The choice is yours – One UBC endowment, two pools
UBC’S decades of leadership in sustainability
In 1998, UBC was the first university in Canada to open a Campus Sustainability Office. In 2008, sustainability was officially adopted as a strategic priority for the university. We uphold this commitment by linking academic, research and operational sustainability to make the university a living laboratory that can we can learn from for generations to come. For more about sustainability at UBC visit sustain.ubc.ca.
How is this commitment to sustainability reflected in our investments?
UBC is equally committed to sustainability in investment: In 2013, UBC adopted its Responsible Investment Policy to direct UBC to consider environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors to make more informed investment decisions for the UBC Endowment. This initiative has been internationally recognized for its commitment to sustainability.
Going the extra mile: Introducing the Sustainable Future Pool (SFP)
UBC has taken this commitment one step further. Effective April 1, 2017, UBC has created a separate pool within the UBC Endowment, the Sustainable Future Pool (SFP). The SFP initiative is an important part of UBC’s commitment to sustainability. It brings together our mandate of inquiry and the creation of knowledge, our desire to lead from within, our academic experience, research expertise, and operations management to make UBC a living lab – and to use what we learn to benefit our communities. The Sustainable Future Pool takes this commitment one step further and was established to test, validate and research investment strategies that specifically aim to materially lower carbon emissions and aim to exclude fossil fuels.
The SFP has initially been invested in a global, balanced, low-carbon and/or non-fossil fuel portfolio with a single manager. The fund targets an asset mix of 70% equities and 30% bonds, with an option to include green bonds. However, due to the specific non-financial considerations targeted, the newness of the investment, and the relatively small size of the pool, the SFP’s financial returns are expected to be more volatile than the main endowment pool. As a result the SFP is allocated a spending rate of 3.75% for funds established with donor contributions and 3.5% for funds established with UBC contributions, as opposed to 4% for the main endowment pool.
Governance of the main endowment pool and the Sustainable Future Pool
Both fund pools are governed in accordance with UBC's Endowment Management Policy, managed by IMANT (the university’s investment company), and invested in compliance with the university’s fiduciary obligations. Donors may choose to have their endowed donations established within the SFP with the understanding that the SFP is invested in the best interests of UBC and takes into consideration more factors than the investment standard that typically applies to investments for restricted charitable purpose endowments.