The Responsible Investment Working Group (RIWG) is an ad hoc working group of the Board of Governors Pension and Finance and Investments Committees (the committees), comprised of members drawn from the committees and the broader Laurier community. The membership includes faculty, staff, students, alumni and external Board members. The university’s external investment advisor attended every meeting; other resources were consulted as necessary.
Although the petition from faculty spoke specifically to the need to divest from fossil fuel investments, the Board agreed that a more comprehensive review of the university’s investment policies, including current environmental, social and governance (ESG) statements, through the wider lens of responsible investment would be beneficial. Beyond the practicality of taking a broader view, the Board wanted to ensure that the policies were consistent with Laurier’s values, vision, mission and guiding principles, as well as its reputation for environmental excellence and social innovation.
Thus, the RIWG was established with a mandate to make a recommendation to the committees on whether and how to revise existing investment policies and procedures for university managed investment funds to incorporate additional requirements relating to environmental, social and governance and socially responsible investment factors in investment decisions. If the RIWG’s recommendations are accepted by the committees and the Board of Governors, the working group will have fulfilled its mandate and be dissolved.
To advise the Pension Committee and the Finance and Investments Committee (the committees) on whether and how to revise existing investment policies and procedures (SIPPs) for university-managed investment funds to incorporate additional requirements around the consideration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) and socially responsible investment (SRI) factors in investment decisions.
To make recommendations to the committees consistent with the purpose above, after having conducted appropriate research and consultation, including:
Monthly or more frequently as determined by the working group, with the goal of completing its work in early to mid-2017.
The working group will report on its progress at each regularly scheduled joint meeting of the committees. The final report will include recommended amendments to the SIPPs and an analysis of the financial impact, risks and benefits associated with the recommendations. If the committees accept the recommendations of the working group, the committees will recommend the revised SIPPs to the Board of Governors for approval.
Must be financially literate and have proven strong knowledge of investment and pension concepts.
Members will be appointed by the chairs of the Pension Committee and the Finance and Investments Committee.
If there is no committee member available to serve on the working group who meets the membership criteria (above), on the recommendation of the Nomination Committee, one of the Pension Committee or Finance and Investment Committee positions may be filled by a member of the Laurier community (faculty, staff, student, alumni, Board member) who is not also a committee member, provided that individual meets the membership criteria.
A minimum of three resource people as appointed by the VP: Finance and Administration.