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Seattle University to divest fossil-fuel stocks from endowment

Seattle University announced Wednesday it plans to divest its $230 million endowment of fossil-fuel stocks within the next five years.

The university plans to reduce its $13.6 million (as of June 30, 2017) of endowment assets that have exposure to fossil-fuel companies by 50% by Dec. 31, 2020, and to be fully divested by June 30, 2023, from investments in companies owning fossil-fuel reserves, according to a news release on the university's website.

The university's board of trustees approved the divestment commitment at its meeting Sept. 13.

"The moral imperative for action is clear. By taking this step we are acting boldly and making an important statement," university President Stephen V. Sundborg said in a statement. "Along with the university's numerous sustainability initiatives, including substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and the integration of environmental justice programming in our curriculum, this action can effect change."

As of June 30, the endowment’s actual allocation was: 23.1% domestic equities, 18.4% international equities, 17.9% fixed income, 9.2% marketable alternatives, 9.1% real assets, 9% emerging markets equities, 7.6% private equity/venture capital and 5.7% cash and equivalents.