Task Force on Social Responsibility in Investing  

Call for members is now closed

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in joining the Task Force on Social Responsibility in Investing. Nominations are now under review and we look forward to getting back to you shortly. If you have any questions about the task force, please email taskforce-investing@uwaterloo.ca.

Mandate

The Task Force on Social Responsibility in Investing  will:

  • Review existing practices and obligations related to disclosure of the University’s investments;
  • Conduct an environmental scan of responsible investing policies and practices at comparator universities insofar as they relate to social factors, disclosure, and receipt of expressions of concern;
  • Examine the University’s Responsible Investment Policy and related policy framework with a lens on social factors including international human rights and diversity, equity and inclusion and make recommendations on the Responsible Investment Policy as it relates to the definition and contemplation of social factors from an ESG lens;
  • Make recommendations on the University’s investment policy framework to address matters related to receipt of expressions of concern in relation to the University’s investments, in accordance with the Responsible Investment Policy.

Timeline

The process to reach the objectives outlined above, including broad consultation with the University community and relevant stakeholders should aim to conclude by the end of the 2024 calendar year.

Reporting and communication

The Task Force shall provide regular updates on its progress to the Office of the Vice-President Administration and Finance. The final report and recommendations shall be submitted to the President and shared with the Board of Governors and broader University community. The report and administrative response will be posted publicly. Any proposed development or revision of policies or guidelines will follow the appropriate governance pathways.

Background

In 2022, the Board of Governors approved a Responsible Investment Policy. The policy forms part of a broader responsible investing framework which includes Environmental, Social, Governance (“ESG”) guiding principles and guidelines for their application to University investments, as well as the UNPRI and the Responsible Investment Charter for Canadian Universities, for which the University of Waterloo has signed declarations to confirm its commitments.

When the Responsible Investment Policy was approved in 2022, though climate change mitigation was designated as a priority area among ESG factors, it was recognized that further consideration would be required relating to other ESG factors including social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion and their potential consequential impact on investment risk and reward.

The University’s new values – to be presented to the Board of Governors in June – along with our existing and ongoing commitment to Indigenization, equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-racism, and recent global events have hastened the need to examine social factors including international human rights and diversity, equity and inclusion as outlined in the UNPRI. The task force will also build on the new principles which will soon emerge from the Task Force on Freedom of Expression.