.Representation

Socially Responsible Investment (1415P30)

Status: Lapsed | Zone: Sustainability

Passed: 08/06/2015 | Lapsed: 08/06/2015

This policy was discussed at the following meetings:

  • Increasing numbers of companies are beginning to discuss Socially Responsible Investment (SRI); where organisations develop ethical investment criteria for their investment portfolios.
  • The University of Southampton has a Treasury Management Strategy which currently controls where investments are targeted.
  • There is a campaign group, Fossil Free, lobbying for divestment from fuel and energy providers which sometimes uses methods of protest such as sit-ins.
  • The University of Southampton has a strong reputation for its Engineering and the Environment Faculty and National Oceanography Centre, which both receive funding from fuel and energy companies for research.
  • Fuel and energy companies employ large numbers of graduates with jobs to improve the exploitation use of fossil fuels, but also in roles which mitigate the effects of their activities and make them more environmentally friendly.
  • That SRI is an essential step in making the University of Southampton a more sustainable organisation and ensuring student fees are invested into positive ventures.
  • The current divestment campaign uses confrontational lobbying techniques to attempt to change the position of prominent organisations regarding divestment and the decision to divest has led to a damage of the reputation of some educational institutions that have had prominent alumni return their degrees.
  • That in the current state of opinion, divesting from fuel and energy companies could result in damage to reputation of the University of Southampton and therefore potentially impact upon future graduate employment.
  • That engaging the issue of SRI with the University of Southampton is a more positive way of addressing sustainability performance than divestment.
  • To lobby the University of Southampton to increase their ethical investments through SRI
  • To lobby the University of Southampton to in turn lobby the large fuel and energy companies it works closely with to increase their investments in alternative energy.
  • The Ethical and Environmental (E&E) Officer to focus on lobbying the University of Southampton to increase SRI rather than support divestment from fuel and energy companies campaign
  • VP Welfare to lobby the University of Southampton to increase SRI