Recent News / Actions

Read announcements and learn about the recent work of the Advisory Committee on Social Responsible Investing (ACSRI) at Columbia University.

 

Trustee Action on ACSRI Fossil Fuel Recommendation - January 22, 2021.  The University does not hold any direct investments in publicly traded oil and gas companies, and is formalizing this policy of non-investment for the foreseeable future.  Recognizing that certain oil and gas companies aim to transition their businesses to net zero emissions by 2050, the University may make an exception to its non-investment policy when a credible plan exists for a company to do so. Together with its 2017 decision to divest from thermal coal, the University’s current investment approach aligns with its considerable academic and research commitment to this essential cause, including the creation in 2020 of the Columbia Climate School.

  

ACSRI Fossil Fuel Recommendation - November 12, 2020

In December of 2019, the ACSRI was asked to consider a fossil fuel divestment proposal submitted by the student group, Extinction Rebellion.  The Committee prepared its response, which was submitted on November 12, 2020 to President Bollinger and members of the Trustee Subcommittee on Shareholder Responsibility. For more information, please see below:

On January 20, 2021 the Board of Trustees of the University voted to lift its policy of divestment/non-investment of companies operating in Sudan. This divestment policy was in place from 2006-2020. The decision to lift the policy of divestment was based on the recommendation of the University’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing, which evaluated recent changes in political and social conditions in Sudan and concluded that “investment is necessary to stabilize the country and reduce human rights violations.”

 

The ACSRI voted on December 9, 2020 to recommend ending Columbia's Sudan divestment policy.  This recommendation is the result of a three-year review to assess whether Columbia’s divestment policy is still in the best interest of Sudan’s citizens.  Particular consideration was given to whether the divestment policy hurts or helps human rights in Sudan.

January 14, 2021 ACSRI Recommendation to Trustees to End Sudan Divestment

 

 

Trustee Action on Thermal Coal Divestment Recommendation - Columbia Announces Divestment from Thermal Coal Producers and to participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Climate Change Program, from March 2017.

 

ACSRI Fossil Fuels Report to the Community -  February 22, 2017.  This report includes a new recommendation calling for the University to divest from public companies whose primary business is the production of coal used in electricity generation, "thermal coal."

Appendices

The University Trustees have voted to support a policy of divestment in companies engaged in the operation of private prisons and to refrain from making new investments in such companies.

The decision follows a recommendation by the University’s Advisory Committee on Socially Responsible Investing (ACSRI) and thoughtful analysis and deliberation by our faculty, students and alumni. This action occurs within the larger, ongoing discussion of the issue of mass incarceration that concerns citizens from across the ideological spectrum. We are proud that many Columbia faculty and students will continue their scholarly examination and civic engagement of the underlying social issues that have led to and result from mass incarceration. One of many examples of the University's efforts in this arena is the work of Columbia’s Center for Justice

In partnership with the Heyman Center for the Humanities, the Center for Justice has received generous support from the Mellon and Tow foundations to help educate incarcerated and formerly incarcerated persons, and to integrate the study of justice more fully into Columbia’s curriculum.

For more information: