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Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaigners: Your Real Influence Lies Beyond Symbolic Action

With each trustee decision against adopting the Go Fossil Free campaign’s recommendations, students are growing more determined to see their university endowment and pension funds divest from the fossil fuel industry. For many, the campaign is reminiscent of the South African apartheid divestment campaign, initially orchestrated by university students and credited for playing a key role in bringing an end to the oppressive regime. But will the fossil free student campaigners enjoy similar success as their parents did with the apartheid divestment campaign?

The University of Oxford released a new study last week investigating the impacts of the fossil fuel divestment campaign and comparing it with other campaigns, including South Africa apartheid, tobacco and armaments. While direct impacts of the campaign on share price and access to capital are expected to be negligible, the report finds the campaign’s potential for stigmatizing the industry will provide the real pressure required for transitioning to a low carbon economy. Read more…

Endowment Evolution- Benchmarking RI at Canadian Universities

We are pleased to announce the launch of CURI’s pilot pilot benchmark study, Endowment Evolution. The benchmarking study Endowmentsassesses Canada’s twelve largest university endowment funds’ policies and performance on responsible investment (RI).

Amongst various aspects, the study evaluates Canadian universities’ regular disclosure reports against sustainability performance criteria and the integration of RI approaches in universities’ overall sustainability framework.

A number of Canadian universities are currently making significant strides to design more effective responsible investment action plans. Their dedication to embedding ESG issues as integral aspects of RI policies and safeguarding their implementation, however, remains to be seen, as indicated by the report.

Endowment Evolution aims to stimulate dialogue on how the RI agenda should be moved forward in a strategic manner across Canadian universities.

To read the full report and the 12 university profiles, please click here.

Student campaigning for responsible investing pays off at St.Andrews…How did CURI help? Read on…

CURI is pleased to announce St Andrew’s University has signed the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in 2013.

This represents an excellent outcome for student-led campaigning for responsible investment. The Students’ Association at St. Andrew’s began campaigning for a Responsible Investment policy ten years ago and in a referendum in May of 2003, 91% of the 1,200 students elected to support a responsible investment campaign. Students have been working closely with the University ever since to develop a Sustainable Investment Policy, implemented in 2007.

One student involved in the campaign explains “the motivation, innovation and at the same time patience of both the students and the University’s administration to understand each other’s concerns and positions as well as the concepts of investing are what led to the success of this unique bottom-up engagement!”

CURI is proud to have supported on-going campaigning by St. Andrews’ students by providing strategic advice on engagement efforts with the university administration and research benchmarking progress against other universities.

Congratulations St. Andrew’s!

Source for background: http://www.thesaint-online.com/2013/04/university-signs-principles-of-responsible-investment/

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