Prescott College Commits to Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution
The college is proud to stand behind this resolution as a part of a long-standing commitment to environmental responsibility and social justice.
The Divestment Initiative at Prescott College was first developed by recent graduate Kara Kukovich, who prepared a report on the ethical, financial and environmental reasons for fossil fuel divestment at Prescott College. The proposed action gained widespread support from students, faculty, staff and Executives at the college, and was approved by all major internal governance committees within a few short months.
"We are excited about the Divestment Resolution, it reaffirms our commitment to environmental responsibility and social justice,” said Interim President John Van Domelen, “these have been our core values from since inception nearly a half century ago, long before the emergence of the sustainability movement."
The resolution establishes an investment filter to remove the largest 200 fossil fuel corporations listed by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, over the next 3 years, as a means to apply core values with a goal of reducing risk while increasing financial and social return on investment. The college also included a clause to engage in advocacy encouraging current investment managers to develop fossil free investment fund products that would also serve their other clients.
Why Divestment Initiative?
Divestment of fossil fuel investments builds on previous climate action, as the college was one of the first signatories to the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment, the higher education protocol for reducing institutional and global greenhouse gas emissions. A long-term Climate Action Plan is also in final stages of development, with a comprehensive series of projects to minimize greenhouse gas emissions through investments in energy conservation, renewable energy, and carbon offset origination.
Earlier this year, the college was awarded LEED™ Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council for a new, high efficiency student housing facility, the Village, that has recently been confirmed as "net zero" for electricity: generating more solar power than it consumes for heating, cooling, plug loads and lights, while powering other campus buildings and reducing the overall campus carbon footprint.
"Divestment is a next step that makes sense for our Prescott College’s ethos,” said James Pittman, Prescott College alum and Director of Sustainability, “we are fulfilling our mission and changing history, encouraging students to think critically and act ethically with sensitivity to both the human community and the biosphere."
Prescott College was one institution among hundreds in public and private sectors considering divestment for climate action, and now proudly joins a pioneering group of a dozen other colleges and universities, 7 major metropolitan cities and 15 other municipalities, 2 counties and over 20 religious institutions that have committed to a Divestment Resolution.
Global climate change from human-caused greenhouse gas emissions is a tremendous risk source for humanity, with potential to significantly disrupt economic, social and environmental stability on the planet. Divestment campaigns are a central strategy for social change in response to climate change, and are being promoted by 350.org and other organizations. These strategies are based on success of similar approaches used in the 1970s and 1980s to encourage the South African government to shift from Apartheid to policies based on racial equality and fair governance.
A full text version of the Prescott College Fossil Fuel Divestment Resolution will be publicly available for use by other institutions taking action in response to climate change.
About Prescott College
As a nationally acclaimed institution of higher education located in the central highlands of Arizona, Prescott College offers competency based programs in the liberal arts and professional disciplines with a focus on interdisciplinary and experiential education in six general areas: Environmental Studies, Human Development and Psychology, Education, Arts and Letters, Adventure Education and Cultural and Regional Studies. A private, non-profit, four year college, Prescott College offers Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees in an on-campus and limited residency format.
Founded on the premise of what college should be and funded by a Ford Foundation grant in the mid-1960s, a symposium attended by luminaries from within and outside higher education (including Henry Luce of Time/Life fame) met to create the ideal college—one which should focus on competency and breadth, experiential, self-directed hands-on learning, a focus on narrative evaluations and a pedagogically focused orientation process. This meeting resulted in developing a unique schedule (the on-campus program while semester in tone, includes a one month block class followed by more extended class periods for the remaining 12 week semester), an acknowledgement of lifelong learning and the importance of life experience (resulting in the development of one of the first hybrid distance education programs and prior learning assessment), an immersion in environment (resulting in “The Southwest is Our Classroom” where all classes immerse in the subject under study including field classes in all areas) and a respect for theory and application (all students create a capstone project which contains a thesis and a practical application of that theory).
Consistently named one of the top campuses in the nation for environmental initiatives by the Princeton Review Green Schools, enrollment is approximately 500 resident students and 700 limited-residency students. www.prescott.edu
General Prescott College Information
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