Princeton Endowment to Remove Fossil Fuels from Portfolio, While Yale Treads the Line
Posted on 10/04/2022
Ivy league endowments continue to face pressure from some of its students over its practice of investing in fossil fuels. Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) oversees the endowment of Princeton University. On September 29, 2022, the university decided it would remove from its endowment investments in 90 companies to advance the university’s efforts to reduce fossil fuels’ impact on its investment strategy. The 90 companies cited by Princeton University include Exxon Mobil Corporation, CONSOL Energy Inc., Peabody Energy Corporation, and many Chinese oil & gas companies. PRINCO oversees around US$ 37 billion in endowment assets as of June 30, 2021.
As part of Princeton University’s goal of “achieving a net-zero endowment portfolio over time, the Princeton University Investment Company will also eliminate all holdings in publicly traded fossil fuel companies,” said an announcement posted on the university website. “PRINCO will also ensure that the endowment does not benefit from any future exposure to those companies.”
Yale Investment Office
In April 2021, the Yale Board of Trustees approved a set of ethical investment principles to guide the university’s decisions concerning companies producing fossil fuels. The principles establish a framework through which Yale University can encourage oil & gas companies to adopt more sustainable practices and advance the shift to a decarbonized energy future, which inadvertently would be the end of their current business of extracting fossil fuels. The new principles create requirements for fossil fuel producers to remain eligible for Yale investment. For Yale, these oil and gas companies must avoid exploration and production of fossil fuels that generate high levels of greenhouse gas emissions relative to energy supplied — as compared with feasible alternatives.