Cleaning Up Campus: The College's Ethical Investment Policy

Following a week-long campaign to get us thinking about global warming and its relationship to the economy, the fossil fuel industry, and collective action, I met with the College last week to further make the case that the College’s Ethical Investment Policy needs to change.

The College has several investments that are being managed by third party organisations, and has recently chosen to review how these endowment investments are being managed by appointing an external advisor, Mercer, to carry out a high level strategy review of the College’s investment portfolio – including advising on the College’s Ethical Investment Policy.

I am pleased to be able to say that the College have been mindful of students’ views on the Ethical Investment Policy by inviting myself and Sustainability Society President Marcelina Rejwerska to meet with Mercer as part of their consultancy. This will enable us to discuss how the current policy could be changed to ensure the College is taking direct action to withdraw from environmentally unsustainable investments that are otherwise contributing to global warming.

Indeed, we discussed the possibility of the College agreeing to an investment strategy that seeks to decisively prioritise investments that actively work towards decarbonisation, and we’re planning to meet with College again once Mercer have proposed a new Ethical Investment Policy to the College (who will likely review the proposal around February) to ensure that it adequately addresses the issues of global warming that we face.

I ran to be RHSU’s President on a manifesto of five key aims, all under a ‘clean up’ theme which expressed my desire for Royal Holloway and the Students’ Union to become more effective, accountable and ecological. In this, I was very clear that, if elected, I would fight to ensure that the College does its upmost to keep sustainability as a core value at the forefront of its operation – including where the College invests its money.

There’s still plenty more to do, both by the College and the SU, but this is certainly a step in the right direction.   

Clem Jones // President