Endowment Value: $1.29 billion (June 2018)
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 environmental sustainability without divestment and provides transparency to the carbon footprint of their investments. 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 organized student campaigns across multiple campuses, in June 2016 the USM Foundation stated 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:
- IEN Member (2016)
- AASHE STARS: Yes: University of Maryland at College Park (Gold)
- ACUPCC: Yes: Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Frostburg State University, Salisbury University, Towson University, University of Baltimore, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Maryland College Park, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Maryland University College
- Billion Dollar Green Challenge: No
- CDP: No
- Committee on Investor Responsibility: Yes
- Divestment Goal: Yes, Full
- INCR: No
- Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
- Sustainable Investment Fund: No
- Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes
- Principles for Responsible Investment: Yes, The University System of Maryland Foundation
Other Sustainable Investing Practices and News
- USM Foundation Statement on Socially Responsible Investing
- University System of Maryland to direct its endowment away from fossil fuels (June 2016)
- Maryland Endowment Plans to Cut Worst-Performing Hedge Funds (July 2016)