Sustainable Investment Reporting

Dickinson College reports its performance on a variety of sustainability metrics using the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). Included among the STARS metrics is the percentage of an institution’s endowment investments that promote sustainability.

The purpose and sole intent of this document is to provide guidance for identifying and reporting pooled endowment investment holdings that meet Dickinson’s criteria for investments that promote sustainability. This document is not intended to provide guidance or instructions to Investure for investment decisions or the management of the pooled endowment.

Inclusion of a holding in Dickinson’s reported sustainable investments does not represent an endorsement by Dickinson College, in whole or in part, of the policies or practices of the entity. Likewise, exclusion of a holding from Dickinson’s reported sustainable investments does not represent disapproval by Dickinson College, in whole or in part, of the policies or practices of the entity.

In broad terms, an investment is deemed to promote sustainability if it contributes in substantive ways to improving the human condition equitably in this and future generations while conserving environmental systems necessary to support healthy and vibrant societies. An investment that meets this criterion may be excluded if its other activities are deemed to have potentially significant adverse effects on the promotion of sustainability.  These judgments are to be based on readily available information, recognizing that the information may be imprecise and/or incomplete.

There are several ways an investment can be included in Dickinson’s reported sustainable investments.  First, we incorporate those investments in companies whose industry classifications (Standard Industry (“SIC”) Codes or Industry Classification Benchmark (“ICB”) Codes) relate to developing clean, renewable energy sources and highly energy efficient products.  Current examples include SIC codes for renewable energy, photovoltaic cells, and alternative energy. 

We supplement the companies identified with industry classifications when possible by relying on third-party investment managers’ highlighting specific investments and Investure’s awareness of those investments whose operations are focused in the following areas:

Energy

  • Clean, renewable energy sources and technologies (e.g. solar, wind, geothermal, tidal; “clean coal” does not meet the criterion)
  • Smart Grid equipment, infrastructure and services
  • Highly energy efficient products and technologies (e.g. Energy Star products; LED lighting)
  • Energy management systems and services
  • Advanced battery technologies and other energy storage systems that facilitate transition to clean and renewable energy sources

Sustainable Agriculture

Environmental Services

  • Pollution control devices and equipment
  • Hazardous waste clean-up and safe disposal
  • Restoration of wetlands and other natural systems
  • Methane recovery at landfills
  • Recycling – collection & processing materials for reuse and/or producing goods with high recycled content
  • Green cleaning products
  • Green chemistry processes – innovative technologies that eliminate or reduce the use of toxic or hazardous chemicals in production processes

Construction, Development, Planning

  • Buildings and building systems that meet LEED or similar standards
  • Brownfield redevelopment

Carbon Mitigation and Management

  • Corporations with commitments to reduce emissions, resource and energy conservation

Exemplary ESG Performance

  • Investments chosen, at least in part, based on exemplary environmental, social and governance policies and performance
  • Investments with Benefit or “B” Corporations for which positive impact on society, workers, the community and the environment in addition to profit are legally defined goals
  • Investments with UNPRI Signatories and other climate change initiatives identified by DSIG as meaningful and impactful (Science Based Targets Initiative, RE100, C2ES: Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, CERES, Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and Climate Action 100+)