NEWS RELEASE — Sterling College
Feb. 5, 2013
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Decision Linked to Emphasis on Ecology and Sustainable Agriculture
Craftsbury Common, VT—Sterling College has announced that it is proud to be the first college in Vermont, and the third college in the United States, that will soon divest its endowment from the two hundred fossil fuel companies identified by 350.org in its effort to move higher education toward fossil free investment. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously at its February 2, 2013 meeting to instruct the investment team to take this action and to move swiftly to divest.
Bill McKibben, Sterling College honorary alumnus and the founder of 350.org, one of the organizations leading a nationwide campus divestment campaign, said of the college’s move, “Sterling College has always been a leader in sustainability and environmentalism. I am thrilled that Sterling has decided that divestment is an important tool for reversing climate change.”
Sterling College is committed to environmental stewardship. Everything about what it teaches, and how it teaches, is geared to building a world that works. In taking this important action, the College and its Board of Trustees is affirming its commitment to its mission to educate problem solvers.
President Matthew Derr said, “Sterling College is an incubator for those who care about Vermont, care about the natural world in which we all live, and who want to promote healthy and just food systems, and as such, it makes no sense for us to invest in companies that are wreaking havoc on our climate.”
Rian Fried, trustee, said, “With this action, not only will the social return of the portfolio increase, the safety of the long-term financial returns will also be significantly enhanced by shielding the College from direct exposure to companies whose production levels are unsustainable.”
President Derr continued, “Our legacy and our focus on food, water, health, energy, and governance through conservation, education, and sustainable agricultural practices absolutely compels us to take this action. We hope that we inspire other colleges and universities to take this important next step toward divestment in fossil fuels because higher education is an important bully pulpit, and we need to focus the nation’s attention on this critical issue for future generations of our students.”
About Sterling College
Founded in 1958 in Craftsbury Common, Vermont, Sterling College is one of the leading voices in higher education for environmental stewardship and the liberal arts. Evolving from its early history as a boarding school, the College was among the first colleges in the United States to focus on sustainability through academic majors in conservation ecology, outdoor education, and sustainable agriculture. Sterling College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and is one of only seven federally recognized Work Colleges in the nation.