University of North Carolina Asheville

Endowment Value: $51.4 million (June 2018)

The University of North Carolina Asheville is one of seventeen campuses which comprise the University of North Carolina System. About 3,900 undergraduate students attend UNC Asheville. UNC Management Company manages 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 consideration and action towards integrating environmental, social, and governance factors into its investments. As UNCA’s vice chancellor for administration and finance John Pierce describes, “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.”

One such response to student calls for the administration to align investments with ESG values was the creation of the student-managed ESG fund in February 2016 whereby UNCA 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.

Furthermore, this 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 request for proposal (RFP).


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

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

Other Sustainable Investing Practices:

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