Today the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) announced the launch of a new report titled “Investing in Clean Energy: Campuses and Endowments” during a Forum at Loyola University Chicago. The report is designed to encourage conversation about the financial and societal benefits of clean energy investments higher education can make – both as a customer and an institutional investor through their endowments. It explores the current opportunities and barriers to such investments.
Clean energy investments include renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, energy storage, combined heat & power, and electrified transport solutions. With over $528 billion in assets, the ability to make illiquid investments, and long-term investment horizons, there are many options for college and university endowments to invest in clean energy. More 650 colleges and universities have committed to going carbon neutral in their campus operations, and many have made significant clean energy investments to move in that direction.
Chris O’Brien, who chairs the IEN Working Group that led the development of the report, said “More than 250 campuses are now voluntarily sourcing renewable energy. Renewables and a growing range of other clean energy investments are delivering benefits to the bottom line, in addition to reducing carbon and creating learning and research opportunities.”