Press Release: University of Greenwich drops fossil fuel investments

24 May 2023 09:55, Climate Team

Today the University of Greenwich has announced its divestment from fossil fuels, updating their Ethical Investment Policy to exclude all fossil fuel investments from their portfolio.


Greenwich is the latest success of the Fossil Free campaign which has seen two-thirds of UK universities commit to divestment. The campaign, coordinated by student-led campaigning charity People & Planet, demands universities exclude the fossil fuel industry from their investments and has seen growing momentum across UK universities. 


Campaigners at Greenwich are now calling on the University to continue to cut ties  with the fossil fuel industry by adopting an Ethical Careers Policy that excludes oil, gas and mining industry recruitment on campus. This is coordinated as part of the UK-wide Fossil Free Careers campaign, which urges universities to end their recruitment ties with the oil, gas and mining industries. To date Fossil Free Careers has seen three universities adopt this policy with a number of student unions across the UK also announcing their boycott of  the oil, gas and mining industries.


Laura Clayson, Climate Campaigns Manager at People & Planet, said: “It is amazing to witness Greenwich sever investment ties with fossil fuel companies, in acknowledgement of the deception, destruction and dispossession at the core of the industry’s business model. Divestment is a key first step in challenging the fossil fuel industry to keep operating as it currently does. It is a meaningful act of solidarity with both the Indigenous and frontline communities undertaking daily resistance to extraction and those being impacted by the unfolding climate crisis. I look forward to the fossil fuel industry being excluded from Greenwich’s recruitment opportunities next.”


Louise Watson, Chief Finance Officer at the University of Greenwich said: “A key component of the University of Greenwich's This Is Our Time strategy is our commitment to net zero carbon by 2030.  To support this critical objective, we worked with our bankers to structure a Responsible Investment Policy which explicitly requires exclusion of investments in companies whose primary business is the extraction, purification, and storage of fossil fuels.  This demonstrates the University's commitment beyond its core activities to support combating global climate change and ensures we don't invest money in companies that benefit from fossil fuel exploitation.”


Simon Goldsmith, Head of Sustainability at the University of Greenwich said: "The University of Greenwich is strategically focused on delivering the solutions that a sustainable planet needs and we are proud of our commitments and actions to date. Responsibility for our carbon footprint does not stop at the energy we use to heat and power our campuses. We know we need to act on our wider areas of influence and this includes where we make financial investments. Our Investment Policy provides a clear message that we avoid investing in companies whose primary business is fossil fuels."


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