George Washington University (GWU) announced on Monday, June 29 that it would completely stop investing in companies that use fossil fuels by 2025 and reverse all greenhouse gas emissions it has produced since its foundation.
The decision came as part of a vote held Friday by the GWU Board of Trustees to make no new investments in businesses that derive the majority of their revenue from the extraction of fossil fuels.
The Board also agreed to eliminate all such investments over the next five years and work with investment managers to encourage investment in eco-friendly companies.
“With this decisive action, the George Washington University demonstrates its leadership in addressing the global threat of climate change,” GW President Thomas LeBlanc said about the move.
“Our students and the broader GW community have been very passionate about sustainability and climate change and have played an important role in shaping our commitment to meaningful action. In our investments and our operations, we will vigilantly focus on renewable and sustainable practices and industries, keeping the university environmentally and economically sustainable for years to come.”
The university has been divesting its endowment from funds that focus on the extraction of fossil fuels since 2015, dropping its investments by 89 percent, according to the GWU’s statement.
The board previously created a task force led by Trustee Peter Harrison to establish a long-term, proactive approach to managing environmental, social and governance responsibility.
The university is also aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 and release a plan for climate resilience for its operations.