Press Release: Climate Week Announcement: Colleges Pledge Sustainable Retirement Plans for Faculty & Employees


Arizona State, Lewis & Clark, Chatham University Among Colleges Endowments Committing to Sustainable Retirement Plan Options with Renewed Focus on Climate and Social Justice

NEW YORK – September 22, 2022 – Over 100 endowment CIOs, investment staff, asset managers, investment consultants, outsourced CIOs, retirement planning experts, sustainability leaders, faculty, and nonprofit partners met at the Intentional Endowment Network’s Climate Week Roundtable at the Nest Summit Campus to learn more about institutional sustainable investing and show their support for IEN’s newly released Sustainable Retirement Plan pledge.

IEN’s Sustainable Retirement Plan pledge, drafted in support with Second Nature and The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), establishes that university “employees deserve a range of sustainable investing retirement fund options that consider environmental, social, and governance factors, consistent with the goals of reducing risk, protecting capital, and enhancing financial returns.”   

Now open for additional signers, the IEN Sustainable Retirement pledge was first adopted by Arizona State University, The ASU Foundation, Chatham University, and Lewis & Clark College. The pledge will remain open throughout FY2022 and the final number of pledge commitments will be updated thereafter.

“It’s with great pleasure that IEN and its partners are announcing the Sustainable Retirements Pledge, here at Climate Week in the finance capital of the country” said Georges Dyer, executive director of IEN. “Public and private institutional retirement plans represent trillions in investments, and we at IEN are committed to ensuring that retirement plans offer participants options that align with a sustainable future, so retirees are not caught ‘holding the bag’ of risky investments that are not positioned for the transition to a more equitable, clean energy and low-carbon economy.”

“Until now, most of the attention in higher education on how universities investments can help the transition to a clean economy has focused on having endowments divest from fossil fuels,” said Dr. David Finegold, president of Chatham University and chair of the President’s Advisory Council for Second Nature. “With the pending changes in rules governing retirement plans, there is now an opportunity for further change, by making sure that there are sustainable investing options for the close to $1 trillion that nonprofit employees have in their retirement accounts.”

In addition to the announcement of the Sustainable Retirement Pledge, IEN’s roundtable featured a keynote address from the NAACP’s president and CEO, Derrick Johnson, and a panel with leaders of the San Francisco State University Foundation, which announced this week new investment goals for its endowment, including a commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its portfolio by 2040 and enhanced racial justice guidelines. Other panelists included speakers from: Chatham University, Crewcial Partners, Cambridge Associates, Federated Hermes, Carbon Tracker, CERES, Bard College, VC Include, Gitterman Wealth Management, Omni Research, Impact Shares, Vogel Group, Etho Capital, Ecolumix, Breckinridge, Schroders, Nuveen (a TIAA company), and Mercer.

MEDIA CONTACT: To receive a copy of the endowments pledge or interview any of the participating roundtable speakers and/or sponsors, contact Alex Frank, (703) 276-3264 or [email protected].


The Intentional Endowments Network (IEN) is a peer learning network of colleges, universities, and other mission-driven institutional investors working together to achieve their risk and return objectives through investment actions that create a thriving, sustainable economy. IEN has more than 200 network members including endowments, asset managers, investment consultants, nonprofit partners, and individuals.




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