Endowment Value: $1.18 billion (June 2018)
The University of Utah is a public research university in Salt Lake City, Utah with over 20,000 students. The University of Utah's endowment has experienced steady growth while being managed by the Investment Advisory Committee.
With regards to sustainable, responsible investment, the Sustainability Office oversees and coordinates the Socially Responsible and Environmentally Sustainable Investment Advisory Committee (SRESIAC). This committee is comprised of students, faculty, and others with financial expertise and provides advice on strategies for endowment investment, infrastructure investment, and other investment initiatives related to environmentally sustainable action. The establishment of this SRESIAC along with various sustainability funds stems from a 2016 resolution brought to the Academic Senate by the ad hoc Committees for Responsible Investment and Reinvestment Dialogue.
One such fund is the social choice fund which strictly avoids companies in the industries of tobacco, alcohol, firearms, gambling, military weapons, and nuclear power. They also evaluate this fund based on environmental stewardship, human rights, and other ESG criteria. Through its retirement options, the University of Utah also offers SRI options for employee retirement holdings from TIAA and Fidelity Investments. The Sustainable Campus Revolving Loan Fund (SCRLF) is another fund that finances pro-carbon neutrality projects on campus and is made possible primarily by a $2.50 fee that is part of every students’ tuition.
In May 2016, after conversation on campus since 2012 initiated by students, the Academic Senate also narrowly passed a resolution calling on University administrators to “strategically” divest from fossil fuels over the next five years. The administration has yet to fully implement a full divestment policy.
The University of Utah is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
- AASHE STARS: Yes, Silver
- ACUPCC: Yes, Climate Neutral by 2050
- Billion Dollar Green Challenge: Yes
- CDP: No
- Committee on Investor Responsibility: Yes
- INCR: No
- Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
- Sustainable Investment Fund: Yes
- Sustainable Investment Policy: No
- Principles for Responsible Investment: No
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
- University of Utah Sustainability
- Sustainable Investment Webpage
- Academic Senate’s Resolution for Divestment (2016)
- Op Ed: University of Utah Decision on Fossil Fuel Divestment is About Changing Political Landscape (April 2016)