Endowment Value: $246.8 million (June 2019)
Lewis & Clark College is a private liberal arts college located in Portland, Oregon. The Lewis and Clark Board of Trustees manages Lewis and Clark's endowment. Since the 1990s, the college has utilized its Sustainability Council, composed of students and faculty, to lead environmental education and initiatives among its 3,500 students. Lewis & Clark College has a strong legacy of promoting sustainability on its campus and earned the number one spot on Princeton Review’s “Green Colleges” list in 2015 (and continues to rank high today). The Sierra Club has named Lewis and Clark as one of its “Cool Schools.” The college sources 100% of its energy from wind and is one of only thirty higher education institutions nationwide to divest from all fossil fuel holdings in the endowment.
Spurred largely by a student-led divestment campaign, the Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees voted in February of 2018 to divest from all fossil fuel holdings in the endowment by 2023. The college’s investment policy is guided by a set of ESG guidelines. The Operations Committee of the Sustainability Council is charged with advising on proxy voting for investments and contributing to ESG program development/reassessment, with several members also participating in a Divestment Sub-Committee.
Lewis and Clark College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
Endowment Value: $212.8 Million (2019)
Ball State University is a public university located in Muncie, Indiana. Its endowment is managed by the Ball State University Foundation. The mission of the Ball State University Foundation is to “maximize sustainable support for Ball State University by obtaining, investing, and administering private gift support and prudently discharging its fiduciary obligations to the university, donors, and designated beneficiaries.”
In spring 2012, the university launched its geothermal heating and cooling system — the nation’s largest ground-source, closed-loop district geothermal energy system. Now, nearly fully operational, the system will cut the university’s carbon footprint in half and result in an annual savings of $2 million, said Jim Lowe, director of engineering, construction, and operations at Ball State.“When we shut down the coal-fired burners in March 2014, we not only reduced our dependence on fossil fuels, we also reduced carbon dioxide emissions and sulfur matter produced by burning coal,” Lowe said.
In 2015, board members of the Ball State University Foundation supported pursuing an alternative investment portfolio that adopts environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies. Currently, the foundation encourages its fund advisors and managers to incorporate ESG strategies into its investment portfolio. Further, foundation employees are developing opportunities for donors who wish to have gifts managed via more specific, restrictive criteria.
Ball State University is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
Endowment Value: $604.2 million (June 2019)
The University of Dayton is a private Roman Catholic research university located in Dayton, Ohio. It has approximately 11,000 students. All University investments are overseen by the Investment Committee of the University's Board of Trustees.
In 2014, the board of trustees at the University of Dayton unanimously voted to divest from coal and fossil fuels. At the time of the announcement, Dayton was the largest university and first U.S. Catholic educational institution to divest from fossil fuels. Daniel J. Curran, president of the University of Dayton, cited the necessity of aligning investments with the university’s values as the reason for divestment, stating “Our Marianist values of leadership and service to humanity call upon us to act on these principles and serve as a catalyst for civil discussion and positive change that benefits our planet.” UD’s Roman Catholic background made it a fitting host to a 2015 conference titled “Acting on Pope Francis’ Call: Divestment and Investment in Care for Our Common Home,” which brought together a contingent of business leaders, health care professionals, academics, and environmental activists.
In 2016 and 2017, the University of Dayton made investments in sustainable funds.
For students interested in socially responsible investment, the University of Dayton offers the Hanley Sustainability Fund (HSF), a socially responsible student-managed equity portfolio.
The University of Dayton is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Activities and Resources:
University of Dayton Trustee, Georges Hanley speaking at the Intentionally Designed Endowment Forum in Denver, May 2015
Endowment Value: $215.7 million (June 2019)
Pratt Institute is a private college located in Brooklyn, New York. Pratt Institute has shown strong support for sustainability at the local and national levels, as well as within the art, design, and higher education communities.
Pratt was one of the earliest signatories to the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (now known as the Climate Leadership Commitments) in 2007. That same year, the Institute accepted New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s 30/10 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2017. Pratt Institute has been named one of the country’s most environmentally responsible colleges by The Princeton Review for several consecutive years.
While Pratt does not have an official Committee on Investor Responsibility, it does have a Sub-Committee on Investments which, in 2016, recommended and approved divestment from coal securities immediately and other fossil fuels over time.
Pratt Institute is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices:
Endowment Value: $52.7 million (June 2018)
Warren Wilson College is a private college located in Swannanoa, North Carolina. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of around 600 students. The Board of Trustees' Investment Committee manages the endowment.
Warren Wilson College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously in 2015 to divest endowment funds from fossil fuels over the next five years. In a move that aligns the college’s investments with its core values, the college will divest from the world’s top coal, oil, and gas companies. The Board adopted a Responsible Investment Policy that includes environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations and management strategies. In addition to no new endowment funds being invested in fossil fuel companies, the College also conducts positive screenings based on ESG parameters. Within two years alone, the College successfully divested 84% of its portfolio.
In 2020, Warren Wilson College was featured in the Intentional Endowment Network’s case study on ESG investing. The study revealed that schools employing ESG investing practices saw the same or better returns as schools employing a traditional approach to investing. Read the full study here.
Warren Wilson College is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News:
Endowment Value: $1.436 billion (June 2019)
The University System of Maryland (USM) is Maryland’s public higher education system. USM is made up of 12 institutions and two regional higher education centers. The University System of Maryland Foundation manages USM's endowment.
University System of Maryland (USM) students have been driving change at the USM Foundation for several years. In 2013, students circulated a petition to divest from fossil fuels with nearly 600 signatures from students at Towson University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and other colleges. In response, in 2014, along with the United Nations, the USM Foundation was a seed investor in the iShares MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target ETF. The ETF tracks the results of the MSCI ACWI Low Carbon Target Index and addresses two dimensions of carbon exposure – carbon emissions and fossil fuel reserves. The fund was designed for individuals and institutions interested in socially-responsible alternatives to fossil fuel divestment. On January 29th, 2015, a member of the USM Foundation investment team rang the NYSE's closing bell to officially usher in the new fund’s ticker onto the exchange.
After significant pressure from student organizers, the USM Foundation stated in June 2016 that it would stop investing directly in coal, oil, and natural gas companies.
The University System of Maryland is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News
Endowment Value: $692.2 million (June 2019)
Loyola University Chicago is a private Jesuit Catholic University located in Chicago, Illinois. Its endowment is overseen by Loyola’s Investment Office.
In 2007, the Trustees of Loyola’s Office of Finance established the Shareholder Advocacy Committee (SAC) allowing students, faculty, and staff to engage with companies concerning their practices and policies, work with similar initiatives to advance sustainability goals, advise the University on shareholder voting, and research and provide information to the university regarding ESG investment.
Following years of conversation regarding divestment, the Loyola University Chicago Senate voted in 2015 to recommend full divestment of direct ownership of fossil fuels within eighteen months and divestment from commingled funds that include fossil fuels within five years. Ultimately, the board of trustees decided to develop a more comprehensive approach to negatively screen investments.
In 2016, Loyola University Chicago amended its investment policy to include Responsible and Sustainable Investing Principles. Their policy recognizes the need for them to align their investment practices with their mission and their Jesuit and Catholic traditions. Additionally, the policy states that investment decisions will be made with the consideration of “incorporating environmental, social and governance factors as core components of decision-making and risk management, impact and solutions-based investments, engagement, proxy voting, and evaluation of the economic merits of current and potential investments taking into account governance practices, environmental or social impact, and regulatory and reputational risks.”
Loyola University Chicago is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Endowment Value: $973 million (June 2019)
The University of Massachusetts (UMass) is a public university system in Massachusetts. It has campuses located in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, and Lowell, as well as a medical school located in Worcester. The University of Massachusetts Foundation manages the UMass system’s endowment. The foundation’s mission is to “foster and promote the growth, progress, and general welfare of the University of Massachusetts.”
In December 2014, the University of Massachusetts created the Socially Responsible Investing Advisory Committee (SRIAC). The SRIAC receives complaints or concerns raised by the UMass community regarding social injury resulting from the Foundation’s investments, evaluates them, and makes recommendations to the Foundation. By 2015, the Foundation formally incorporated ESG criteria into its investment analysis. Part of this process of incorporating ESG criteria included launching a Social Choice Fund.
In response to student activism, the Board of Directors of the UMass Foundation voted unanimously to divest its endowment from direct holdings in fossil fuels in May 2016. This accomplishment made UMass the first major public university to divest in fossil fuels.
The University of Massachusetts is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
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Endowment Value: $1.82 billion (June 2019)
Georgetown University is a private college located in Washington, D.C. Georgetown’s strong Catholic and Jesuit identity mandates that the University has an ethical responsibility to pursue an investment strategy that is consistent with its founding values of social justice, protection of human life and dignity, stewardship for the planet and promotion of the common good. The University’s current socially responsible investing (SRI) policy was approved by the Board in 2017. Georgetown also has a Committee on Investments and Social Responsibility (CISR) that is charged with making recommendations regarding the University’s voting of shareholder proxies and advising the Subcommittee on Investments of the Committee on Finance and Administration.
In 2015, the Board of Directors officially approved the decision to divest from direct investments in companies whose principal business is the mining of coal for use in energy production. This decision was based on proposals and petitions submitted by Georgetown University Fossil Free, a student group advocating for fossil fuel divestment. In 2018, the University elected to divest from companies whose primary business is the extraction of tar sands, an industry with a detrimental effect on the environment and the public health of communities living near extraction sites.
In 2020, the Georgetown Board of Trustees adopted a new policy on impact investments that included a commitment to total fossil fuel divestment by 2030. The new policy stated that Georgetown will divest from all public fossil fuel securities within five years and will divest from all private investments in fossil fuel companies within ten years.
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Endowment Value: $459.9 million GBP (July 2019)
The University of Edinburgh is a public university located in Edinburgh, Scotland and founded in 1582. UE has approximately 33,000 students across its five campuses and has helped earn Edinburgh its nickname of ‘Athens of the North’ due to the university’s legacy in thought leadership and strong academic research programs. The University Court oversees the endowment.
Since the publishing of its Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy 2010–20, The University of Edinburgh has been at the forefront in sustainable action among European higher education institutions. After releasing this strategy, the University took significant steps to align its sustainability goals with its investment strategies. In January of 2013, Edinburgh became the first university in Europe to become a signatory to the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment. Since 2010, it has also invested more than £150 million in low carbon technology, climate-related research, and businesses that directly benefit the environment.
In 2016, the University Court committed to carbon neutrality by 2040. Prior to this decision, in 2015, the University of Edinburgh committed to divesting from the most polluting coal and tar sands companies, in addition to preexisting negative screenings against coal and tar sands companies. In February of 2018, the university announced that it will divest from all fossil fuels by 2021, making Edinburgh the largest university endowment in the UK to divest from fossil fuels.
The University of Edinburgh is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
Principles for Responsible Investment: Yes
Other Sustainable Investing Practices: