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About the Committee

 

Background 

In an effort to achieve Ohio University’s goal to become a carbon neutral campus by the year 2075, the Presidential Advisory Council for Sustainability Planning (PACSP) developed and approved its institutional Sustainability Plan that embraced many aspects of carbon neutrality in summer 2011. Following that, PACSP developed Ohio University Climate Action Plan. Following approval of the Sustainability Plan and Climate Action Plan, a University standing committee named Ecology and Energy Conservation Committee (EECC) took the role of monitoring agent of these plans. To advance plan implementation and coordination, the university instituted a campus Sustainability Office in 2006. The office employs a Sustainability Director, a Sustainability Specialist and several student workers.  Together they provide support and guidance to EECC in their efforts and for active sustainability programs and projects on campus.

Ohio University Sustainability Plan has several goals which were created to keep its promise of becoming a carbon neutral campus by the 2075. One of the goals is GoalJ3 which states that Ohio University’s investment strategy will privilege sustainable corporations and entities. This Goal is monitored via Benchmark 21 which asses endowment investment in sustainable corporations and entities and recommend strategies for increasing investment in these corporations and entities. 

 

The Committee 

 In 2013, Ohio University Foundation decided to allocate $4million from their fund/budget and to invest in Sustainable Investing. Concurrently, OU established a Sustainable Investing Advisory Committee which is a student organization, tasked initially with developing guidelines for student-managed equity and fixed-income financial portfolios that incorporate evaluations of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues.  The committee is composed of 5 people that include faculty advisor, President, Treasurer, Equity Investment Subcommittee Chairperson, Fixed Income Subcommittee Chairperson and a Secretary.

 

Structure

The oversight, management and execution of the Fund’s operation is encompassed in a three-tiered structure:

  • The Foundation’s investment Sub-Committee is the Governing Fiduciary whose primary responsibility is to ensure that the objectives established and approved for the fund are achieved. 
  • The Managing Fiduciary or Chief Investment Officer is the Treasurer of the Foundation and has a day-to-day responsibility for overseeing the Fund’s assets. The students who will act as an investment manager for the student-managed investment portfolio will work directly with Treasurer of the Foundation.
  • The three student groups (SIAC, SEMG and FIMG) are the investment managers appointed to manage assets for the student-managed SRI portfolio.

 

Duties  

  • SIAC will participate in evaluation of new investments each semester, using the existing SEMG and FIMG process.
  • SIAC will evaluate the ESG attributes of any proposed new investment according to the investment guidelines, and will prepare a one-page ESG summary which will be presented along with the financial one-page summary to the associated student investment group.
  • SIAC will review the results and returns of investments made each semester.
  • SIAC will attend one conference related to ESG investing in a two-year time period. The goal should be to present at least one paper per conference among the three groups (SIAC, FIMG, SEMG).
  • SIAC will evaluate existing investment guidelines each year and will propose new guidelines as needed.  New guidelines will be proposed to the Ohio University Foundation’s Investment Sub-Committee after approval by the SIAC advisor.
  • SIAC will develop specific proxy voting recommendations and/or will vote proxies as requested by the Ohio University Investment Sub-Committee
  • SIAC along with SEMG & FIMG will prepare and submit an Annual Report to OU Investment sub-committee.

 

Membership and Selection

SIAC shall consist of twelve voting members. It offers this opportunity to all students, regardless of major. To join, send an email to Office of Sustainability (sustainability@ohio.edu). An email notification confirming the student's acceptance will be sent within 3 business days.    

 

Why Join SIAC 

SIAC offers hands-on experience with managing financial portfolios and also provides trainings to its student members. Some of the trainings are- 

  • SIAC training
  • Communication training
  • Sustainability training
  • Investment training
  • Bloomberg training