Pitzer College and Robert Redford Announce Breakthrough Fossil Fuel Divestment-Climate Action Model

Integrated Sustainability Plan Includes Targeted Reinvestment and
Accelerated Carbon Footprint Reduction

Claremont, Calif. (April 12, 2014) — Pitzer College’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a new Fossil Fuel Divestment-Climate Action Model during a special trustee meeting on Saturday, April 5. Pitzer College President Laura Skandera Trombley and Trustees Robert Redford and Donald Gould made the formal announcement during a press conference at noon on April 12 at the Los Angeles Press Club in Los Angeles, Calif. Pitzer College is the first higher education institution in Southern California to commit to divesting its endowment of fossil fuel stocks.

“I continue to marvel at Pitzer College’s ability to take risks that pay off and go where many other educational institutions dare not go,” said Pitzer Trustee Robert Redford. “With student-activists as a galvanizing force, today’s announcement makes Pitzer the first college or university in Southern California to divest, and the first to come up with an innovative solution that other organizations can model.”

Pitzer College’s new integrated Fossil Fuel Divestment-Climate Action Model:

  • Divests virtually all College endowment investments in fossil fuel stocks by December 31, 2014
  • Develops an environmental, social and governance policy to guide endowment investment decisions
  • Creates the Pitzer Sustainability Fund within the endowment to make environmentally responsible investments
  • Targets a 25 percent reduction of the College’s carbon footprint from current levels by the end of 2016
  • Establishes a Campus Sustainability Taskforce to bolster on-campus measures to promote sustainability

“This innovative plan is an investment in our shared future, in the young adults who arrive on our campus each fall and the world they will inherit,” said President Laura Skandera Trombley. “We thank our students, faculty, staff and trustees for coming together at this historic moment.”

One of the first colleges in the country to launch an environmental studies program, Pitzer has promoted environmental awareness for nearly 50 years. In 2012, the College launched the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability and opened four mixed-use residential buildings that earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, the U.S. Green Building Council’s highest rating. Forty-eight percent of buildings on Pitzer’s campus are now LEED Platinum or Gold certified. Drought-tolerant landscaping has helped Pitzer cut its water use in half since 2002, and its farm-to-fork dining hall routinely ranks among the healthiest places to eat on any American college campus. The College researches, teaches and lives its commitment to sustainability.

Video: Saturday, April 12, 11:45 a.m. PT at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gFCHLPlNZQ#t=524

Video: A Climate for Change