Northwestern to follow new fossil fuel investment guidelines


Daily file illustration by Catherine Buchaniec

Northwestern has established new guidelines for investments related to fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions and energy transition.

Isabel Funk, Summer Editor

Seeking to help address climate change, Northwestern announced Thursday it has established new guidelines for investments related to fossil fuels, greenhouse gas emissions. 

“As an institution with global influence, Northwestern is committed to taking into account ethical considerations in our investment decisions,” outgoing Board of Trustees Chair J. Landis Martin said in a University news release. 

The Board of Trustees, which manages the University’s endowment, considered input from University’s Advisory Committee on Investment Responsibility as well as other community members, including students.

At a recent meeting, the Board of Trustees advised Northwestern’s Investment Office to focus its investments on companies that produce fuel alternatives and to divest from companies that pursue “poor practices” related to greenhouse gas emissions or climate change information.

The board also encouraged the office to invest in renewable energy technology and to create a system to analyze the endowment’s carbon footprint. The Investment Office will provide an annual report on energy-related investments and the carbon footprint of the endowment to the board and to the University president.

“Active investment in new energy technologies and infrastructure to promote a greater supply of fossil fuel alternatives, coupled with the efforts of the administration and University research and programming, paves the way for real change,” NU’s chief investment officer Amy Falls said.

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