A new survey of 200 U.S. endowment funds found that just 26.5% have formally adopted responsible investment practices that incorporate at least one of four investment principles: socially responsible; environmental, social and governance; impact; and divestment from fossil fuels.
The 2014 Commonfund Study of Responsible Investing, which was released Friday , showed that the vast majority — 69% — of endowment officers surveyed said their fund’s written investment policy statement doesn’t permit or refer to any of the four core responsible investing principles.
Of the balance of university and college funds, SRI was permitted in the investment policy of 21% of respondents; ESG investing, 8%; impact investing, 3%; fossil-fuel divestment, 2%; and didn’t know, 3%.
Multiple responses were permitted.
Commonfund Institute conducted the survey in December and January in partnership with the National Association of College and University Business Officers and Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.
Of the 200 colleges and universities surveyed, 123 are private and 77 public. Endowment assets of the survey group totaled $88.8 billion as of June 30, 2014.