PRESS RELEASE: University of Northampton ditches fossil fuel investments

15 Sep 2023 09:25, [current-user:field_staff_name]


HEADLINE: University of Northampton ditches fossil fuel investments


Today the University of Northampton becomes the 95th UK university to announce its divestment from the fossil fuel industry. The decision comes as part of the university’s wider work to journey away from fossil fuels and towards zero net carbon by 2030.

The University of Northampton divests after updating its Responsible Investment Policy to exclude fossil fuel companies from its £100,000+ investment portfolio. The Policy now also states that investment managers must consider ‘protection of the global environment, its climate and its biodiversity including, but not limited to, the reduction and future elimination of fossil fuel exploration and production’.

Fossil Free is a grassroots student campaign that urges universities across the UK to withdraw their investments from fossil fuel companies. Since it began UK universities have divested over £15 billion of investment portfolios from fossil fuel companies. The University of Northampton is the fifth announcement in 2022 alone. With over 60% of UK universities having divested, student campaigners are now targeting university careers services, calling on them to explicitly exclude oil, gas and mining companies from student recruitment opportunities. This campaign, Fossil Free Careers, has already won endorsement from student unions across England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as being backed by the UK’s largest student representative body, the National Union of Students.

Laura Clayson, Campaign Manager at People & Planet said:
‘Universities continue to divest their investment portfolios from the fossil fuel industry in recognition that these companies bear disproportionate responsibility for the climate crisis now unfolding around us. This move from the University of Northampton is important, spurred on by a national student movement acting in solidarity with Indigenous and frontline communities on the sharp end of climate injustice and fossil fuel extraction.’

J Clarke, Acting Director of Campaigns at People & Planet said:
‘Divestment from fossil fuel companies is a vital step for universities proving they take the climate crisis seriously. Just as importantly, we must see university careers services end the recruitment assistance they provide to the industries most responsible for environmental injustice: oil, gas and mining companies. It’s time for Fossil Free Careers.’

Becky Bradshaw, Executive Director of Estates & Campus Services at the University of Northampton, said: 

‘Here at the University of Northampton, we are proud to sign the declaration and take this latest step in our established journey away from fossil fuels towards cleaner energies.

‘As part of our wider approach to improving sustainability, we had already taken onboard the challenge of carbon reduction by seeking to switch to electricity and natural gas use on our Waterside campus, investigating renewable energy generation, as well as reducing food waste and single use plastic within our catering facilities - achieving a 29% reduction in our carbon footprint for 2020/21.

‘There is a justified demand for the Higher Education sector to respond to the challenges of carbon reduction, and we're glad to be on the front-foot and already taking significant strides towards reducing our carbon footprint.’

Notes to editor

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