Multi-million investment backs sustainable, low-carbon companies

Published: 26 October 2017

The University of Edinburgh has moved £60m of its investments into businesses that directly benefit the environment.

The money has been invested in two dedicated funds that support a cleaner, more sustainable and climate-friendly future.

One fund invests in companies that tackle a range of sustainability issues, including the need for greener products and low-carbon infrastructure. It also backs companies that address challenges such as sourcing sustainable water, energy and food.

The second fund is investing in a range of sustainably focused themes, including renewable technologies, directly supporting a global transition to low-carbon and renewable energy.

This substantial investment will deliver an impact for society. It will support new and established technologies and enable the creation of jobs in new industries.

Dave Gorman, Director of Social Responsibility and Sustainability 

The move forms part of the University’s climate strategy and is a major step in its commitment to make a significant, sustainable, and socially responsible contribution to Scotland, the UK and the world.

In 2013, Edinburgh was the first university in Europe to become a member of Principles for Responsible Investment, a UN-backed initiative that aims to make the global financial system more sustainable.

Since we joined the Principles for Responsible Investment, we have updated our policies on fossil fuels, modern slavery, and sustainable supply chains. This is another major change to our investment fund – to selectively invest in funds making a more positive contribution to environmental sustainability.

Phil McNaull, Director of Finance

In May 2015, the University signalled its intention to support the transition to a low-carbon economy. It aims to be carbon neutral by 2040.

The University has invested more than £30m in low carbon technology on campus, and since 2010 it has attracted more than £50m of funding for climate-related research.

Students have shown a real passion in the last few years for a more sustainable university, one which divests, and reinvests in green energy. Any move in this direction is appreciated by the Students Association, and we hope that the university continues to prioritise sustainability

Oliver Glick, Vice President Community at Edinburgh University Students’ Association

The People & Planet’s University League is the only comprehensive and independent league table that ranks UK universities on environmental and ethical performance. Among the Russell Group universities, Edinburgh ranked 7th, tied with the University of Warwick. However, when placed among all UK universities, the ranking fell to 34th.

The university’s investment is a major step in re-affirming its commitment to ensuring the progression of sustainability on campus and in Scotland and the UK. While further advancements and improvements can be made, it is a promising step towards a more sustainable future.

 

Source: University of Edinburgh

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