University of North Carolina Asheville

Endowment Value: $53.5 million (June 2019)

The University of North Carolina Asheville is one of seventeen campuses that comprise the University of North Carolina System. About 3,900 undergraduate students attend UNC Asheville. UNC Management Company manages UNC Asheville's endowment. UNC Asheville is the only liberal arts college within the UNC System.

Student pressure, particularly from UNCA Divest, has played a catalytic role in sparking UNCA’s integration of environmental, social, and governance factors into its investments. UNCA’s vice chancellor for administration and finance John Pierce stated, “our students have been diligent and perceptive in working through the complexities of ESG investments from both a mission-based and financial perspective. Together, we explored alternatives and worked toward solutions.”

In February 2016, UNCA established a student-managed ESG fund and provided $10,000 in seed funding. The goal of this fund is to “invest in projects, companies, funds, or organizations with the express goal of generating and measuring mission-related social, environmental or economic change alongside financial return” alongside creating an educational opportunity for students interested in ethical investment or seeking careers in finance.

In June of 2019, UNCA became the first university in the UNC system to divest in fossil fuels. The decision came after the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees made a historic vote to shift approximately 10% of its $50 million endowment to a manager focused on ESG investing and shareholder advocacy. Students worked closely with the Board and administration to research funds and draft a proposal.

University of North Carolina Asheville is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments: 

  • AASHE STARS: No
  • ACUPCC: No
  • Billion Dollar Green Challenge: No
  • CDP: No
  • Committee on Investor Responsibility: No
  • Divestment Goal: Yes, partial
  • INCR: No
  • Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
  • Sustainable Investment Fund: Yes
  • Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes (only for a portion of the endowment)
  • Principles for Responsible Investment: No

Other Sustainable Investing Practices:

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