The University’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency in December 2020 has helped to accelerate work to ensure that we embed good environmentally- and socially-responsible actions throughout our operations. This can ultimately lead to new and altered practices, as well as complete transformation, wherever appropriate, however big or small. Our Sustainability Sub-Strategy 2021-26 (SSS) sets out our approach over the next five years, and there will be many changes alongside this.
One of our recent developments has been a review and update to the University’s Statement of Investment Principles. This sets out the types of industries and businesses we will accept our investments to be made in, as this reflects what we are ultimately supporting. Priority 12 of the SSS, focusing on finance and procurement, aims to ‘ensure sustainability and environmental impact are a key component of financial decision-making and champion proactively those initiatives that work in line with the University’s declaration of a climate and ecological emergency’, and this update specifically supports this.
The newest version of the Statement of Investment Principles (SoIP) was supported by the University’s Investment Sub-Committee and has since progressed through our internal structures to ensure a robust review of the proposed changes. It was given endorsement by Council on 29 November 2021.
The latest revisions entirely screen out companies that derive turnover from fossil fuels, and tightens ethical, environmental and social governance (ESG) principles – core to our values as a university – while still ensuring the maximisation of returns on investments. While we were already not investing in these types of companies, the update sets out our commitments clearly to ensure accountability.
To read the SoIP in full, as well as the latest summary of our investments, visit the Sustainability webpages.