The University of Dayton has announced that it plans to phase out coal and fossil fuels from its $670 million investment pool, making it the first known Catholic university in the United States to do so.
The board of trustees recently approved the new investment policy, which calls for initially eliminating fossil fuel holdings from its domestic equity accounts, according to a university release. The university will then begin addressing its international holdings while taking steps to invest in green and sustainable technologies or holdings.
“This action, which is a significant step in a long-term process, is consistent with Catholic social teachings, our Marianist values, and comprehensive campuswide sustainability initiatives and commitments under the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment,” Daniel J. Curran, the university’s president, said in the release.
“We cannot ignore the negative consequences of climate change, which disproportionately impact the world's most vulnerable people. Our Marianist values of leadership and service to humanity call upon us to act on these principles and serve as a catalyst for civil discussion and positive change that benefits our planet.”
The university’s investment committee sought the counsel of DiMeo Schneider & Associates LLC as it explored the risks of divesting.
“We considered many factors, and our unbiased review concluded we could structure a prudent U.S. equity portfolio divested from Carbon Tracker 200 stocks,” Matt Porter, director of research analytics with the firm, said in the release. “We believe the restructured portfolio meets the University's objectives and is consistent with its long-term risk and return mandates.”
The move comes on the heels of Stanford University’s decision to no longer invest in coal mining companies.