10 signatures reached
To: USU Board of Trustees
Divest USU from Fossil Fuel Industries
The administration of Utah State University has the opportunity to take meaningful action to tackle environmental crises by maintaining intelligent and ethical investments. We ask that USU divest from companies listed on the Carbon Underground 200 to disconnect themselves from industries that perpetuate environmental degradation and human harm and which are losing value in a country increasingly concerned with climate change.
Why is this important?
Utah State University's invested funds are collected from donations (called ‘endowments’), and the returns from those investments are used to pay USU's recurring budget costs. As of 2021, USU’s endowment was approximately $510 million.
Those endowments are invested across many companies, particularly energy companies, which are seen as promising investments, despite the many negative effects they have on the environment and human health. Some of the worst-polluting companies are those listed on the Carbon Underground 200. Divesting from them would not put USU in financial jeopardy as quality investment options are available. Further, it would send an important message that USU is willing to do what it takes to protect the campus community from the threat of climate change. Return differences between portfolios excluding and including fossil fuels are statistically insignificant, and other organizations, including major newspapers, universities like U.C. Davis (a land-grant institution) and Unity College, and Catholic churches- have divested without negative financial consequences.
As institutions of elevated education, Universities have a responsibility to their students, employees, and local communities to divest from fossil fuel industries.