainability, was established. The Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group serves as a forum for the Dickinson community to discuss questions about the college’s investments and ESG principles, and to act as a liaison between the Dickinson community and the Board of Trustees’ Committee on Investments.
The specific charges given to the Dickinson Sustainability Investment Group (DSIG) are:
- Provide a forum for members of the Dickinson community to raise and discuss questions regarding environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices of the college, recognizing that there is no commonly held definition or criteria of ESG principles or goals.
- Annually, meet with the Committee on Investments of the Board of Trustees to discuss a regular annual report on our investment portfolio. As a participant in that discussion, provide input and share policies, practices and goals of other higher education institutions and other relevant sectors.
- Act as a liaison between the Dickinson community and the Committee on Investments with regard to the annual review of our investment portfolio.
DSIG hosted a Community Forum on April 23, 2015 where key questions were asked by members of the Dickinson community. The Sustainable Investment Group has provided the following response to those questions:
Members of the Dickinson Sustainable Investment Group (DSIG):
- Bronte Burleigh Jones, Vice President, Finance & Administration
- Neil Leary, Director, Center for Sustainability Education
- Ken Shultes, Associate Vice President, Sustainability/Facilities Planning
- Sean Witte, Associate Vice President, Financial Operations & Controller
- Jeremy Ball, Associate Professor, History
- Helen Takacs, Associate Professor, International Business & Management
- Sarah Ganong '13, Young Alumnus
- Maxwell Lee '19, Student
- Billy Irving '19, Student
- Greg Oldsey '19, Student
- Olivia Termini '19, Student
Liaisons to the Group:
- Michelle Richardson, Trustee, Dickinson representative on the Sustainability Advisory Group (SAG)
- Grace Bennett, Investure Client Team Analyst