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Aalto University starts reporting on the sustainability of its endowment: “We want to increase transparency”

The sustainability report shows that the investment funds we use are well aligned with sustainable investing principles. The long-term goal of the Endowment is a carbon neutral investment portfolio.
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Aalto University has published its' first Endowment Sustainability Report. The report reviews the sustainability profile of the portfolio, covering environmental, social and governance considerations. 

” The sustainability of our endowment is important for the university as it directly links to our new strategy where sustainability and sustainable development play a key role. The core mission of Aalto University is to build a better world. This is present in everything we do”, says Ilkka Niemelä, president of Aalto University.

Strategian valmistelun yhteisötilaisuus 27.3.2019. Kuvassa rehtori Ilkka Niemelä, kuva Mikko Raskinen

The core mission of Aalto University is to build a better world. This is present in everything we do.

Ilkka Niemelä, president of Aalto University

The report shows that 95% of our external investment managers have signed the Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), and the carbon intensity of the portfolio is well below the global benchmark. The report will be published on an annual basis going forward.

”By reporting we want to increase the transparency of the endowment. However, our work on sustainability is not completed with the publication of this report. We are committed to continue to develop our processes”, says Iivo Paukkeri, Head of Investments.

Our portfolio includes both passive and active investment funds. According to our Policy on Sustainable Investing, we exclude certain activities or business involvements which are not aligned with our values.

As part of our processes, we also conduct surveys on our external managers about their approach on sustainable investing. The qualitative questionnaire provides the university with valuable information on the sustainability of the endowment and shows that most of the managers see both sustainability and company engagement as a key aspect of their investment processes.

”We regularly monitor and review the underlying holdings of the funds in our portfolio. These results are also shown in the report. As a result of a more thorough sustainability analysis, roughly 20% of the portfolio has been moved to more sustainable investment funds during the first half of 2021”, says Paukkeri.

Aalto University has signed the Principles for Responsible Investing (PRI) and will in the future report on the endowment in line with the standards of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The endowment strategy will be made public on our website starting from 2022 to further increase the transparency of our operations.

The Aalto University Endowment will provide EUR 28 million to fund education and research in 2021.

Endowment and investment strategy

The endowment supports the sustainable funding of Aalto University’s operations, research, education and innovation.

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