Statement on Fossil Fuel Investments

June 2023

Bowdoin College does not own any publicly traded securities associated with fossil fuels. Bowdoin’s Investments Office does not select individual stocks and bonds; instead, the endowment is invested entirely in funds run by third-party managers. We invest alongside other institutions through commingled funds run by some of the world’s leading investment management firms.

The College’s current exposure to fossil fuel-focused funds across the entire portfolio is less than 2 percent of the endowment’s value. Recent independent scoring of the endowment’s publicly listed portfolios performed by MSCI—a leader in financial data analytics—reveals Bowdoin’s holdings have a carbon footprint substantially lower than that of broad equity market indices.

Much of the historical success of Bowdoin’s endowment relates to investments with firms that are on the cutting edge of large, important trends. Given the scale of the opportunities associated with energy transition, we expect the firms that manage Bowdoin’s capital to be increasingly invested in companies focused in this area. Indeed, Bowdoin's current portfolio, through its managers, has a wide variety of investments that either directly or indirectly address climate change, including wind farms, developing battery technologies, plant-based alternatives to meat, technologies aimed at reducing emissions of methane gas, and clean water solutions, among others.

Bowdoin is committed to maintaining its leadership in the teaching and study of the environment and in the sustainability of its campus and operations. Bowdoin achieved carbon neutrality in 2018, two years ahead of schedule. In 2022, the College announced an ambitious campus clean energy plan to invest more than $100 million to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2042.