VSG Resolution S: 12-13-07

Commitment to Sustainable Investments

Proposed by: Senator Matt Brennan, SPEAR President Skyler Hutto, Reinvest Vanderbilt Co-Chair Michael Diamond
 
Co-Sponsored by: Senator Douglas Pinsky, AEC President Melinda Shearer, Sierra Club President Ashley Saulsberry

We, the elected representatives of the Vanderbilt Student Body, hereby enact the following:

WHEREAS, the sustainability of Vanderbilt University’s campus has both a direct effect on the wellbeing of the student body as well as an influence on sustainability in the Nashville community, region, nation, and world; and,

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University is currently committed to achieving, ”the highest standards of sustainability through a process of environmental responsibility and accountability at every level of University activity” as stated in an Environmental Commitment Statement drafted by the Faculty/Staff Environmental Advisory Committee at the request of the Faculty Senate; and,

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt University has been honored on The Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll for its persistent commitment in sustainable development and education; and,

WHEREAS, peer institutions including Harvard University, Swarthmore College, Middlebury College, Bryn Mawr College, the University of North Carolina and Bowdoin College are considering divestiture of their endowments from publicly traded companies that are exploring for and developing nonrenewable hydrocarbon energy reserves as a result of measures taken by these institutions’ students, student governments and/or administrations; and,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT Vanderbilt Student Government recommends that the Office of Investments instruct their fund managers to halt acquisition of new equities in companies that currently are exploring for and developing nonrenewable hydrocarbon energy sources as their primary business and begin a process of divestiture within 5 years so long as this reallocation of investments would not result in significant harm to Vanderbilt University’s endowment;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT for the purposes of this resolution, companies that currently are exploring for and developing nonrenewable hydrocarbon energy sources shall not be considered to have this as their primary business if they receive at least half of their revenues from non-hydrocarbon or renewable hydrocarbon energy, and consequently are not affected by this resolution; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT Vanderbilt Student Government also encourages the Office of Investments to make a concerted effort to acquire equities in profitable, publicly traded companies that are currently developing renewable energy technologies as their primary business.

Signed by the Speaker of the Senate,

Keith Neely

Signed by the Student Body President,

Maryclaire Manard

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