Vermont’s Sterling College just announced that it will divest its holdings from fossil fuels, making it the third campus in the US to do so. At its February 2nd meeting, the College’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to instruct the investment team to swiftly divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies.
Sterling has a long history of environmental stewardship, and was among the first colleges to focus on sustainability through academic majors in conservation ecology, outdoor education, and sustainable agriculture. As President Matthew Derr put it, “Sterling College is an incubator for those who care about Vermont, care about the natural world in which we all live, and who want to promote healthy and just food systems, and as such, it makes no sense for us to invest in companies that are wreaking havoc on our climate.”
Sterling sees divestment as not only a clear moral decision, but also a sound financial calculation. Trustee Rian Fried said, “With this action, not only will the social return of the portfolio increase, the safety of the long-term financial returns will also be significantly enhanced by shielding the College from direct exposure to companies whose production levels are unsustainable.”
Read the Sterling College press release here.