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Climate Change & the Smith Endowment

The Smith College Board of Trustees, at its October 2019 meeting, made a significant advance in reducing the role of fossil fuel investments in the college’s endowment. The board’s decision follows a recommendation of the Study Group on Climate Change (SGCC) to align more closely our investments with our values.

Specifically, the board voted to approve the following two recommendations brought forward by the Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility (ACIR), a subcommittee of the Investment Committee of the Board of Trustees:

  1. Effective immediately, the board will direct Investure, the college’s outsourced endowment management firm, to exclude from the Smith College endowment all future investments with fossil fuel–specific managers. 
  2. The college will begin an immediate phaseout of all current investments with fossil fuel–specific managers in the Smith College endowment. This phaseout will be achieved through the sale, maturity or liquidation of investments held by fossil fuel–specific managers over a projected period of 15 years.

    Note: A fossil fuel–specific manager is one whose main strategy is acquiring, developing, producing or exploring for oil/gas; coal mining; or providing oil and/or gas equipment, services and/or pipelines; or that is an investment fund whose primary purpose is to invest in such issues or engage in any such business itself. 

The board's decision was announced to the community in a letter from President Kathleen McCartney and Chair of the Board of Trustees Deborah L. Duncan ’77.