University of Massachusetts

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: 

  • IEN Founding Member (2016)
  • AASHE STARS: Yes
  • ACUPCC: Yes
  • Billion Dollar Green Challenge: No
  • CDP: Yes
  • Committee on Investor Responsibility: Yes
  • Divestment Goal: Yes, full
  • INCR: No
  • Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
  • Sustainable Investment Fund: No
  • Sustainable Investment Policy: No
  • Principles for Responsible Investment: No

News & Other Resources:

UMass Becomes the First Major Public University to Divest from Fossil Fuel Holdings (2016)

 

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