Sustainable Investing

Facts about sustainabilitySustainability and the UNH Foundation

Building on UNH’s longstanding commitment to sustainability through multiple campus initiatives (see right), the Foundation has created an opportunity for endowment gifts to be invested with sustainability principles in mind.  So, what is sustainable, or socially responsible investing?  It is an investing strategy that considers ESG factors in portfolio selection and management.  Sustainable investing may include one or more of several forms, such as:

  • positive screening (finding companies which score more positively on ESG factors)
  • negative screening (avoiding companies in certain industries, generally those judged to be harmful to the environment and/or society)
  • full ESG integration into financial analysis (forecasting financial outcomes based on the impact of ESG-related decisions)
  • shareholder advocacy (proactively supporting corporate decision-making to increase ESG considerations and improve ESG outcomes)

What are the Potential Benefits of Investing Sustainably?

In addition to providing an opportunity for the donor to align one’s personal values and investment philosophy, sustainable investing may offer a number of financial benefits.  Companies with higher ESG standards may have better operational performance, innovation, risk management and reputations, leading to reduced costs.  In some studies, sustainable investing has been linked to better financial performance, with positive correlations between sound sustainability practices and stock price performance.

“Sustainability is emerging as a market driver with the potential to grow profits and present opportunities for value creation-a dramatic evolution from its traditional focus on efficiency, cost, and supply chain risk” –PwC 2010

The sustainable investing industry has seen strong growth in recent years, growing faster than the overall market and comprising roughly 30% of all assets under management.

UNH’s ESG Pool Investments

While no investment approach is guaranteed to be successful, the Foundation’s Board of Directors invests ESG-targeted assets with a long term view and monitors the investments of the ESG pool alongside the traditional pool.  The asset allocation targets of the ESG pool are as follows:

Global Public Equity

80%

Fixed Income and Cash

20%

 

ESG-screened active and passive (index) funds are used.  As the ESG pool continues to grow with new endowed funds, additional investment opportunities will become available, and changes will be made accordingly.

For more information

Please contact Erik Gross, Treasurer, UNH Foundation, via email at erik.gross@unh.edu, via phone at 603-862-1584, or via US mail at 9 Edgewood Road, Durham, NH 03824.