Socially responsible investing

If you want to put your money where it matters, we have good news. The UC Retirement Savings Program—UC’s 403(b), 457(b), and DC Plans—gives you access to investments that are socially responsible.


Socially responsible investing means different things to different people. Some consider their personal values, morals, and ethics when making investment decisions. Others may include environmental and social factors, like climate change and worker safety, because they consider such factors material to risk assessment and due diligence. Still others take a hybrid approach, combining moral and risk-based approaches. Whatever your motivation, our socially responsible investing options are worth considering.


Considering socially responsible factors doesn’t just help you match your investments to your principles. It can make sound business sense, too. Companies that focus on such factors can signal:

  • Operational efficiency and lower costs; reduced environmental liability;
  • Opportunities for low-carbon revenue sources;
  • Effective management of human capital;
  • Reduced risks related to product/service safety; opportunities for an expanded customer base;
  • Financial and operational decisions that best serve shareholders;
  • Reduced risk from reputational damage or weak financial controls; and
  • Well-managed operations and costs in the face of regulatory changes.*


There are many socially responsible (or “sustainable”) investments on the core menu.

  • The Social Equity Fund is designed to invest in mid- and large-capitalization U.S. stocks that have been screened for environmental, social and governance criteria. Criteria include exposure to fossil fuels, vice products, weapons, and poor company governance (including labor and human rights violations), among others. 
  • The UC Global Equity ex Fossil Fuel Fund is designed to invest in domestic and international companies that do not own fossil fuel reserves or sell tobacco products.
  • In addition, all core funds—with the exception of the UC Growth Company and UC Diversified International Fund—follow the Sustainable Investing Framework developed by The Office of the Chief Investment Officer of the Regents (OCIO).

In fact, UC’s Office of the Chief Investment Office (OCIO) considers sustainability factors as a fundamental component of its investment decision-making because doing so provides the most accurate, risk/return calculation over a long-term investment horizon. As a result, the OCIO excludes certain types of stocks from the core menu—companies that derive their profits from thermal coal or oil sands mining and production is one example. You can identify other types of stocks excluded from the core funds by reading the OCIO’s Disclosure of UC’s Sustainability Investment Screening Process statement on the fund fact sheet.

If you would like to explore additional socially responsible investments, you can use the plan's BrokerageLink® option to help match your investments to your ethics.


How to find socially responsible mutual funds.

  • Go to the Mutual Funds Research page on to view a list of socially responsible funds.
  • Select any fund within the list to see details, including historical performance and top 10 holdings.
  • Write down the ticker symbols for each of your preferred funds.

How to find socially responsible exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

  • Go to the ETF/ETP Screener on
  • Click Start a Screen. Log in with the username and password you use to access your UC 403(b), 457(b) or DC Plan accounts.
  • Select Socially Responsible and choose the investment type that most interests you.
  • Select any fund within the list to see details, including historical performance and top 10 holdings.
  • Write down the ticker symbols for each of your preferred funds.

How to invest in socially responsible mutual funds and ETFs.

Once you identify socially responsible mutual funds or ETFs that you like using the steps above, you can start investing in them through a BrokerageLink® account within your 403(b), 457(b) or DC Plan that gives you access to the mutual funds and ETFs available in Fidelity FundsNetwork®

  • Go to the BrokerageLink® page on Log in with the username and password you use to access your UC 403(b), 457(b) or DC Plan account.
  • Select BrokerageLink® Account (select Open an Account if you don’t have a BrokerageLink® account).
  • Once you are in your account, select Trade from the black navigation bar.
  • Choose the type of security you want to buy from the Transaction Type drop-down menu.
  • Enter the ticker symbol in the Ticker box.
  • Enter the amount you want to buy in the Amount box.
  • Select Preview Order.
  • Confirm your order details and select Place Order.

If you don’t have a BrokerageLink account, follow these steps:

  • Online: Log in to your account on NetBenefits, then click the Quick Links drop-down next to your preferred plan. Select BrokerageLink and review the information carefully. Then, click Open an Account and follow the steps. For multiple plans, select all the plans for which you would like to open a BrokerageLink account.
  • By phone: Call 1-866-682-7787 to speak to a Fidelity representative. Your representative can either walk you through the process of opening your account online, or send a Fidelity BrokerageLink Acknowledgement Form to your home address. Promptly return it to Fidelity, following the directions listed on the form. Please allow plenty of time for the mailing and processing of your BrokerageLink Acknowledgement Form.


Where you put your money could help change the world. Just remember that socially responsible may mean different things to different people, so do your research to find the funds that meet your own individual requirements.

Watch this short video for step-by-step instructions on how to access the socially responsible screener tools.