Published April 13, 2021
After several years of due diligence, the Board of Trustees of the UB Foundation (UBF) Inc. announced Monday that its investment portfolio of U.S. public equities has divested from companies that derive revenues from fossil fuel. In addition, UBF will make no new investments in dedicated fossil fuel strategies and will continue to seek to reduce its remaining exposure to fossil fuel companies.
As part of its due diligence, the UBF Investment Committee has undertaken a rigorous process to carefully consider various environmental, social and governance (ESG) elements in its investment decisions. The UBF Investment Committee is working closely with its investment adviser to review UBF’s remaining fossil fuel exposure.
“The University at Buffalo continues to demonstrate the clear, measurable steps we are taking to respond to the increasing pace and intensity of global climate change by putting UB on a path to achieve climate neutrality by 2030,” said President Satish K. Tripathi. “I want to thank the leadership of UBF for recognizing our efforts to address climate change by aligning investment decisions with our vision for a fossil fuel free future.”
“Over the last several years, the board of trustees and the members of the investment committee have been discussing how to maintain our fiduciary duty to maximize risk-adjusted, long-term financial returns for the betterment of the university as it continues toward its goal of achieving net zero emissions,” said UBF board Chair and alumnus Gregory M. Bauer, founder, president and chief executive officer of Employer Services Corporation. “We have been making some investment decisions toward this end through a careful and deliberative process that we will continue to adhere to as we move forward.”
In 2007, UB was among the charter signatories on the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment — now known as the Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments. This landmark agreement, which has been signed by 605 higher education institutions, formalizes UB’s commitment of taking concrete steps to become carbon neutral by 2030 and to accelerate research and educational efforts to help restabilize the earth’s climate.
“The board and investment committee continue to have a productive dialogue with multiple University at Buffalo stakeholders as we work to optimize the portfolio from both the investment and sustainability perspectives,” said UBF Investment Committee Chairman and UB alumnus Gregg S. Fisher, founder and portfolio manager of Quent Capital in New York City.
“There is a strong commitment to continuously improving the UBF portfolio, further reducing the remaining fossil fuel exposure, and investing in strategies which integrate ESG considerations. We believe we can align with the university’s sustainability goals while maintaining strong investment performance.”