Colleges Committed to Sustainability – 10 Amazing Schools Practicing Divestment

Colleges and universities are the intellectual epicenters of our world.

As such, they have a deep, profound responsibility to be the leaders of the 21st century world in action, ethics, and sustainability.

A number of higher education institutions have made one thing clear: they want no part of fossil fuel money funding their programs.

The motivations for divestment make sense: schools want to reduce their carbon footprint, maintain the integrity of the earth’s ecosystem, and keep fossil fuel prices from skyrocketing.

A carbon-free investment portfolio for colleges not only makes ethical sense, but also makes financial sense for universities as well.

Not all schools have embraced divestment, and that is a choice for every institution to make.

However, a number of prominent higher education institutions have paved the way for saving the environment through divesting fossil fuel funding.

Here are 10 amazing schools, presented alphabetically, that have demonstrated a profound sustainability commitment to the future of our world.

California State University – Chico (Chico, California)

photo by Emily Bryden via Wikimedia Commons

We start at one of California’s premiere public schools, CSU Chico. With over 17,000 students, CSU Chico is an example of a large university taking a very active stance in favor of divestment.

In 2014, CSU Chico embraced a strong position; by pledging to divest, over four years, all money funding fossil fuel companies, they promote a long-term vision of a sustainable future.

And what a future CSU Chico promotes. Widely regarded as one of the leaders of sustainability, CSU Chico actively promotes a “Green Campus” initiative.

CSU Chico’s effort for the environment does not end at an administrative initiative or with fossil fuel divestment.

In 2007, one of CSU Chico’s professors, Jeff Price, was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a program of the United Nations, that won the Nobel Peace Prize for taking action on environmental issues.


College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, ME)

Bar Harbor & Surrounding Area – photo by Mfield via Wikimedia Commons

All the way back in 2004, College of the Atlantic (COA) was the nation’s first school to enter into a decade-long contract with a company focused entirely on renewable energy. 

Nearly one decade later, in 2013, COA divested its funds away from fossil fuel, which represented approximately 3 percent of their endowment at the time.

One of the top liberal arts colleges in the northeast, COA consistently showcases its strong commitment to environmental sustainability and ethical progression.

The newest student housing facilities at COA are among the most forward-thinking in the country, created in part from recycled materials complete with composting lavatories. 

In 2018, the Princeton Review named College of the Atlantic the #1 Green School in the country.

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