We contract external investment managers to oversee the investment funds of the University through agreed mandates. As signatories to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) we require our investment managers to apply investment criteria based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are a set of standards for a company’s operations that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Environmental criteria consider how a company performs as a steward of nature. Social criteria examine how a company manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights. These standards are embedded in the UN Investment Reporting Framework. The Framework embraces a very wide range of detailed principles – including environmental impacts, human rights, diversity, workplace rights, strong corporate governance and ethical behaviour.
As part of our investment manager selection process we require fund managers to confirm that they have robust ESG policies in place. During our regular performance reviews of the investment managers, we consider their application of ESG policies in making investment decisions. We monitor their active engagement in monitoring the ESG performance of the assets in which we are invested. We expect them to be active in challenging ESG shortfalls in the organisations in which we invest.
Over the past two years we have reallocated a significant proportion of our assets to ethical and sustainable investment funds. These funds exclude – or heavily restrict - investments in companies deriving revenue from the following areas: carbon and fossil fuels, defence and weapons, alcohol, tobacco, gambling, adult entertainment and high-interest lending.
We are energetically pursuing new ethical and sustainable fund options, while always ensuring that investment target returns are in line with the University’s investment objectives to maximise returns whilst maintaining an appropriate level of liquidity, without undue risk. The University’s Investment Strategy is also embedded into the University’s Sustainability Strategy.
Read more about the University’s investment portfolios
Read more about the University's Responsible Investment Policy