Responsible Investment

Responsible investment allows institutions like colleges and universities to ensure that their investments are aligned with their values and take social and environmental factors into their decision-making processes. Many institutions have made commitments to diversity, the environment, their workers and local communities. They also have an obligation to operate across generations in perpetuity.

These commitments can and should be reflected in their investment policies. The status quo, unfortunately, means investing without regard to the environment, worker treatment and safety, employee policy and structure, and many other issues. 

Colleges and universities have many opportunities to align their investments with their values. These include:

  • Engaging in active ownership, also known as shareholder advocacy, by attempting to change the practices of the companies  they invest in to lessen impacts or improve outcomes for people and the environment;
  • Making proactive investments in companies and projects that align with the institution’s mission, such as clean technology or affordable housing, or hiring managers to make proactive investments; and
  • Screening out or divesting from particular industries, such as in tobacco, fossil fuels, or conflict minerals, where such investments would support activities against the school’s values.

Responsible investment benefits everyone: schools are able to make investment returns needed to fund quality education, alumni feel good that their donations are being managed in line with their values, and students know their education has not been funded unethically. Most importantly, responsible investment benefits the communities, people, and environments that are negatively impacted by status quo investment decisions.

Given the tremendous power of money, and the fact that over $400 billion is managed by colleges and universities, the need for responsible investment is urgent. Investments and the flow of money touch on every aspect of our lives.

 

Want to learn more?  Check out our student resources, alumni resources, or FAQ

Keep in touch

Sign up to receive our updates and get access to all features of this website. Sign in with:

Latest from the blog

Jul 10, 2017
"Historic new research from CDP, voted no. 1 climate change research provider by institutional investors, in collaboration with the Climate Accountability Institute, today reveals that 71% of all global GHG emissions since 1988 can be traced to just 100 fossil fuel producers. This group is the source of 635 billion tonnes...
Mar 23, 2017
Congratulations to the activists at York University! "The York University Advisory Committee on Responsible Investment (YUACRI) has voted to recommend the University's divestment from arms manufacturers and fossil fuels. YUACRI was established in 2012 to integrate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into investment management processes and ownership practices...
Mar 15, 2017
"Columbia University, New York, will divest certain coal industry investments in support of addressing climate change, Lee Bollinger, the university president, said in a message posted on the university’s website. University trustees have agreed to divest from companies deriving more than 35% of their revenue from thermal coal production, he...

Sponsors

Partners

Partners

Partners