In 2020, GW committed to eliminating new investments in businesses that derive the majority of their revenues from the extraction of fossil fuel and fully divesting the university endowment from fossil fuel related companies by 2025.
GW's endowment is managed by a third party that is a signatory to the United Nations’ Principles on Responsible Investing, and seeks to incorporate these Principles for the entire endowment by evaluating environmental, social and governance (ESG) values in investment analysis on GW’s behalf.
Through its endowment management company, GW engages with investment managers to encourage their investment in companies with environmentally sustainable business practices and to accelerate their transition to fossil-free portfolios. The university encourages external fund managers to strengthen their own ESG criteria and identify investment opportunities that capitalize on principled, long-term, sustainable trends.
A portion of the GW Endowment is also invested specifically in a Sustainable Investment Fund. This fund solely focuses on a sustainable investing approach, and must combine rigorous financial analysis with equally rigorous ESG analysis in order to identify investments.
Sustainable Investment Fund
In early 2018, the Student Association, in conjunction with university leaders, announced the creation of a new Sustainable Investment Fund (SIF). The Student Association-driven initiative allocates money from the university endowment toward responsible investment vehicles.
The SIF was created in response to strong student support for sustainable investing. The SIF aims to identify and invest in strategies that generate and sustain long-term environmental, social and governance (ESG) value, as well as economic value. By adhering to ESG principles in the investment strategy, the SIF will not only mitigate negative ESG impacts but also support solutions to complex problems in these areas.
"We are excited about the significant role of student voices in guiding our university's commitment to sustainability."
Peak Sen Chua
Former President GW Student Association