CalArts Moves to Divest From Fossil Fuels

CalArts has recently moved to divest from fossil fuel companies.

CalArts is decreasing its dependence on fossil fuels by immediately reducing the Institute’s investments in fossil fuel stocks by 25 percent, re-allocating approximately $3.6 million of its funds. The Institute joins a growing number of colleges and universities committing to go fossil-free, including Stanford University, San Francisco State University and The University of Glasgow in Scotland.

In a letter sent to all faculty and staff on Dec. 15, CalArts President Steven Lavine wrote that the Institute is reviewing its investment portfolio and taking steps to divest from companies that use fossil fuels. In addition to the immediate divestment of funds, CalArts is taking the following steps:

  • Continue the approach of not making direct investments in fossil fuel companies;
  • Actively monitor the Institute’s remaining carbon exposure and consider strategies that will continue to reduce the Institute’s investments in fossil fuel companies, including seeking to eliminate exposure to the most carbon-intensive companies such as coal producers over the next five years;
  • Review the status of fund managers who maintain higher than average exposures to fossil fuel companies in their investment funds;
  • and revise the Investment Policy Statement to reflect the environmental and social values of CalArts.

The decisions were made after close conversations between the President Lavine and Chief Financial Officer Don Matthewson with the Investment Sub-Committee of the Board of Trustees, CalArts Commission on Sustainability, Student Council, as well as the faculty and staff.

The campus has also made significant progress in joining the fight against climate change. The Institute has worked with the Cafe and Tatum to end the sale of bottled water starting early this month. The announcement also reports that the Institute has started implementing energy saving technologies in the campus's physical plant and is evaluating opportunities to invest in other initiatives like low water use landscaping and waste management. 

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