Daren Smith, UTAM’s President & Chief Investment Officer, recently shared our approach to addressing climate change on a webinar presented by the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN).

“Beyond Divestment – Climate Change Strategies for Endowments,” held on July 9, explored the investment implications of climate change and what tools and resources endowments can leverage to develop a thoughtful climate strategy. Three university endowment investors, including UTAM, were asked to share their multipronged approach to addressing climate change.

In recent years, university and college endowments and foundations have faced calls to divest from fossil fuels – an action that is much debated among investors. The webinar delved into other approaches to addressing the impact of climate change in investment portfolios – from climate scenario analysis and its implications for asset allocation, to manager selection and stewardship (also known as active ownership).

In his presentation, Daren described UTAM’s comprehensive approach to incorporating climate change issues in the management of the University of Toronto’s Pension and Endowment funds: integrating ESG factors, including climate change, into investment decision-making; active ownership (proxy voting and engagement); advocacy with policy-makers and regulators; and disclosure and reporting. He also highlighted the responsible investing content on our website, including our Responsible Investing Policy, responsible investing reports, carbon footprint reports and PRI assessment and transparency reports.

“I’m honoured to have been invited to share UTAM’s responsible investing approach with our colleagues in the endowment sector,” says Daren. “It’s important to share our experiences and participate in constructive, forward-thinking discussions like this one.”

The webinar’s speakers also included Alice DonnaSelva, Managing Director, IEN; Sagarika Chatterjee, Director of Climate Change, PRI; Jeff Mindlin, CIO, Arizona State University Enterprise Partners; and Kate Murtagh, CCO and Managing Director, Sustainable Investing, Harvard Management Company. Ophir Bruck, Relationship Manager, PRI, moderated the event.

Watch the webinar. (Free BrightTALK registration required.) Daren’s presentation begins at the one-hour mark.