As part of UBC’s commitment to a low-carbon, sustainable future and divesting the endowment, the university is pleased to share that $34M of endowment funds have been transitioned to fossil-fuel-free investments. This marks the first transitioning of funds through the Responsible Investing Strategy.
In late 2019, the university directed UBC Investment Management Trust Inc. (UBC IMANT) to develop and adopt an investment approach that builds on existing responsible investing practices, further addresses climate risk, and helps to drive positive social change. During the second half of 2020, UBC IMANT received approval from UBC’s Board of Governors for its comprehensive Responsible Investing Strategic Plan.
The Responsible Investing Strategy includes strengthening UBC’s advocacy and leadership in responsible investing practices. In July 2020, UBC became a UN Principles of Responsible Investing signatory and a founding signatory of Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities. In September 2020, UBC established an ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions connected to the university’s Endowment portfolio by 45% by 2030.
In addition, an important commitment of the Responsible Investing Strategy was to provide enhanced transparency about the university’s Endowment portfolio holdings. As such, UBC IMANT has made the Endowment public equities holdings available on the UBC IMANT website and will update the information every six months.
UBC IMANT fully embraces the principles of responsible investing. Reinforcing UBC’s commitment to address the global climate emergency, UBC IMANT expects its investment managers to consider ESG factors in all of their decision-making — and are evaluating and holding fund managers accountable to this performance.
UBC and UBC IMANT will continue to demonstrate leadership among universities and endowments as this responsible investing journey continues. Progress planned for 2021 includes divesting further funds to fossil-fuel-free funds with lower emissions, establishing an active ownership policy, and incorporating climate risk analysis into an asset mix study.
More information on Responsible Investment at UBC is available on the UBC Finance website.