Marquette University’s $929 million endowment is prohibiting future investments in fossil fuels and will begin monitoring external managers’ fossil fuel holdings, the Milwaukee-based university announced in a news release Thursday.
The decision is reflected in an update to the socially responsible investing and sustainability section of the endowment’s investment policy.
The changes include the prohibition of future direct investments in public securities “whose primary business is the exploration or extraction of fossil fuels,” according to the text of the updated policy. According to the news release, Marquette currently does not hold any such direct investments.
Marquette will also allow private investments in fossil fuel-related strategies to wind down in accordance with partnership agreements and will monitor all indirect exposure to fossil fuels in external managers’ commingled funds and “will prudently evaluate these managers on a case-by-case basis,” according to the updated policy.
Marquette did not disclose how much of the endowment’s assets are indirectly held in fossil-fuel companies.
President Michael R. Lovell said in the news release that the new policy reflects the university’s Jesuit mission.
“By prohibiting direct investments in fossil fuels and following best practices in responsible investment, Marquette is heeding Pope Francis’ call to ‘reject a magical conception of the market, which would suggest that problems can be solved simply by an increase in the profits of companies or individuals,'” he said.
Also in the news release, Sean Gissal, the university’s chief investment officer, said “the university will seek to invest alongside investment managers that reduce carbon emissions and greenhouse gases, promote social responsibility, and seek solutions to climate change.”
University spokesman Kevin Conway could not be immediately reached for further information.