Princeton’s $38 Billion Endowment to Exit Holdings in Fossil Fuel Companies
Princeton University’s $38 billion endowment will eliminate all holdings in publicly traded fossil fuel companies as part of the university’s fossil fuel dissociation policy, and as part of its commitment to achieving a net zero portfolio, according to a statement from the university.
Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO), the manager of the endowment, will also ensure that the endowment does not benefit from exposure to those companies.
The announcement follows the commitment last year by Princeton to set a target date to achieve net zero emissions in its portfolio, and the establishment of a process for dissociating from companies involved in the thermal coal and tar sands segments of the fossil fuel industry, or those engaged in climate disinformation campaigns. The fossil fuel dissociation criteria is based on current and prospective actions of companies in the fossil fuel industry, rather than past actions, with companies able to be exempt from dissociation if they can prove that they can meet a rigorous standard for greenhouse gas emissions.
The University announced on Thursday that its Board of Trustees has voted to dissociate from 90 companies, each active in the thermal coal or tar sands segments of the fossil fuel industry. Companies on the list include Exxon, Imperial Oil and TotalEnergies. Click here for the complete list.
Under the dissociation policy, in addition to divesting from the companies, the university will also refrain from any relationships that involve a financial component with the companies, and will no longer solicit or accept gifts or grants or purchase the companies’ products.
The university said that it will establish a new fund to support energy research at Princeton, partly to offset the research funding that will no longer be available as a result of the dissociation decision.
President Christopher L. Eisgruber said:
“Princeton will have the most significant impact on the climate crisis through the scholarship we generate and the people we educate. The creation of this new fund is one of several ways that the University is helping to provide Princeton researchers with the resources they need to pursue this work.”