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New College Responsible Investment Policy

Fitzwilliam College has today published a new responsible investment policy as part of the implementation of the College’s new strategic plan. The new policy (set out in detail in Appendix 1 here):

  • enacts the College’s commitment to environmentalism and social responsibility, and highlights that everyone needs to continue to assess how they can effectively contribute towards halting the climate crisis, one of the biggest challenges that humanity faces;
  • means that, going forward, the College will not invest its discretionary investment portfolio (valued at approximately £50m), either directly or indirectly in the fossil fuels, tobacco or defence (companies manufacturing weapons) sectors and will measure its investments against the ‘leader’ ESG rating; and
  • ensures that the College’s investments are managed, not just based on their financial performance and value for money, but also embodying the College’s social purpose and the example we set as a community to others.

The new policy also reflects the College’s intention to develop a comprehensive sustainability plan, to ensure that sustainability is embedded in every action the College undertakes. To achieve this the College has appointed the Bursar, one of its Senior Officers, as Chair of the College’s Environment Committee.

Baroness Sally Morgan, Master of Fitzwilliam, said, “Our announcement today regarding responsible investment is an illustration of the College’s new ambitious strategic plan that is built around the community’s core values. It also demonstrates the College’s intention to ensure sustainability is embedded in everything the College does.

The size of the College’s portfolio mean that it is a small investor, however its position together with those of other Cambridge colleges and the University, means that our actions in this area should have a broader impact beyond the direct steps the College has taken.”

Rod Cantrill, Bursar, commented, “the College took the decision at the end of 2020 as part of the evolution of the new Strategic Plan, to review our responsible investment policy. The new policy is an important further step in the College ensuring that its investments are managed, not just based on their financial performance and value for money, but also by embodying the College’s values and recognising the collective example we set for others.”

Joshan Parmar, JCR President, said, “The new responsible investment policy is a brilliant step forward - it shows a real commitment by the college to fighting the climate crisis.“

Jon Ostolaza Paraiso, MCR President, stated, “It’s exciting to see how much our responsible investment policy has developed in the last 18 months. We were one of the first colleges to adopt such a policy back in 2020, which inspired other colleges to do the same. With this new policy, Fitzwilliam College takes the stand once again to highlight that climate change and the environment are matters of top priority for the whole community.”

Steve Kidger, Head Gardener, commented, “The College’s new responsible investment policy is really welcomed. This is an important further step in responsible investment.”

The College's investment policy can be read in full here.

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