The University System of Maryland Foundation, Adelphi, announced a series of steps Thursday to divest from fossil fuels. The $986 million endowment said it no longer will make direct investments in fossil fuels and has created a staff position to seek out renewable energy investments.
President and CEO Leonard Raley said the effort began three years ago after students passed a divestment resolution, and approached the foundation about divesting. “We wanted to give this the respect that the issue deserves, since the students are so passionate about it,” Mr. Raley said in an interview. The endowment created an ad hoc committee for socially responsible investing, which made the recommendations.
Pam Purcell, vice president of finance, said 7% of the endowment is invested in energy stocks. In addition to no longer investing in The Carbon Underground 200, a list of the top 100 public coal companies and 100 public oil and gas companies ranked according to potential carbon emissions by Fossil Free Indexes LLC, “we are talking about doing more direct investments” in clean energy, she said.
A USM staff member will assume the new position of senior sustainability and investment analyst in July.