To support our commitment to sustainability, an Ethical Investment and Banking Policy has been implemented.
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Following our declaration of the climate emergency, the University has taken further steps in its commitment to sustainability by transferring all its managed investment portfolios to two new funds designed to have a positive impact on people and the planet. The portfolio invests in funds which provide investment exposure to businesses providing direct solutions to the sustainability challenges.
The first portfolio is called ‘Responsible Multi-Asset Fund’ managed by Cazenove Capital and is designed to have a positive impact on people and the planet by avoiding harm through Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) integration and exclusions, benefiting stakeholders through responsible business activities. This fund is designed specifically for charities and aims to avoid harm by active screening of investments, including for climate change, tobacco and armaments.
The second fund is called the ‘Advance Strategy Fund’ managed by Brooks Macdonald. This portfolio invests in funds which provide investment exposure to businesses providing direct solutions to the sustainability challenges that the world is facing and is framed around eight core themes: cleaner energy, resource efficiency, water and waste management, sustainable transport, health and wellbeing, safety, education and financial inclusion.
In addition to transferring all our investments to these two new portfolios, the University has also signed the COP26 declaration on climate expectations of asset management led by Students Organising for Sustainability. Under this declaration, the minimum expectations of asset managers include:
- Strategy: An investment strategy to achieve net zero emissions by at least 2050 with at least 45% emissions reductions from 2010 levels by 2030;
- Asset allocation: An active commitment to invest in solutions to climate change, where Environmental Social Governance (ESG) impact is measured and reported alongside financial reporting. These investments should be focussed on driving solutions forward to achieve a just transition to a decarbonised economy;
- Active ownership: A presumption to vote in favour in favour of shareholder resolutions on climate change and active shareholder engagement on 1.5 degrees C aligned transition plans and;
- Transparency: Regular disclosure of holdings, voting record and engagement activity.
Our teaching and research activities and our carbon reduction commitments are already well recognised as sector leading examples for supporting the challenges faced by climate change. I am therefore delighted that our investment strategies are now aligned with the University’s strategic vision of delivering transformative change.