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Report: University of Illinois Sustainable Investing Program Generates Positive Returns and Impact

Two Years After Sustainable Investing Act, IEN Study Shows the U of I System Flagship Sustainable Investment Returned 47% on Annualized Basis, Outperforming Benchmarks.

CHAMPAIGN, IL – MARCH 2, 2022 – U.S. college campuses are at the forefront of a major investing sea change, and the University of Illinois (U of I) System is a leader in exemplifying how sustainable endowment investments can outperform traditional ones, according to a new study by the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN). The study details how two years after establishing a program to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions, an initial allocation of $160 million has grown to $252 million, returning 47% on an annualized basis and outperforming its benchmark (Russell 3000) by 1.2%. 

In 2020, U of I System President Tim Killeen announced the Empowering Excellence: Financial Stewardship through Responsible Investing program. The program was formed based on the U of I System’s Guiding Principles and the Illinois Sustainable Investing Act after engaging with students, faculty, alumni and other key stakeholders such as IEN. 


Latest update: 05.10.2023