Boston – A group of 17 leaders from higher education endowments, investment consultants, asset managers, and nonprofit partners have joined together as a steering committee to guide a new Net Zero Endowments initiative hosted by the Intentional Endowments Network (IEN).
After groundbreaking commitments from institutions like Harvard, Stanford, Michigan, and Penn over the last year, IEN aims to accelerate the adoption of net zero portfolio commitments to 50 endowments over the next two years.
A commitment to net zero means committing to transition the investment portfolio to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures, taking into account the best available scientific knowledge including the findings of the IPCC, and regularly reporting on progress, including establishing intermediate targets every five years in line with Paris Agreement Article 4.9.
The Net Zero Endowments initiative will serve as a bridge between higher education endowments and the growing field of net zero investing. IEN members will participate in peer learning and partner with other initiatives for shared resources, events, and actions.
The group will also focus on the intersection of climate change and inequality. “A top priority in this work is to ensure that net zero commitments are made through a justice and equity lens,” said Georges Dyer, executive director of IEN, and coordinator of the new steering committee.