University is founding member in new Responsible Investment Network
The University of Edinburgh is a founding member of a new Responsible Investment Network within higher education that will explore how universities can invest ethically.
The new Responsible Investment Network - Universities will provide a means for the University of Edinburgh to share ideas with the University of Cambridge and St Anne's College Oxford on responsible investment best practice, such as stewardship of investments, engaging with asset managers, making social investments, and involving students and university staff. Together the three founding institutions represent around £5.4 billion in assets under management.
What is responsible investment?
Responsible investment is an investment strategy which integrates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis and decisions. It recognises that ESG factors can have an impact on the financial value of an investment and also that investments have an impact on the world around us. A responsible approach to investment recognises that long-term prosperity requires a move away from short-term profit as the only definition of value.
- ShareAction, 2019
The network was established by ShareAction, a charity that encourages organisations to use their investments for social good.
Lily Tomson, ShareAction’s Head of Networks, said:
“I am delighted by the range of universities in the founding group, and their enthusiasm to share ideas and act boldly. The national conversation about responsible investment within higher education has focused mainly on whether to divest from fossil fuels or not. It’s an important debate, and over half of UK universities have divested, but it’s not the only strategy at their disposal. RINU is all about working with both investment staff and university stakeholders, who understand the urgency of social and environmental threats, and who are looking together for a range of solutions.”
Responsible Investment at the University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh is recognised as a global leader for its commitment to responsible investment.
Edinburgh was the first university in Europe to sign the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in 2013. Since then, responsible investment has become firmly integrated into not just our financial operations, but also our wider approach to social and civic responsibility: such as our commitment to transition out of fossil fuels investments by 2021; our £60m investment in sustainable and low carbon companies; our £1.5m investment in local social enterprises and our zero-tolerance stance on modern slavery. We look forward to sharing our expertise with other universities.
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