Development & Alumni Relations Office 


15 May 2017

Queen’s University has reinforced its commitment to environmental sustainability by joining over 700 other institutions around the globe in aspiring to disinvest from fossil fuels.

Following discussions with the Students’ Union, the University has updated its investment policy and will, subject to no detrimental impact on expected investment returns, seek to disinvest from companies involved in the extraction and production of fossil fuels by 2025.

Queen’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston (right), said: "Queen's has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability through our teaching and research.  In addition, we are currently implementing a comprehensive Carbon Management Strategy which will significantly reduce our CO2 emissions by 2020.

“Our new objective to disinvest from indirect investments in fossil fuels, subject to this not materially impacting on expected investment returns, further highlights our commitment to the green and environmental agenda in line with the University's Social Charter.

“I want to commend the Students’ Union for their commitment to protecting the environment and Queen’s is pleased to join other universities across the globe in aspiring to disinvest from fossil fuels.”

Students’ Union President, Seán Fearon (left), said: “With this announcement, Queen's University has made a bold statement about its commitment to combating climate change.

“The Students' Union has led a long campaign to raise awareness about the impact of climate change and bring the divestment agenda to the forefront of student politics.

“With this announcement, the University places itself on the right side of history, and adds to the hundreds of public bodies who have pledged to take a stand against the most significant challenge facing our world today and move towards a fossil free society.”

The University’s Responsible Investment Policy was first approved by Senate, Queen’s governing body, in June 2016.

This latest update will see the University instruct its active fund managers to take account of ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations and – provided that the effect is not materially detrimental to expected investment returns –to seek to transfer its indirect investment into funds which exclude companies involved in the extraction and production of fossil fuels, by 2025.

ESG factors encompass a broad range of issues that some investors consider alongside traditional financial factors when assessing companies for potential investment. No definitive list of ESG issues exists, but examples include: energy and resource management (environmental); labour relations and product safety (social); and executive remuneration (corporate governance).

Full details of the University’s updated responsible investment policy can be found here.  

Media inquiries to the Communications Office at Queen's University Belfast on tel: +44 (0)28 9097 3087.

Headline image credit: Schroders                                                                                                                                         

Back to Main News









Top of Page