Chatham University

Endowment Value: $84.9 million (June 2018)

Chatham University has an enrollment of over 2,200 students and over 60 undergraduate and graduate programs in four areas of excellence: sustainability; health & lab sciences; business & communication; and the arts & humanities. All undergraduates, save for those in the nursing program, are required to take a course on sustainability.

Currently, Chatham is among the five higher education institutions out of Pennsylvania’s 164 colleges and universities to formally adopt and apply ESG practices as part of their investment strategy. The University’s sustainable investment policy outlines key guiding principles that include reducing fossil fuel investments, advocating against corporations that deny climate change, and favoring investments that have positive environmental impacts, promote sustainability and support positive local community development. More than 13 percent of Chatham’s investment pool is in positive sustainable investments.

With regards to Chatham University’s efforts to divest its endowment funds from fossil fuels, administration has worked closely with students on the Student Investment Team (SIT) and committee on investor responsibility to assess they University’s exposure to fossil fuels and draft recommendations towards sustainable investing. In the Spring of 2017, the investment committee of the Board of Trustees voted to approve two new investment opportunities that are specifically aimed at excluding fossil fuels and supporting sustainable energy. Chatham’s Senior Vice President of Finance, Walt Fowler, said reducing the university’s support of fossil fuel companies is in line with its goal of pursuing sustainability in every part of its operations. “It’s important to us ethically, because we believe the world needs to reduce their use of fossil fuels,” Fowler said. At the end of this year, the university will replace a hedge fund with a private equity fund focused exclusively on supporting wind power. It will also swap investment in a standard equity fund, which includes fossil fuel companies, for a BNY Mellon fund that is filtered specifically for green companies but matches the performance of the current fund.

 

Chatham University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:

  • IEN Member (2017)
  • AASHE STARS: Yes, Gold
  • ACUPCC: Yes, Climate Neutral By 2025
  • Billion Dollar Green Challenge: No
  • CDP: No
  • Committee for Investor Responsibility: Yes
  • Divestment Goal: Yes
  • INCR: No
  • Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
  • Sustainable Investment Fund: Yes
  • Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes
  • Principles for Responsible Investment: No

Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News:

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