Responsible investment

The approach the University takes to responsible investment is rooted in its focus on social and civic responsibility, and a vision to make the world a better place.

What is Responsible Investment?

Responsible investment is an investment strategy that integrates environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis and decisions. 

It recognises that environmental and social factors can have an impact on the financial value of an investment and also that investments have an impact on the world around us. Responsible investment acknoweldges that long-term prosperity requires a move away from short-term profit as the only definition of value. 

Responsible Investment underpins our Strategy 2030 vision and is embedded in the University’s financial decision-making and reporting processes.  

Responsible Investment Policy Statement 

The University of Edinburgh Investment and Endowments 

The University of Edinburgh is seen as a global leader in responsible investment and was the first University in Europe to become a member of the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Investment. The University has scored ‘straight As’ for its responsible investment reporting in the last few years.   

The UN Principles for Responsible Investment 

Fossil fuel divested since 2021

Divestment involves the removal of an organisation's direct and pooled investments in companies involved in the extraction and production of fossil fuels from its portfolio.

In 2014, staff in the University’s Finance and Social Responsibility and Sustainability teams worked with external fund managers to undertake a major review of the University’s investment portfolio and its carbon exposure.

In 2015, students joined with staff to shape the University’s divestment approach as part of an extensive working group. This resulted in the end of coal and tar sands investment and a commitment to prioritise low-carbon investments.

Following a further review in 2018, the University announced plans to complete divestment from direct and pooled investments in fossil fuels. The University completed full divestment from fossil fuels in 2021.

Why we are fossil fuel free

The University’s divestment announcement 

Investing in our vision to make the world a better place 

If divestment signifies what the University is against, social impact and climate positive investments are what we stand for. The University is investing in a number of social and environmental causes, whilst aiming to nurture a community of social entrepreneurship among students and staff. 

Investing for Good: Social investment and enterprise strategy  


Socially positive investments

The University is investing up to £8 million in socially positive causes across Edinburgh and the UK.

Principles for Responsible Investment

As a signatory of the UN-supported "Principles for Responsible Investment", the University reports its responsible investment progress annually.

Find out more

For more information on the University's approach to responsible investment, or to speak about ways staff and students can get involved, please contact the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. 

General enquiries

  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Contact details



Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
The Boilerhouse
High School Yards

Post Code

This page was updated on 4 Dec, 2023