Vanderbilt University officially strives to “achieve the highest standards of sustainability through a process of environmental responsibility and accountability at every level of University activity.” This includes our endowment.
Vanderbilt Student Government has already recognized that divestment would help achieve our sustainability mission, and passed a resolution calling on the Office of Investments to gradually divest from the fossil fuel industry and reinvest in sustainable technologies. This great news shows that the voice of the student body is firmly behind taking the next step toward becoming a more sustainable university, at every level. We launched Reinvest Vanderbilt, a coalition of student environmental groups, to advocate for reinvestment as called for by VSG’s resolution. We will continue our efforts by working with the administration in any way possible. Together, Vanderbilt University students, professors, alumni, faculty, and administrators have the opportunity of a lifetime to reinvest in a brighter, more sustainable future.
Vanderbilt University has been an environmental leader in recent years, building LEED-certified facilities, implementing a Green Fund to fund sustainable student-designed projects, and even offering a new minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. The university has repeatedly been awarded a well-deserved spot on The Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll.
With VSG’s action, Vanderbilt has leapt to the forefront of action on sustainable investments. When the Office of Investments decides to follow through on the student senate’s request, it will solidify Vanderbilt’s newfound position at the vanguard of sustainability in higher education.
— Michael Diamond, Katie Ullmann, and Skyler Hutto are the co-founders of Reinvest Vanderbilt, a coalition of student environmental groups advocating for divestment from fossil fuels and reinvestment in sustainable technologies.