University completes divestment from fossil fuels
Published on 8 October 2021
The University of Dundee has announced the completion of its divestment from fossil fuels – less than 12 months after stating its intention to do so.
Professor Iain Gillespie
The University has also confirmed that half of its managed investments have been moved to a sustainable investment portfolio, with the remaining half to be transferred before the end of the month.
Though having held a relatively small holding in fossil fuel companies, the University announced in November 2020 that it intended to pull this investment within a five-year period. Having been completed four years early, Professor Iain Gillespie, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, revealed details of how Dundee’s portfolio of endowment funds - valued at around £29 million - is being invested responsibly.
“We already have an ethical investment policy to ensure we are not knowingly investing in companies in conflict with our values,” he said.
“However, the move to a sustainable portfolio goes much further and actively invests in organisations whose products and services enhance the future of our planet. These include projects to support nations struggling to recover from Covid-19, and to progress green energy projects in the developing world.
“Income from endowment investments is also helping to support students here at the University, with 54% of the endowment student awards made recently having gone to students from the most deprived areas of Scotland.”
Earlier this year, the University was ranked top in the UK, and fifth globally, for climate action in the 2021 edition of the Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, which measure the sector’s success in delivering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The table measures universities’ research on climate change, their use of energy and their preparations for dealing with the consequences of climate change.
Outside of the institution, the University continues to demonstrate environmental leadership throughout the city and has been a key driver in the proposed Eden Project Dundee.
“Sustainability is at the heart of our mission to transform lives locally and globally,” added Professor Gillespie, who is also Chair of the Dundee Climate Leadership Group.
“As Scotland prepares to welcome the world as host of COP26 next month, our divestment from fossil fuels is another significant sign of our commitment to making the world a better place.”
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