Board Approves Fossil Fuel Free Fund

Parrish Hall

At its meeting this weekend, Swarthmore's Board of Managers approved the creation of the College’s new Fossil Fuel-Free Fund. As the name implies, the fund's resources will be invested exclusively in portfolios that are completely fossil fuel free. The new fund will be managed by BlackRock Inc., the New York-based investment firm. It shares the purpose of the College's general endowment – to support and build Swarthmore's future as one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges.

To launch the fund, three Managers - Elizabeth Economy '84, Gil Kemp '72, and Christopher Niemczewski '74 - have contributed a total of $100,000. They now welcome others to join them in supporting the fund with contributions of any size.  

"I am delighted that the Board has taken this important step, a step that reflects the College’s strong commitment to sustainability,” says Economy, the C.V. Starr Senior Fellow and director of Asia Studies for the Council on Foreign Relations. 

Donors for whom sustainability is a priority may designate their Swarthmore Fund gifts specifically for green initiatives. Other "green giving" options include the President's Climate Commitment Fund, which supports initiatives that help the College achieve its sustainability goals. Donors may also support the Carbon Neutral Weekend Fund, established in 2007 to "make Alumni Weekend more environmentally responsible." Attendees are invited to pay a "carbon neutral weekend fee" when they register to attend Alumni Weekend, though anyone can support the fund at any time.

“We know that there are alumni and friends of the College who prefer that their gifts to the College go into fossil fuel free investments,” says Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations Karl Clauss. "The Swarthmore Fund will always be one option for them since those funds are directed towards operating expenses and do not become part of the endowment. The Fossil Fuel Free Fund provides a new long-term option to support the College.”

Economy credited students for playing an important role in the creation of the Fossil Fuel-Free Fund, stating, “I and many others greatly appreciate the efforts of Swarthmore students, who have worked passionately and collaboratively with the Board on sustainability issues.”