Ethical Investment

The University of Leicester's endowment portfolio adheres to our Ethical Investment Policy (Annex 1 of the Financial Regulations, updated Feb '19) and embraces the values of the University. The overarching premise is simple - companies that embrace sustainable practices are more effective stewards of long term capital and, as such, embracing a socially responsible strategy is prudent from both a financial and sustainability perspective.

We believe that we are a sector leading University endowment in the UK from a sustainability perspective.

1. Investment Exclusions

  • The portfolio has an ethical screen to ensure there is no direct investment in tobacco and armaments.
  • Our Investment Committee will continue to respond to the decisions of the University relating to specific exclusions.

2. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Integration

  • Each security and fund within the portfolio is analysed according to ESG metrics
  • Every investment manager is a UNPRI signatory and the portfolio is invested in some of the leading sustainability managers in the world.
  • Therefore, the University is confident that we are actively seeking to invest in businesses that do not cause explicit environmental damage, discriminate against the individual or violate human rights.

3. Engagement

  • Through our investment advisors, the University uses its capital to vote on social and environmental issues at Annual General Meetings. The Investment Committee receive regular reporting on these engagement activities and their impact on corporate behaviour.

4. Positive Impact Investing

  • The endowment also invests in businesses and sectors which are explicitly aiming to deliver an environmental and social return in addition to a financial return. The University has allocated a proportion of the endowment funds to Impact Investments.
  • This investment programme invests across eight themes:
    • Clean energy Goal 7
    • Sustainable Transport Goal 11
    • Food & Agriculture Goal 2
    • Waste & Materials Goal 11
    • Ecosystem Services Goal 3 Goal 6 Goal 15
    • Education Goal 4
    • Health Goal 3
    • Financial Inclusion Goal 1

Investment Committee

The Ethical Investment Policy is reviewed annually by the Investment Committee. Activities are reviewed at each quarterly meeting.

The student voice is important to the Committee and student concerns are discussed at each meeting.

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