Colleges and universities have over $400 billion dollars in their endowments. Typically, schools hire investment managers, frequently referred to as ‘managers’ to invest most of that money. Those managers are chosen for financial reasons, and within a set of guidelines make all of the decisions for their slice of the endowment. Active Ownership is the implementation of being ‘active’ with the different investments a school makes. There are many different kinds of ways an institution can be an active owner.
The Active Ownership Initiative helps schools and committees on investor responsibility become active owners through engaging with companies and managers they invest in on their environmental, social, and governance practices. Schools can also engage in supporting important changes in corporate reporting by joining investor coalitions and writing to regulators along with thousands of other investors.
If you work with a college or university on their proxy voting, or file resolutions in need of support, particularly as part of a committee on investor responsibility (CIR), please contact us to get involved, or read our handbook for committees to get started.
REC schools have engaged with companies at Chevron, Exxon, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Pepsi, and in particular featuring a resolution co-filed by Loyola University of Chicago at Chevron on human rights, and a resolution filed by Bard College at McDonalds and with managers including Investure. Read more here to learn about Bard’s success at changing the company’s policy in pesticides.