Office of Planning and Budgeting

Stanford Announces It Will Divest from Coal Companies

On Tuesday, Stanford’s Board of Trustees announced it “will not directly invest in approximately 100 publicly traded companies for which coal extraction is the primary business, and will divest of any current direct holdings in such companies.” Furthermore, Stanford stated it would encourage its external investment managers to avoid investments in such companies.

The decision was made at the recommendation of the university’s Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing (APIRL), which had spent several months analyzing a petition by a student group called Fossil Free Stanford. After conducting an extensive research-based review of the issues, APRIL concluded that sufficient coal alternatives exist and that divestment “provides leadership on a critical matter facing our world and is an appropriate application of the university’s investment responsibility policy.”

This issue has arisen several times at the UW, which (like Stanford) is a leader in environmental stewardship and sustainability. Stanford’s decision may set a precedent for other universities, including the UW, that have grappled with this issue.


4 Responses to “Stanford Announces It Will Divest from Coal Companies”

  1. S. Rose on May 8th, 2014 8:35 pm

    We’re at our best when we, too, lead on issues like this.

  2. Donald Golgert on May 9th, 2014 9:19 am

    I don’t think there’s a faster way to preempt alumni donations than playing politics with the endowment.

  3. Kyle M. on May 10th, 2014 11:30 am

    UW had the chance to be THE leader on this issue and missed it, but with some bold leadership and quick action UW can still join Stanford and be at the forefront on aligning our investments with a live-able future. S. Rose said it just right, let’s get on the right side of history, listen to the students, and get this done.

  4. Alex Jeffery on May 27th, 2014 12:41 pm

    I agree with Kyle and S. Rose so that we and our children can have a “live-able future.”

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