University signs up to UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment

The University of has signed up to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), becoming the first English Russell Group University to join the organisation.

The PRI is recognised as the leading global network for investors who are committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.

Stephen Dauncey, Director of Finance, said: “Our Revised Policy for Socially Responsible Investment has been in place for just over 12 months now and during that time we have made significant progress with our Investment Managers to allow us to pursue a sustainable approach to investment without compromising our investment returns. Subscribing to the PRI’s principles is the next step for us to show our commitment to our third goal of social responsibility.”

Over the last 12 months, the University has worked with its investment managers to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into their selection criteria and to engage with the companies that it invests in.

The key features of the policy are:

  • A requirement for Investment Managers to incorporate environmental, social and governance factors into their selection criteria when deciding where to invest.
  • Identifying and promoting low or zero-carbon investments where available without detrimental impact to investment risk and returns.
  • Divesting in shares in companies which do not respond positively to concerns about their practices or are deemed to be in breach of acceptable standards or ethical or environmental practice.
  • Engaging more proactively with Investment Managers to ensure that the new policy is being put into practice.
  • Committing to publish a quarterly snapshot of investment shareholdings on the corporate website, giving an enhanced level of transparency to investment decision-making

“We are very pleased to welcome the University to the PRI,” said CEO Fiona Reynolds, “And commend their recognition of the importance of ESG factors as a way to improve investment performance in the best interest of their beneficiaries.”

The full policy is available for download and the investment statements can be found on the University’s documents site.