Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Responsible Investment Initiatives

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 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.

Responsible Investment policy statement

This statement summarises the approach the University takes to responsible investing, and highlights the progress made along with actions planned in response to policy decisions and strategic objectives relating to environmental, social and governance considerations. 

Responsible Investment initiatives 

Positive investment and social finance

Graphic showing positive investments
The University has invested more than £150 million in low carbon technology, climate-related research and businesses that directly benefit the environment since 2010.

Zero fossil fuel investments by 2021

We've committed to transition our investments out of fossil fuels
The University has announced that it will complete its transition out of fossil fuel investments within three years.

Zero controversial armament investments

Court has endorsed the identification of controversial armaments as an area in which the University should not invest, and approved the policy based on the exclusion of controversial weapons.

Other investment exclusions

Earlier decisions were made not to invest in Tobacco stocks and in Ultra Electronics. The Investment Committee will continue to respond to the decisions of the University relating to specific exclusions. 

Working closely with Investment Committee, Investment Advisors and academic colleagues, the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability develops and maintains the exclusion lists compiled to ensure compliance with and reporting to PRI as well as agreed University investment decisions. 

UN Principles of Responsible Investment

In January 2013 the University took a significant step forward in linking its sustainability and investment strategies, and exercised leadership amongst Higher Education Institutions through its adoption of United Nations Principles of Responsible Investment (UNPRI), now known as PRI. 

November 2020: University scores "straight As" in 2020 Responsible Investment report

December 2019: University is founding member in new Responsible Investment network

September 2019: University recognised for responsible investment excellence in PRI Leaders' Group 2019

August 2019: University scores "straight As" in 2019 Responsible Investment report

June 2018: PRI report 2018

Responsible Investment Network - Universities

The University of Edinburgh is a founding member of a Responsible Investment Network within higher education, established in December 2019.

Responsible Investment Network - Universities

More information

The University Investment Committee

The role of the Investment Committee is to consider the corporate governance and other related implications of the University's investments. 

Learn more about the committee

Social Responsibility and Sustainability Strategy

Adopted by Court on 15 February 2010, the 2010-2020 strategy outlines the strategic role the University will play in responding to global challenges.

Governance, Publications & Reports