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SF State Foundation strengthens its commitment to the environment

April 4, 2014 in Environment, EV News, San Francisco, Sustainable San Francisco

April 3, 2014 — The San Francisco State University Foundation strengthened its commitment to environmental and climate stewardship at its March 29 board meeting, unanimously approving a new resolution to change its investment policy.

Photo courtesy of SFSU

Photo courtesy of SFSU

By unanimous vote, the Foundation Board called for the following changes within five years, with implementation beginning July 1, 2014:

  • Continued divestment from direct ownership of companies with significant exposure to production or use of coal and tar sands;
  • Careful monitoring of comingled funds to assess approximately the percentage of these investments in companies with significant exposure to production or consumption of coal and tar sands;
  • The creation of a socially responsible portfolio option for donors who wish to opt-in to such an investment; all other donors will continue in the main portfolio;
  • The creation of a carbon footprint for the portfolio which will be published yearly in conjunction with a separate carbon footprint for the entire campus;
  • The public dissemination of this information and these methodologies so that other foundations, pension funds or investors may adopt all or part of our policies if they wish.

Work between students, administrators and Foundation leadership led to this commitment. The Board had voted previously to divest from direct ownership of companies with significant exposure to production or use of coal and tar sands. The new resolution outlines direct action steps the board will take toward supporting environmentally responsible investing.

“The Foundation makes investments so that returns can help build the University and its future — that is our fiduciary responsibility,” said John Gumas, chair of the SF State Foundation. “We believe that with careful planning we can both build our endowment and do our part to endow future generations with a healthy environment.”

A socially responsible portfolio will be created that allows donors who support the initiative to direct their funds appropriately. The portfolio’s carbon footprint will be monitored and made public.

“We are charting new waters here,” Gumas said. “As we develop new practices and learn from the experience, we will share our findings with other colleges and universities that may be interested in similar efforts. Our emphasis throughout will be on finding ways to make positive changes that further protect the environment.”

SF State leads the nation with innovative thinking that drives positive change. Designated a “College with a Conscience” by the Princeton Review, the University has a range of initiatives that promote social justice and protection of the environment. SF State is a Charter Signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment and offers a range of programs geared toward reducing energy and water usage, increasing waste diversion, creating more alternative transportation options, offering sustainable dining choices, implementing green cleaning, offering eco housing, purchasing environmentally preferred products and planting native species.

This article is a repost, credit: San Francisco State University.