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University of Manchester to decarbonise investment portfolio by 2038

Published June 8, 2020

University of Manchester to decarbonise investment portfolio by 2038

The University of Manchester plans to withdraw its investments in fossil fuel companies by 2022 and decarbonise its investment portfolio by 2038. 

The University has changed its Socially Responsible Investment Policy. The changes include a commitment to reduce the carbon intensity of the overall investment portfolio by 30% by 2022, and then to move to net zero by 2038. 

The University will also redirect its share investments from carbon-intensive companies to companies that are more carbon-efficient (emit less carbon for their level of activity). 

The SRI Policy was developed in consultation with the University’s Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and the Students’ Union. 

Investments in companies that hold fossil fuel reserves or are involved in extraction account for only 3-5% of the University’s total investments. Most CO2 emissions arise through the use of fossil fuels by others. “We are therefore taking the more ambitious step to shift our investments to carbon-efficient companies,” said Vice-President for Social Responsibility, Professor Nalin Thakkar. “We believe this is a more radical, comprehensive and justified approach than disinvestment based on fossil fuel extraction alone.” 

In 2019 the University supported the UK Government’s declaration of the climate emergency and signed up to be part of the city of Manchester’s zero carbon target, which was also developed by the Manchester Tyndall Centre.