Latest Update: February 2024
Princeton completes endowment divestment of oil and gas stocks; updates list of companies subject to fossil fuel dissociation
Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) has completed its divestment of endowment holdings in publicly traded fossil fuel companies. In a minority of cases, all involving indirectly held companies where an immediate sale was not possible, PRINCO has taken offsetting positions, known as “hedges,” that effectively neutralize the endowment’s ownership of those companies.
As part of the University’s annual evaluation of companies that are involved in the thermal coal or tar sands segments of the fossil fuel industry, the Board of Trustees of Princeton University voted last month to update the set of companies subject to dissociation. The number of companies subject to dissociation has expanded from 90 to 2,371, because of newly available data from commercial industry data providers.
The vast majority of these companies have no prior financial relationship with the University and would be highly unlikely candidates for any association. For clarity, therefore, we are only listing below the dissociated companies with which the University has a current or recent relationship that involved a financial component.
Eight companies have been removed from the dissociation list because they no longer meet the criteria: Bathurst Resources, Intra Energy Corp, Mercator Ltd, Mongolia Energy Corp Ltd, Oxbow Carbon LLC, Refex Industries Ltd, Thoroughbred Resources LP and TotalEnergies SE.
Companies subject to dissociation
Princeton University will not invest in, or engage in a financial relationship with, the following companies. The below list includes only companies that meet the dissociation criteria and with which the University has had a relationship in the recent past.
- Alabama Power Co
- Aluminum Corporation of China Ltd
- Arizona Public Service Co
- BHP Group Ltd
- Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNRL)
- Chubu Electric Power Co Inc
- CITIC Ltd
- Exxon Mobil Corporation
- Guanghui Energy Co Ltd
- Henan Shenhuo Coal & Power Co Ltd
- Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd
- Indiana Michigan Power Co
- Louisville Gas & Electric Co
- Northern States Power Co
- NRG Energy Inc
- NTPC Ltd
- PGE SA (Polska Grupa Energetyczna SA)
- PPL Corp
- Progress Energy Inc
- PT Adaro Energy Indonesia Tbk
- Shandong Lutai Holding Group Co Ltd
- Sumitomo Corp
- Suncor Energy Inc
- The Southern Co.
- Tokyo Electric Power Co Inc
- Vistra Corp
- Wanhua Chemical Group Co Ltd
September 2022 Update
Princeton dissociates from segments of fossil fuel industry
The Board of Trustees of Princeton University voted earlier this month to dissociate from 90 companies pursuant to a fossil fuel dissociation decision made last year that focused on the most-polluting segments of the industry and on concerns about corporate disinformation campaigns.
As a step toward the Board’s related commitment to achieving a net-zero endowment portfolio over time, the Princeton University Investment Company (PRINCO) will also eliminate all holdings in publicly traded fossil fuel companies. PRINCO will also ensure that the endowment does not benefit from any future exposure to those companies.
The companies subject to dissociation (listed below) are all active in the thermal coal or tar sands segments of the fossil fuel industry, which are among the sector’s largest contributors to carbon emissions. The quantitative criteria used to determine the dissociation list were based on recommendations made by a panel of faculty experts in a report submitted in May.
Informed by that report, the Board determined that the bar for dissociation on the basis of disinformation is exceedingly high, especially in the absence of quantitative standards and in light of the University’s commitment to embracing the vigorous exchange of ideas. The Board may in the future identify companies that meet this exceedingly high bar.
“We’re grateful to the Princeton faculty members who dedicated their time and expertise to addressing an important and challenging set of questions,” said Board Chair Weezie Sams. “It is thanks to their work, and the engagement of many members of the University community, that we’re able to take these steps today.”
The board’s vote is the culmination of a community-initiated two-year process that included input from stakeholders across the campus community. The University will also establish a new fund to support energy research at Princeton, in part to offset research funding no longer available because of dissociation.
“Princeton will have the most significant impact on the climate crisis through the scholarship we generate and the people we educate,” said President Christopher L. Eisgruber. “The creation of this new fund is one of several ways that the University is helping to provide Princeton researchers with the resources they need to pursue this work.”
The earlier list of companies subject to dissociation has been removed. The current list appears at the top of this page.