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Sustainable Administration Hub: Investment

Sustainable Administration Hub: Investments

Those investing Ohio University's financial resources must meet their fiduciary responsibilities to Ohio University and its public purposes.  One of the ways to meet fiduciary responsibilities is to consider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors when making investments.

Investments with high ESG ratings typically are lower risk, higher yield, and less subject to negative public attention.  At Ohio University, two student groups (the Fixed Income Management Group and the Equity Management Group) have been investing several million dollars of the University’s general fund following ESG investment guidelines for most of the past decade.

Sustainability Project Laboratory Logo

 

 

The Sustainability Project Laboratory is a database of sustainability-related project proposals. This resource hosts projects and project ideas that can be adopted by faculty, staff, and students for course projects, capstone or senior projects, theses, and more.

To find procurement related projects just type "investment" into the search bar at the top of the database, or click the Sustainability Project Laboratory icon to the right.

 

Investments Category, Draft 2021 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan
The 2017 Investments infographic outlining progress towards the 2011 sustainability benchmarks and new goals set for fiscal year 2026. Find the information in the tabs "Current Data," "Where we are now (2017): Progress toward 2011 Sustainability Plan," and "Moving Forward: 2017 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Goal."

Current Data

A line graph showing the percent of Ohio University's investments that are sustainable in green and the market value of said investments in blue.
A bar graph showing Ohio University's increasing percentage of sustainable investments over time.

 

 Where we are now (2017): Progress toward 2011 Sustainability Plan

  • Benchmark 21: Assess endowment investment in sustainable corporations and entities and recommend strategies for increasing investment in these corporations and entities. Target met and in progress. OUSEMG and OUFIMG invest using sustainable investment guidelines.

Investment Graphics

STARS Investment Comparison Graphic
AASHE STARS compares programs across the nation in many different categories. Ohio University reports above the national average in investments.
Ohio University Emissions Breakdown
Carbon emissions are not currently determined for investments. The chart above shows the total reported emissions for the University. In 2016, a student analysis of the University’s investments in fossil fuel could be used as a baseline for a carbon emissions analysis. The University directly invested $42.6 billion in fossil fuel investments, which is 14 times the amount spent on purchased natural gas during FY18. If emissions correlate directly with cost, emissions from investments could be 14 times our emissions from purchased natural gas.​
Current Investment Graphic
Performance of the sustainable portfolio of the Ohio University Student Equity Management Group from June 2014 - June 2019. Overall value of sustainable investments has increased throughout that time period and has matched or exceeded the S&P 500 benchmark at all times.

 

Current Investment Graphic
Performance of the sustainable portfolio of the Ohio University Student Fixed Income Management Group from June 2014 - June 2019. Overall value of sustainable investments has increased over that time period and has exceeded the Bloomberg Barclays US Aggregate Index in recent years.

Moving Forward: 2017 Sustainability & Climate Action Plan Goal

Goal: Increase investments that support sustainable economic activity from 0.6% ($3.3M) to 1.2% invested in high-scoring Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), to be determined using MSCI ESG Manager, Bloomberg or Sustainalytics data

Potential Strategies​

  • Continue student investing program with ESG investing guidelines for entire portfolios​

  • Continue investment disclosure program ​

  • Capture sustainability related investments and services in Tech Growth activities​

  • Analyze percentage of endowment already invested in high-scoring ESG investments​

  • Analyze carbon emissions from endowment investments as a possible proxy for sustainable investments

    • Carbon emissions from Foundation Investments have not been calculated for Ohio University. 

Benefits of the Goal

  • Improved reputation
  • Improved investment performance
  • Increased community environmental benefits

Costs of the Goal

  • Staff time

Initiatives

2021 Initiatives

Initiative (Lead department/Unit) SCAP Alignment

Sustainable Investment Group (College of Business)

Experiential learning exercise run by students and focused on responsible investments
Increase investments that support sustainable economic activity

 

Hub-Related Initiatives

Shop Local

Triple Bottom Line Cost Benefit Analysis GUI Tool

Please visit our Sustainability Project Laboratory to view our database of available projects

Ohio University Experts

Name:  Contact:  Description:

Adam Rapp

rappa@ohio.edu

Professor of Sales; Executive Director Schey Sales Centre
David Gaume
dgaume@ohio.edu
Chief Investment Officer, Foundation Accounting
Dabelko, Geoff
dabelko@ohio.edu

Professor and Associate Dean Voinvovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs
Fogt Ryan fogtr@ohio.edu

Sustainable Administration Hub Coordinator and Professor of Geography

Elaine Goetze goetze@ohio.edu Director of Energy Management & Sustainability