The University of New England will adopt a carbon-reduced portfolio for the University’s endowment. The decision was made at the UNE Board of Trustees’ most recent meeting on December 16 following a unanimous vote by the Investment Advisory Subcommittee.
This resolution to significantly reduce UNE’s investments in carbon-related industries affects a substantial proportion – approximately 22% – of its portfolio. UNE’s investment in funds that rank poorly in environmental performance will be reallocated to funds that promote carbon reduction and social responsibility, as determined by environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors used to measure the sustainability and societal impact of investments.
As calculated by Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), an investment research firm and global provider of multi-asset portfolio analysis tools, UNE’s endowment’s ESG rating will rise to an “A” as the result of these changes. Based on modelling and analysis by Bank of America, UNE’s investment advisor, no material impacts to overall portfolio performance are expected to result from the decision.
“As an institution committed to ‘innovation for a healthier planet,’ UNE has a long-term practice of being good stewards of the environment,” said UNE President James Herbert. “We take the same proactive approach when making investment decisions and believe that careful attention to environmental factors makes good business sense. We will continue to engage in understanding any environmental risk factors that may exist within our portfolio and seek ways to continue to improve on this important progress.”