Investment and Ethical Investment Policy


Students Organising for Sustainability’s (SOS) Invest for Change campaign explains more about the role of investments and the impact they can have on climate justice and the planet. 



Why is this important? 

  • UK universities have over £15 billion of investments, often invested in corporate companies doing little or no public good. We’ve all heard about the companies extracting fossil fuels, violating workers' rights, manufacturing arms, avoiding tax or causing deforestation.


  • In other words driving the climate crisis and social injustice. Imagine what would happen if this money was invested into companies and projects with real-world impact: those building renewable energy infrastructure, supporting communities or developing social housing. 


  • You have the power to change this. Students are key stakeholders in university decisions and universities, as progressive public bodies, should be making decisions that lead the way towards a sustainable and resilient society. 


 - Melanie Kee, Campaign Manager SOS Invest for Change 


What is Divestment and how is it linked to Decolonisation? 

‘Divestment is an incredibly important means through which the University can help assist the fight, both against the climate crisis and structural racism, which go hand in hand. The biggest corporate polluters often exploit cheap labour in the global south and the direct result of their carbon emissions are seen in the increasing numbers of natural disasters occurring in lands outside of ‘the west’. Part of the University’s commitment to addressing these issues must ensure a policy of non-complicity with these practices, and therefore divest from firms and companies which are guilty of worsening the climate crisis and partaking in structural oppression. This also goes hand in hand with efforts from students & academics across the globe to decolonise our systems of education, so that the success of institutions here are not founded on the back of oppression and natural disasters in the global south.’

– Adnan Rahman, Education Officer 2020/21


What’s the situation at the University of Leicester? 

The University of Leicester’s Ethical Investment Policy outlines the following commitments;  

The University will not invest directly in those organisations where the primary part of their business is:

 · the manufacture and sale of armaments to military regimes.

 · the manufacture and sale of tobacco products.


As of January 2020, the University committed to not investing directly in the production and sale of fossil fuels.

In assessing investments and selecting underlying fund managers the University seeks to avoid businesses that demonstrate the following characteristics:

  1. explicit environmental damage
  2. institutional violations of human rights, including the exploitation of the work force
  3. discrimination against the individual


The University commits to investing 11% of its endowment funds into ‘Impact’ projects, “The impact investing portfolio is diversified across eight themes and investment areas, five of which are focused on climate: sustainable agriculture, sustainable transport, waste & materials, ecosystem services and clean energy.” However, as of yet there is not transparent information on which projects are being funded and prioritised in these areas. 


For full publicly available policy, you can click here, or find out more about climate change and divestment at University of Leicester.


The Investment Managers at University of Leicester? 


Goldman Sachs


Transparency and Representation? 

People & Planet league ranked the University the following score based on this:

TEXT: 0/15% for including the following specifics within the policy; -including student representation on their investment committee or publicly listing their investments annually

View the full rankings here.  

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