The past decade has watched the University put together quite the environmental resume. And, with Chancellor Holden Thorp’s commitment last year to end the University’s use of coal by 2020, there’s plenty of reason to think that resume will only grow greener with time.
But the group that pushed for Thorp’s commitment, the Sierra Club’s Coal-Free Campus campaign, wants more. It wants the UNC Management Company, the body that invests the University’s nearly $2 billion endowment, to make its holdings transparent.
They say that’s the only way UNC can be sure it isn’t investing in companies that haven’t made the same coal-free commitment. And they’re right.
The Management Company’s quarterly investment update from March showed a target of 7 to 8 percent of assets in energy and commodities.
Stewart Boss, co-chairman of the UNC Sierra Student Coalition, said considering about half of the electricity in the U.S. is provided by coal, at least a portion of this money is likely going into the very industry UNC was so proud to turn its back on.