UVM's Socially Responsible Investing Advisory Council (SRIAC) advises the Vice President for Finance and makes recommendations on funding for Clean Energy Fund Projects. SRIAC is led by the Controller.
Divesting from Fossil Fuels
As of July 14, 2020, the University ended new direct investment in fossil fuels, resolved to fully divest from public investments in fossil fuels by July 2023 and decided to allow pre-existing multi-year private investments, which it stopped acquiring in 2017, to lapse without renewal. UVM will continue investing in opportunities that focus on sustainability, climate change mitigation, and other Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, issues. And it will accelerate an engagement campaign with managers of its commingled funds, asking that they factor the financial risks of climate change into their investment decision-making process and share their framework for doing so with UVM.
In keeping with the decision, on August 13, 2020, the Board’s Investment Subcommittee voted to sell the $7.1 million investment in fossil fuels-related public real assets and to direct managers to apply screens to equity portfolios that will result in the sale of an additional $6.1 million in fossil fuel public equities. These changes are planned to take effect in the fall of 2020.
The University’s pooled endowment is invested with screens that exclude tobacco, cluster munitions, uranium, and landmines. The UVM Foundation also has a $1 million endowment fund that is invested in green/fossil fuel free investments.
Financing Energy Efficiency
In 2012, UVM trustees established a $13 million Energy Revolving Fund and joined the Sustainable Endowment Institute’s Billion Dollar Green Challenge. The fund borrows from the University’s low interest-bearing cash account to invest in campus energy-efficiency projects of up to $3 million, with a payback of less than seven years.