July 17, 2013 / / Craftsbury Common, VT: Sterling College, an environmentally focused, liberal arts institution located in Northern Vermont, is pleased to announce that they have completed the divestment of its endowment from the fossil fuel industry. As of July 1, 2013, the college’s endowment is invested in a fossil fuel free portfolio at Trillium Asset Management in Boston, MA.
President Matthew Derr said, “Sterling College is an institution that lives by its core values of environmental stewardship and sustainability, and our investment strategy is now completely in line with those values. By fully divesting its endowment from fossil fuel extractors, we are reaffirming our mission to educate problem solvers and the next generation of environmental stewards.”
Derr continued, “Our Board of Trustees realizes that there is something inherently contradictory about relying on profits from fossil fuels to fund an institution like Sterling. I am gratified that we were able to complete this divestment, which was championed by my friend and colleague Rian Fried–before his recent and untimely passing.”
Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College is a leading voice in higher education for environmental stewardship and the liberal arts. The College was among the first colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, and Sustainable Agriculture. Sterling College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is one of only seven federally recognized Work Colleges in the nation.
“The work of dealing with climate change will require human change–changes in our institutions, our habits, our thinking. Sterling, with its leadership on divestment, makes clear that it’s not just an educational leader, but a leader–period,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, the influential organization that is spurring the divestment movement.
“It is clear that climate change is the defining investment issue of our generation. We have been managing fossil fuel free investment portfolios for years, with long-term performance that is comparable to standard benchmarks,” said Matthew Patsky, Trillium’s CEO. “We are excited to be working with Sterling College as they align their investments with their values,” Patsky continued.