Dartmouth College to Divest From Fossil Fuel Holdings

In a recent announcement about steps to address the climate crisis, the college indicated a strategic investment of endowment funds, which includes investing in energy transitions while reducing all fossil fuel holdings to zero.

Princeton U to Dissociate From Fossil Fuel Companies

The university recently established an administrative process for dissociating from companies engaged in climate disinformation campaigns or that are involved in the thermal coal and tar sands segments of the fossil fuel industry. The university also has committed to reducing the aggregate harmful climate impact of the entirety of the university’s direct and indirect endowment holdings.

U Pennsylvania Announces Zero GHG Emissions From Investments

The University of Pennsylvania Office of Investments recently announced the goal of reducing the net greenhouse gas emissions from Penn’s endowment investments to zero by 2050.

U Tasmania Commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment

The university announced in mid-October during Global Climate Change Week that it will divest from fossil fuel-exposed investment funds by the end of 2021. The university has committed to applying a negative investment screen to fossil fuels and a positive screen to companies and funds that contribute to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

MIT Partners to Improve State Pension Investment Data

A new partnership between the MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative and the Massachusetts state pension fund aims to provide data to investors who want to make decisions based on things like the way a company treats its workers, its carbon emissions or its product safety record. For MIT, the partnership will inform research questions and methodology to refine the challenges of integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into the investment process.

U California Berkeley Students Win the Student Corporate Engagement Competition

A panel of judges recently selected a team from the University of California, Berkeley as the inaugural winners of the SIILK Corporate Engagement Competition. They were recognized for preparing strong investment recommendations and shareholder engagement strategy to improve company performance (and investment returns) through better environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. Hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network, the Student Corporate Engagement Competition invites student teams to write and present an investment recommendation for a publicly-traded company listed on any major exchange, and include in the investment recommendation a proposed shareholder engagement strategy that aims to improve company financial and sustainability performance.

U Vermont Divests From Fossil Fuels

The university's board of trustees voted unanimously in mid-July to immediately end new direct investment in fossil fuels, to fully divest from public investments in fossil fuels by July 2023 and to allow pre-existing multi-year private investments, which it stopped acquiring in 2017, to lapse without renewal. It will also accelerate an engagement campaign with managers of its commingled funds, asking that they factor the financial risks of climate change into their investment decision-making process and share their framework for doing so with the university.

George Washington U Commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment

The university board of trustees pledged in late June to not make any new investments in businesses that derive the majority of their revenue from the extraction of fossil fuels and agreed to eliminate 100 percent of all such investments from its endowment over the next five years. The board also committed to working with investment managers to encourage investment in companies with environmentally sustainable business practices.

15 Canadian HEIs Sign Investment Charter

A group of 15 Canadian higher education institutions in mid-June signed onto a charter pledging each school to follow responsible investment practices. The charter calls on all signatories to adopt a responsible investment framework to guide investment decision-making, regularly measure the carbon intensity of investment portfolios, evaluate their progress regularly, and share assessments publicly.

U Manchester to Decarbonize Its Investment Portfolio

(U.K.) The university recently announced that it will end investments in fossil fuel reserve and extraction companies by 2022, and decarbonize its investment portfolio by 2038. Its decarbonization commitment seeks to not only divest from fossil fuel companies but redirect its investments from carbon-intensive companies to companies that are more carbon efficient (emit less carbon for their level of activity).

Cornell U Announces Moratorium on Fossil Fuel Investments

The university's board of trustees voted in May to institute a moratorium on new private investments focused on fossil fuels and to grow its investments in alternative energy technologies. The moratorium emerged from the university's Investment Committee review of its $6.9 billion endowment portfolio; the near- and medium-term financial outlook for the coal, oil and gas industries; and the potential threat posed by climate change. The percentage of long-term investments focused on fossil fuels is expected to dwindle to zero over time as existing investments mature.

U Illinois System Invests $160M Using ESG Lens

The university system recently invested nearly $160 million of the system endowment into a new environmentally and socially focused strategy launched by a global asset manager. The three-university system’s investment decision was rooted in its Guiding Principles, which include financial and environmental sustainability.

IEN Launches Blog Series

Intentional Endowments Network launched a new blog series featuring IEN members sharing their thoughts about intentional endowment investing in the face of the global pandemic. The first post comes from Arizona State University.

Harvard U to Eliminate Carbon Footprint in Investment Portfolio

A new pledge to reduce emissions sets a goal to have the university's endowment reflect net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Oxford U Bans Fossil Fuel Investments

The university recently passed a motion requiring its endowment fund be divested from all direct investments in fossil fuel companies, and end future investment in funds that primarily hold stock in fossil fuel companies. The motion further requires endowment managers to request evidence of plans to achieve net-zero carbon dioxide emissions from companies across Oxford’s entire portfolio of investments.

American U Eliminates Fossil Fuel Investments

While the university has had no direct investments in fossil fuel funds for several years, in a series of transactions over the last few months, the board of trustees eliminated the remaining $12.9 million of fossil fuel exposure within the public endowment portfolio. This action was executed through the sale of $350 million in commingled and index funds, with the proceeds reinvested in investments that do not include any fossil fuel holdings.

Cardiff U to Discontinue Investments in Fossil Fuels

(U.K.) Following a recent meeting about the university's draft ethical investment policy, the university announced its decision to stop investing in fossil fuels by 2021.

Wesleyan U to Divest From Fossil Fuels

The university recently announced its decision to not make any new investments in fossil fuels and to reduce current investments as quickly as possible. It expects to be fully divested from direct fossil fuel investments by the end of the decade.

Brown U Divests From Fossil Fuels

The university's president recently announced that 90 percent of Brown's investments in companies that extract fossil fuels have been sold, and the remainder (less than 1 percent of the portfolio) is being liquidated as it becomes possible to do so. The Investment Office has made no new investments in this area.

Northland College Finalizes Fossil Fuel Divestment

In 2017, the college's board of trustees voted to divest all investments in the fossil fuel industry within five years, but did so in less than three. The college now no longer has fossil fuel-related investments.

Georgetown U Adopts Fossil Fuel Investments Policy

Under the new policy, the university will continue to make investments that target a market rate of return in renewable energy, energy efficiency and related areas while freezing new endowment investments in companies or funds whose primary business is the exploration or extraction of fossil fuels. Georgetown will also divest from public securities of fossil fuel companies within the next five years and divest from existing private investments in those companies over the next 10 years.

U Rochester Joins 'Climate Action 100+' Coalition

The university recently joined the Climate Action 100+, a coalition of investment firms, pension funds, and institutional investors influencing the corporations that are the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters to agree to lowering emissions, being transparent about their operations, and taking necessary action on climate change. Additionally, the university's investment committee approved two recommendations: no direct investments in thermal coal production or in the production of oil from tar sands.

Balliol College Reduces Fossil Fuel Investments

(U.K.) The college announced a number of steps it will soon take in order to reduce the fossil fuel exposure of its endowment, from approximately 2.4 percent of its total endowment to a target of less than 1 percent. The college is also working with students on a climate change action plan.

National Taiwan U Divests From Polluters

(Taiwan) The university recently announced that it is divesting from six companies, accounting for 22 percent of the university’s investments. It has already divested from four of them and plans to divest from the remaining two by the end of 2020.

U British Columbia Board Agrees to Fossil Fuel Divestment

After recently declaring a Climate Emergency, the university's board of governors agreed to divest the main endowment pool ($1.71B) from fossil fuels and directed the administration to conduct analysis necessary to support such action. Also, the board agreed to financial and legal reviews of transferring $380 million of endowed university funds to the university’s sustainable future pool, a fossil-free and low carbon fund established in 2017.

McGill U Reduces Carbon Footprint of Portfolio

At a recent meeting, the university's board of governors approved all the proposed recommendations from the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility. The report recommends decreasing McGill’s endowment portfolio exposure to carbon-intensive investments, including those within the fossil fuel industry. The report also recommends increasing the university's low-carbon holdings through impact investments, such as those in clean technologies, renewable energy infrastructure and fossil-fuel-free funds.

Fitzwilliam College Adopts ESG Investment Principles

(U.K.) In late November, the college's governing body adopted a new investment policy prioritizing environmental, social and governance principles. Indirect investments in fossil fuels, tobacco manufacturers, or weapons manufacturers will also be minimized and kept under constant review.

Concordia U Divests & Commits to Sustainable Investments

The university's foundation recently committed to end investments in the coal, oil and gas sector within five years. The foundation also announced a target of 100 percent sustainable investments by 2025.

Cornell U Undergoes Lighting Upgrade

The Cornell Energy Conservation Initiative recently completed a multi-phase comprehensive lighting upgrade earlier this year that replaced lighting in indoor and outdoor spaces with LED bulbs. With the project fully completed, the new lighting reduces the campus carbon footprint by nearly 3 percent annually. The upgrades, which began in 2014, have a cost avoidance of $2.9 million-to-date.

Duke U Students Receive $100K for Impact Investing

A student group, Duke Impact Investing Group (DIIG), recently secured $100,000 from the university administration to invest in impact-oriented businesses. The student-driven group hopes to educate the Duke community on the field of impact investing and drive growth for socially- and environmentally-conscious businesses through their investments.

U College London Adopts Ambitious Sustainability Strategy

Among other targets, the university's new Sustainability Strategy 2019-2024 includes the following commitments: it will not to invest in companies involved in fossil fuel extraction or production and will make public its portfolio of investments; all buildings will be net zero carbon by 2024 and the whole institution will be net zero carbon by 2030; and it will have a single-use-plastic free campus by 2024.

Smith College Board Approves Divestment

The college's board of trustees voted recently to direct Smith's endowment management firm to exclude from the endowment all future investments with fossil fuel specific managers. The college will also begin an immediate phaseout of all current investments with fossil fuel specific managers in its endowment. This phaseout will be achieved through the sale, maturity or liquidation of investments held by fossil fuel specific managers over a projected period of 15 years.