Ethical Investment

Sustainable Investment Policy Statement

The University does not intentionally invest directly (or through collective funds) in arms companies or corporations complicit in the violation of international law. This includes organisations with high exposure to activities or substances, which are potentially injurious to health (including alcohol and tobacco), that could destabilise community cohesion and threaten international stability.

The University is committed to helping protect and preserve the global environment and in terms of environmental sustainability, does not invest directly in organisations that do not have policies to control and significantly reduce the risk of serious negative environmental impacts. The University will seek to reduce investments with funds that detrimentally impact on the environment.

All money placed with money market funds will only be invested in article 8 compliant funds by the end of 2022/23 financial year. (An article 8 Fund under SFDR is defined as “a Fund which promotes, among other characteristics, environmental or social characteristics, or a combination of those characteristics, provided that the companies in which the investments are made follow good governance practices).”

University Group investments must not invest in companies deriving income from fossil fuel extraction. A maximum limit of 10% of revenues will be applied to companies deriving revenues from fossil fuel activities. Fund Managers have an explicit mandate to exclude investments that would breach this limit in their portfolios.

The performance of funds against sustainability criteria is to be reviewed on a regular basis and further opportunities to enhance sustainability portfolios to be covered on fund review meetings. The ethical implications of medium-term or long-term investments will be assessed alongside commercial opportunities. Information is to be published on the ongoing performance of sustainable investment at the University and engagement sought from relevant stakeholders to encourage feedback.

Where fund managers make investments on behalf of the University they will be appointed to ensure they are operating consistently with the ethical and sustainable requirements of the University.

In delivering upon our policy the university:

Will publish a list of its investments as part of the annual reporting process to ensure open and transparent communication with its stakeholders. Learn more about our current investments and the following fund holdings: MAF Holdings, RL Sustainable Diversified Trust Fund Holdings and RL Sustainable Managed Growth Trust Fund Holdings.

The university appoints Fund Managers to ensure that investments remain consistent with the values set out in the Treasury Management Policy.

The university will aim to place all medium-term treasury investments in financial institutions whose investment values reflect those set out in the University’s Treasury Management Policy.

Who is involved:

The Ethical Investment Working Group consisting of internal representation from Finance, Sustainability Teams, representation from academic staff from our Faculty of Business and Law as well as student representatives. The role of the group is to manage the delivery of the Policy, review progress on ethical investment within investment portfolios, incorporate stakeholder interest and sustainability requirements, consider risk and external factors that could impact on investment decisions, communicate and report on progress.

The group has engaged fund managers in our policy and ensuring their commitments match our own has been a priority for the group.

The Strategy, Finance and Resources Committee (SFRC) ensures the policy and our commitments are being delivered upon.

We encourage transparency and feedback, working with students to help us develop our policies and our approach to ethical investment.

Activities and building knowledge

Our Faculty of Business and Law wholly subscribes to the Principles for Responsible Management Education, this includes connecting ethical investment into our finance courses. The Faculty also organised a staff ‘Sustainable Pensions’ session during Green Week 2021.

Other events during 2021/22 have included:

Ethical Investment Forum. Our four external investment fund managers presented on where the universities funds are being invested, the performance of sustainability funds and invited students to ask questions as to the sustainability credentials of these funds and what matters to them.

We also engaged students through our Ethical Finance workshops, run in partnership with ‘Students Organising for Sustainability’ the sessions were open to all undergraduate students, held during the Enhancing Futures programme in summer 2022.

The workshop also encouraged feedback on the Sustainable Investment Policy Statement and encouraged students to sign up to be part of an ongoing conversation on the development of this, be part of the Ethical Investment Working group and to continue to shape our policy and commitments.

Bringing together staff expertise, our fund managers and students is a model we will continue to build upon. This supplements our formal and informal curriculum activities.

We invite further feedback via:

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