University proposal to decarbonise its investment portfolio
09 Mar 2020
Tell us what you think of our pioneering policy change to see disinvestment based on carbon intensity as well as fossil fuel reserves and extraction
We are consulting all our staff and students about proposed changes to the University’s Socially Responsible Investment Policy (SRIP).
The main reason for the policy changes is a recognition that climate change is likely the most important issue facing our planet today.
The University has already recognised the climate emergency declared by the UK government, and also fully supports the targets agreed in the 2016 Paris Agreement that commits all signatories to action on climate change for the coming two decades.
In addition, the University has aligned itself to the zero-carbon target for 2038 set by the city of Manchester and this is embedded in the University’s new strategic plan (Our Future).
As part of our wider response to climate change, the Board of Governors approved changes to our investment strategy in July 2019. The University recognises the concerns of its staff and students and the growing urgency to act, therefore, in December 2019, we agreed to bring forward the next planned review of the policy.
The most significant change is a commitment to staged decarbonisation of the investment portfolio in alignment with the University’s 2038 zero-carbon commitment. In the first stage, we propose 99% reduction in equity investments in fossil fuel reserves and extraction (with an ambition of eliminating all equity investments in this area) and 30% reduction in the carbon intensity of the equity portfolio by 2022.
We believe that this is a more radical, comprehensive and justified approach than disinvestment based on fossil fuel extraction alone.
The University recognises that carbon measurement and monitoring tools and methodologies will improve over time. Thus, we are committing to regularly reviewing the suitability of our approach and modifying it when better indicators or strategies become available.
Professors Larkin and McLachlan from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change and Elizabeth Haughton and Adam Haigh from the Students' Union have been consulted on this draft policy, and we will continue to work with them on refining the policy and its implementation.
The approach we are proposing is important because we believe climate change is a priority. We would like you to consider what we are proposing and feed back your thoughts and comments and whether you support the general direction that this policy sets out by Monday, 23 March 2020.
To see our revised policy, visit:
To give your feedback, visit: