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Summit County Government

Posted on: December 2, 2020

Treasurer’s Office Completes Summit County Divestment from Fossil Fuels

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Sale of Exxon shares in accordance with new County investment strategy

Contact: Ryne Scholl, Treasurer and Public Trustee

SUMMIT COUNTY – In accordance with Summit County’s recently-adopted Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) policy for investment, the Treasurer’s Office has completed the sale of its last holdings of fossil fuel stocks from the County’s managed portfolio of investments.

The ESG policy in part directs Summit County’s investment strategies away from fossil fuels. The resolution joins the County with a group of municipal governments, retirement and investment funds, universities, philanthropic foundations, and religious organizations who have committed to divesting from fossil fuels. Scholl mentioned that these sectors have largely underperformed the market in recent years.

“When the County passed its Climate Action Plan in 2019, my office wanted to divest immediately to align with community values, but staff needed to be thoughtful in its approach,” said Ryne Scholl, Treasurer and Public Trustee of Summit County. “The unanimous approval of the ESG by the Commissioners allows the County to move away from fossil fuels and related sectors while evaluating other equity indicators like social and governance. Because it both matches our strategy with community values without materially affecting our investment funds, it is a win-win for Summit County,” Scholl continued.

In addition to its ESG policy for investing, the Treasurer’s Office is also offering the Colorado Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program, known as C-PACE. C-PACE provides affordable long-term financing for energy efficiency, water efficiency, and renewable energy projects to commercial property owners and developers. Currently there are two active C-PACE projects in Summit County totaling $2.7 million. Since the program’s inception, there have been four other projects, totaling over $14 million for energy and water efficiency.

“There’s no single solution to fix our climate crisis and that’s why we are excited that our Treasurer took the initiative to divest from fossil fuels,” said County Commissioner Karn Stiegelmeier.

About the Summit County Treasurer: The Summit County Treasurer’s Office collects all revenues on behalf of public entities which use property tax as a source of revenue. The Treasurer also functions as the County’s banker: Receiving, investing, and disbursing monies in accordance with state statute. The Summit County Treasurer is an elected office, currently held by Ryne Scholl. More information can be found at the Treasurer & Pubic Trustee website

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