Trustees Say No to Divestment

July/August 2016

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The Board of Trustees announced in April that the university’s endowment will not divest from the fossil fuel industry—a decision prompted by divestment demands from the Fossil Free Stanford organization, which includes students, faculty and alumni.

The board made its decision following input from the university-established Advisory Panel on Investment Responsibility and Licensing (which has representation from students, faculty and alums) and the board’s Special Committee on Investment Responsibility. The board noted that Stanford Management Company advised the committee that the endowment has “no direct exposure to companies whose primary business is oil sands extraction.”

The board, which also cited the breadth of the university’s sustainability practices and academic research on climate issues, said it could not conclude that the social-injury criteria for divestment consideration—“that demonstrated social injury caused by a company substantially outweighs any social benefits it provides”—had been established. A link to the board’s full statement is available at the Stanford News website.

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