What is divestment?

Divestment is the technical term for selling off stocks and equities of companies for moral or ethical reasons. Think of it almost as “uninvesting” from companies that have somehow breached the public trust and violated their social contracts. Divestment first gained prominence  in the 1980s during the campaign against the South African apartheid regime. Since then, divestment campaigns have been launched against the tobacco industry and firms complicit in the genocide in Darfur, among other causes. We believe that those firms that are currently exploring for new fossil fuel reserves fall into this category of socially irresponsible companies because their business plan is predicated on increasing global warming. Until these firms become true energy companies by aiding in the transition to a sustainable economy, socially responsible investors — especially university endowments — should think twice about holding stocks in these companies.

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