Harvard Endowment’s Fossil-Fuel Investments Drop to 2% of Assets


Harvard University, the richest U.S. college, saw its fossil-fuel investments decline to less than 2% in fiscal 2020.

Harvard’s endowment had about 11% of its holdings in such assets in fiscal 2008, the Ivy League school said Thursday in a climate report, its first-ever disclosure of this information. The holdings include direct commodity investments and indirect stakes in companies that explore or develop fossil-fuel reserves. Harvard declined to provide details about which investments were reduced.

The endowment, run by Harvard Management Co., mostly relies on outside fund managers. It had $41.9 billion in assets as of June, the latest period for which figures are available, up from $36.9 billion at the end of fiscal 2008, when it also ran a trading desk.

Last year, Harvard announced it set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and said it would be working to measure its carbon footprint. The university said then it’s moving “aggressively” to review the emissions of its investments. The timeline for doing so would depend on how quickly its money managers are willing and able to supply the necessary data.

“We expect this process to take several years,” the school said in the February climate report.

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