Social Responsibility and Sustainability

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University's commitment to responsible investment praised in new report

The University's latest assessment by the UNPRI (United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment) reflects the institution's ongoing, progressive commitment to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into investment decisions.

In 2013, the University of Edinburgh became the first university in Europe to sign the UN Principles of Responsible Investment, an internationally-recognised initiative seeking to build a more sustainable financial system. In the UNPRI's latest assessment of the University, the institution scored highly.

University of Edinburgh Assessment Report 2018

The University scored highly for Strategy & Governance (A+), and for general integration of ESG in Listed Equity (A), Fixed Income (A), and Property (B). This reflects the University's holistic approach to responsible investment, and recent commitments to avoid investments in fossil fuels, controversial weapons, and tobacco. All University fund managers are signatories to UNPRI. 

Read the University of Edinburgh's PRI Transparency Report for 2018

Since we joined the Principles for Responsible Investment, we have updated our policies on fossil fuels, modern slavery, and sustainable supply chains. This is another major change to our investment fund – to selectively invest in funds making a more positive contribution to environmental sustainability.

Phil McNaullDirector of Finance

What is responsible investment?

UNPRI logo

Responsible investment is an approach to investing that aims to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions, to better manage risk and generate sustainable, long-term returns. Examples of environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors include:

Environmental

  • climate change
  • greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • resource depletion, including water
  • waste and pollution
  • deforestation

Social

  • working conditions, including slavery and child labour
  • local communities, including indigenous communities
  • conflict
  • health and safety
  • employee relations and diversity

Governance

  • executive pay
  • bribery and corruption
  • political lobbying and donations
  • board diversity and structure
  • tax strategy

Find out more about the University's commitments to responsible investment