The University of Oxford has substantial financial investments, most of which are charitable endowment funds managed by Oxford University Endowment Management (OUem), a specialist investment team. This is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University and manages over £5bn of charitable money on behalf of the collegiate University.
As part of the Environmental Sustainability Strategy, the University has approved an Investment Policy Statement that describes how it manages its investment assets, outlining the governance structure, investment objectives and processes relevant to environmental sustainability and climate change. The University has also placed a restriction on direct investments in fossil fuel extractors.
OUem’s Environmental, Social and Governance policy and principles are public and reported on annually. Beyond appropriate risk management, managing perpetuity capital gives OUem a unique perspective and competitive advantage in investing in sustainability solutions. This has led to investments within the Oxford Endowment Fund in resource efficiency, innovative sustainability solutions and natural capital. Further details can be found on the OUem website.
- Publicly disclose an Investment Policy Statement that describes how the University manages its investment assets, outlining the governance structure, investment objectives and processes relevant to environmental sustainability and climate change.
- Implement the resolutions of Congregation on Fossil Fuel Divestments and Net Zero Investment.
- Actively engage with fund managers using the Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment.
- Publish the Investment Committee’s annual Socially Responsible Investment report.
- Ensure a member with relevant expertise in investment management and environmentally sustainable investment is appointed to the Investment Committee.
What we're already doing
The University is currently drafting an investment policy statement that will have a section dedicated to sustainability and will be publicly available. The University has expressly agreed to screen:
- Direct investment in companies that manufacture arms that are illegal under the Munitions (Prohibitions) Act 2010 or the Landmines Act 1998;
- Direct investments in tobacco companies (as defined by UK Cancer Research);
- Direct investment in any fossil fuel exploration and extraction companies, including coal, oil and gas exploration and extraction; in addition to a ban on thermal coal and oil sands;
- Investment funds which invest primarily in the above-listed categories of companies.