Endowment Value: $467.7 million (June 2019)
The University of Vermont is a public university located in Burlington, Vermont. The endowment is managed by the University of Vermont Foundation (UVF) and is overseen by the Investment Subcommittee (ISC) of the Board of Trustees.
The endowment is separated into several pools. The Green Fund is a pool that uses negative screening to invest responsibly. Another pool, the Student-Managed Pool, is managed by students and provides a learning opportunity for students interested in sustainable investment.
According to its Statement of Investment Objectives and Policies, the Board considers moral, ethical, and social criteria in selecting investments or participates in shareholder resolutions that address moral, ethical, or social issues. The University does not invest in tobacco companies or uranium landmine companies.
The University of Vermont currently has an SRI Advisory Council that conducts research on issues related to proxy voting, shareholder initiatives, screening, and monitoring the University’s investment portfolio for indications of social harm. For example, in 2018, after research and extensive conversations on the options available to the University, the SRI Advisory Council recommended moving forward on a green bond strategy to improve the ESG metrics of a portion of UVM’s operating reserves.
In October 2019, UVM pledged to invest an extra $10 million in green bonds. This move followed sustained pressure from student activists advocating for fossil fuel divestment. SGA President Jillian Scannell said “Students want divestment, and the administration knows that. Divestment is determined by the board [of trustees], so I feel like this is the administration’s effort to say, ‘We hear you, and we’re trying to be responsive to your call.’”
In July 2020, the university announced its decision to divest from fossil fuels. No new direct investments in fossil fuels will be made, and the university aims to divest entirely by 2023.
The University of Vermont is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
- AASHE STARs: Yes, Gold
- ACUPCC: Yes, Climate Neutral by 2022
- Billion Dollar Green Challenge: Yes
- CDP: No
- Committee for Investor Responsibility: Yes
- Divestment Goal: Yes
- INCR: No
- Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
- Sustainable Investment Fund: Yes
- Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes
- Principles for Responsible Investment: No
Other Sustainable Investing Practices: