In late March, the University quietly released its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Policy Statement in response to issues of socially responsible investing of Pitt’s Consolidated Endowment Fund that had spawned protests on campus and at Board of Trustees’ meetings.
The purpose of the statement, as stated in the document, is to “clarify further the University’s approach to integrating considerations of ESG factors, including related risks and value-creation opportunities, into its decision-making processes.”
The full document is available on the website of Pitt’s chief financial officer, but the core statement is, “In sum, the OOF (Office of Finance) commits to fully integrating ESG (environmental, social and governance) factors into the University’s decision-making processes, on the core belief that supporting responsible business practices also supports strong investment outcomes.”
The factors to be consider include, but are not limited to:
Environmental: Energy efficiency, hazardous materials management, climate change, and water/land management
Social: Data protection/privacy, human rights, labor standards, and product safety
Governance: Accounting/audit standards, bribery/corruption, business ethics, and regulatory compliance