David Krantz is a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability, where he serves as a cofounder and vice president of the student-run Sustainable and Impact Finance Initiative.
More than 200 institutions of higher learning have divested from fossil fuels or announced commitments to do so. This movement attempts to align their investments with their institutional values — but it is not the only way to pressure publicly traded companies to better address climate change. At Arizona State University, we students are working with our school’s endowment to change companies like BlackRock and Chevron from within. That has meant buying, rather than divesting, shares.
University endowments are investment accounts held in trust for students, typically managed by foundations and used to support scholarships and research. Schools are effectively shareholders, and shareholders have the right to vote — in person or remotely via a proxy ballot — on proposals submitted by the corporate board or other shareholders. These proposals can change how companies address climate. For example, last month shareholders at Chevron vot... Read more