Harvard ramps up climate investing

The country's largest academic endowment is planning to increase its allocations to investments that address climate change

Harvard University’s $53 billion endowment has increased its allocation to green-economy investments to nearly 1%, the school disclosed late last week.

The prominent university announced that figure in its second annual climate report, which resulted from the endowment’s commitment in 2020 to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

For its focus on the climate transition, Harvard Management Co. “is building a portfolio of assets via dedicated externally managed funds and direct investments that support the transition to a green economy,” the report stated.

The manager said it expects the percentage of its assets invested in climate-friendly holdings to increase at accelerated rates for the academic endowment, which is the largest in the country.

In 2021, following years of pressure from students and alumni, the school announced that it would stop investing in the fossil fuels business, which at the time represented less than 2% of its portfolio.

“These legacy investments are in runoff mode and will end as the partnerships are liquidated,” the manager said in its recent report.