Responsible investment policy library

UK Higher Education Institutions (HEI)

Use this policy library to explore responsible investment policies, or similar, across UK HEIs to support the creation or development of policy at your own institution.

The policies and information have been collated by SOS-UK and ShareAction - more information below.

The information contained herein is based on publicly available data from report and accounts, websites and policies as at August 2020. Some changes have been implemented following this, as and when we have been notified directly.

Organisation name
RINU member
Investments (£m)
Policy
Link
Commitment to ESG/SRI
Divestment status
Exclusions
Positive tilts
Engagement strategy
Transparency / Reporting
Students on committee?
Details
How to change
University of Nottingham
None
79.500
Yes
https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/governance/documents/investment-policy.pdf
The University of Nottingham is committed to investing its endowment funds on a responsible basis. This Investment Policy allows the University to optimise its investment returns whilst recognising its ethical and social responsibilities.
Full
Will not invest in those organisations where the primary part of their business clearly demonstrates the following characteristics: - explicit environmental damage - manufacture and sale of armaments to military regimes - institutional violations of human rights, including the exploitation of the work force - discrimination against the individual - the manufacture and sale of tobacco products
Yes
SU officer on Finance Committee
University of Oxford
None
3729.600
Yes
https://governance.admin.ox.ac.uk/sri-policy-and-investment-restriction-statements-0
The University's Policy is to ensure that its investment decisions (including those taken on its behalf) take into account social, environmental and political issues in order to maintain its ethical standards.
Partial
Arms, Fossil Fuels and Tobacco.
To engage in responsible stewardship with its investment managers. To engage directly and indirectly with managers (and where possible directly with investments) to make representations concerning social, environmental and political concerns as appropriate.
Yes
SU officer on Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee
Forum for considering representations to change this Policy and/or practices relating to it on ethical grounds;
University of Plymouth
None
Yes
https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/7/7061/Ethical_Investment_Policy_schedule_S10_from_treasury_management_policy_2018.pdf
None
University will not invest in a particular business: I. Where such investment might conflict with the aims, objectives or activities of the University. eg tobacco industry conflict with University’s medical and dental schools ii.where such investment hamper the work of the University either by alienating financial supporters or potential financial supporters; or by having a material impact on applications from potential students. iii.where such investment, while not excluded by virtue of (i) or (ii) above, is considered by the University to be unethical. Also specifies tobacco products
It and will aim to invest in funds that provide social and/or environmental benefits, which may include green technologies and fossil fuel disinvestment.
The University encourages all of the organisations with which it works to behave in a socially responsible way
No
2 SU officers on Council
University of Portsmouth
None
No
N/A
Partial
University of Reading
None
568.771
Yes
https://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/office-of-the-university-secretary/UoR-Investment-Policy-15.pdf
The University of Reading believes in socially responsible investment and responsible stewardship. It expects its investment managers to take account of social, environmental and ethical considerations in the selection, retention and realisation of investment
Full
No
The University will engage with members of its community and relevant stakeholders who may wish to influence the ethical considerations made by the University and its advisers in respect of its investments.
University of Salford
None
Yes
No
In deciding on counterparties and companies in which to invest, the University aims to remain consistent with ethical values in pursuit of its visions and values.
None
the University will not invest in businesses where the primary part of the business demonstrates the following characteristics: a. Explicit environmental damage, b. Manufacture and sale of armaments to military regimes c. Institutional violations of human rights, including the exploitation of the work force d. Manufacture and sale of tobacco products. e. Production and distribution of pornography. f. Alcohol production and distribution. g. Involvement in gambling
Ensure that where fund managers undertake the University’s investments that they operate to socially responsible objectives consistent with those of the University. Short term deposits - The Banks and Building Societies, when considered as counterparties, are asked for details of their ethical investment policy.
The University publishes a list of its investments to ensure open and transparent communication with its stakeholders.
No
University of Sheffield
None
46.400
Yes
https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.535289!/file/University_Endowment_Investment_Policy_web_version.pdf
The University of Sheffield is committed to investing its funds on a socially responsible basis. The University believes that to accord with its values when investing its funds, regard must be made to social, environmental, sustainability and governance issues.
Full
Investment Managers should seek to eliminate exposure to the following areas: - explicit environmental damage; - manufacture or sale of armaments; - institutional violations of human rights, including the exploitation of the work force; - discrimination against the individual; - the manufacture of tobacco products; - the sale of tobacco products (where the investment is in companies that derive more than 10% of their revenue from selling tobacco products); and - the manufacture of cosmetic products that are tested on animals.
In making investment decisions the University expects its Investment Managers to actively consider the following areas (this list should not be considered as exhaustive): - Promotion of sustainability, good business ethics and good employment practices; - Protection of the global environment, its climate and its biodiversity; - Promotion of community investment; - Promotion of international co-operation and an end to international conflict; and - Sustainable provision and procurement of essential resources and services
In making investment decisions the University expects its appointed Investment Managers to encourage good behaviour or discourage poor behaviour through the screening of investments, either positively or negatively and through the direct engagement with firms.
Publish annually on its website information regarding the companies and other funds in which the University’s endowments are invested.
No
2 SU officers on Finance Committee
The University staff community may propose amendments to this policy via the Senate or Staff representatives on Finance Committee or Council. The University student community may propose amendments to this policy via the Students’ Union Council or the Students’ Union representatives on the University’s Finance Committee or Council. Concerns on specific companies (basis of evidence and serious concern) to the Treasurer or Secretary of the Investment Group
University of South Wales
None
No
N/A
None
Page 1 of 30

ABOUT THIS TABLE
This spreadsheet contains information about the responsible investment policies of UK HEIs.
The information contained herein is based on publicly available data from report and accounts, websites and policies as at August 2020. Some changes have been implemented following this, as and when we have been notified directly.
Blank fields indicate that, either the information wasn't available, or was not applicable.


ABOUT SOS-UK
Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) is an educational charity created by students and staff at NUS in response to the climate emergency and ecological crisis.  We support students to learn, act and lead for sustainability.

 

ABOUT SHAREACTION
ShareAction is a non-profit working to build a global investment sector which is responsible for its impacts on
people and planet. We mobilise investors, including HEIs via the Responsible Investment Network - Universities (RINU), to take action. Over the last 15 years, ShareAction has used its powerful toolkit of research, corporate campaigns, policy advocacy and public mobilisation to drive responsibility into the heart of mainstream investment. We want a future where all finance powers social progress.


DISCLAIMERS
*Divestment Status assessment (column J): the information contained within this column has been obtained from the People & Planet's website. This is not a complete dataset and was based on Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, its veracity should be treated accordingly.  

Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information is correct, SOS-UK, ShareAction, their employees and agents cannot guarantee its accuracy and shall not be liable for any claims or losses of any nature in connection with information contained in this document, including (but not limited to) lost profits or punitive or consequential damages or claims in negligence.

SOS-UK and ShareAction do not provide investment advice. The information herein is not intended to provide and does not constitute financial or investment advice. SOS-UK and ShareAction make no representation regarding the advisability or suitability of investing or not in any particular financial product, shares, securities, company, investment fund, pension or other vehicle or of using the services of any particular organisation, consultant, asset manager, broker or other service provider for the provision of investment services. A decision to invest or not or to use the services of any such provider should not be made in reliance on any of the statements made here. You should seek independent and regulated advice on whether the decision to do so is appropriate for you and the potential consequences thereof. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the information is correct, SOS-UK, ShareAction, their employees and agents cannot guarantee its accuracy and shall not be liable for any claims or losses of any nature in connection with information contained in this document, including (but not limited to) lost profits or punitive or consequential damages or claims in negligence.

Students Organising for Sustainability is a registered charity operating across the UK.  Charity registration number: 1184011.

Fairshare Educational Foundation (t/a ShareAction) is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales number 05013662 (registered address 63/66 Hatton Garden, Fifth Floor, Suite 23, London UK, EC1N 8LE) and a registered charity number 1117244.