The University has taken the decision to fully divest from fossil fuel extraction companies with immediate effect.
It follows a review of the University’s Ethical Investment Policy, concerns of staff and students and a decision to support the Students' Union campaign to divest from fossil fuels. The University plans to reinvest the sale proceeds in companies that score highly within Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) assessment. These are the three primary factors in measuring the sustainability and ethical impact of an investment company. This sector will automatically include companies that have a clean energy focus and is an area that the University are already engaged in.
The University has a long-standing strategic commitment to sustainability and track record for its performance and innovation in this area. In 2017 the University celebrated its rise to become the second most sustainable university in the UK, as ranked in the People and Planet University League table.
Vicki Hatton, Students' Union President, said: “After a number of years of campaigning and lobbying for the University to commit to divestment, the SU are delighted the University has taken the decision to invest in a fossil free future. The SU has, since 2016, supported the NUS Divest-Invest campaign and we are pleased to see our University moving investments to renewable energy. Our students, staff and community want a sustainable future and we are rightly proud of our institution’s commitments to sustainability.”
Dr Alex Ryan, Director of Sustainability, said: “This is an important step for our University as we join the vanguard of businesses and investors across the globe and in all sectors, who are moving societies towards cleaner energy through the power of their investment practices. The collective leadership shown by our governing body, senior management and student community has helped to achieve this aim, which underlines our dedication to wider international efforts to address climate change.”