Occidental College Board of Trustees Resolutions Regarding Climate Change and Endowment Investment Policy
January 24, 2022
WHEREAS, the Occidental Board of Trustees recognizes that climate change poses a significant and urgent threat to the environment;
NOW, THEREFORE, the Board of Trustees of Occidental College hereby RESOLVES that Occidental College must do its part, as a leading institution of higher education, and as a community, to address the threat of climate change by adopting the following policies:
I. Fossil Fuels, Sustainability and Carbon Footprint Reduction in the Endowment
- Fossil Fuel Related Investments
For several years Occidental College has been intentionally increasing its focus on sustainability in the endowment portfolio and has been reducing its exposure to fossil fuel-related investments. The endowment has not made any new commitments to commingled private oil and gas funds since 2016.
RESOLVED: Occidental College will no longer make investments in fossil fuel-related private partnerships and will not make additional direct fossil fuel-related investments, unless such investments support lower carbon emission transition strategies to renewable sources. Further, the College will work to liquidate its investments in illiquid fossil fuel-related partnerships in an orderly manner as soon as is practical.
- Sustainability Investments
Occidental College has also been increasing its direct commitments to sustainable investment strategies aligned with the energy transition to renewable sources, and to other strategies pursuing solutions to climate change challenges.
RESOLVED: Occidental College will continue to increase its endowment commitments to energy transition strategies as a percentage of total endowment assets.
- Further Carbon Footprint Reduction
RESOLVED: Occidental College will work with its investment advisor, Cambridge Associates, to further reduce the carbon footprint of the endowment portfolio, and to evaluate the potential feasibility of a ‘Net-Zero Emissions by 2050” plan for the Occidental College endowment.
II. Data Request
RESOLVED: In the short term, instruct Cambridge Associates to create a model of the current portfolio of publicly traded securities excluding companies principally dedicated to extraction, refining, distributing, and selling fossil fuels.