The University of Victoria’s working capital fund is now free of any fossil-fuel investments as the school looks to lower its carbon footprint.
On Tuesday, the university announced that $80 million of its $225-million working capital fund was being re-allocated to a short-term bond fund that focuses on reducing the carbon intensity of the investments within the pool.
Additionally, UVic says it is investing $10 million to further its ‘responsible investment policy goals’ in a renewable power impact fund.
The University says that this divestment away from fossil fuels aligns with the school’s commitment to address climate change.
“The opportunity to invest in renewable power is clear and it aligns with UVic’s responsible investment strategy allowing for support of future technologies while also ensuring a strong financial return,” said UVic Treasurer Andrew Coward.
UVic approved a policy last year for its working capital fund to materially lower carbon emissions of the entire portfolio by 45 per cent by 2030, allocate 25 per cent of the funds to thematic impact investments—including in energy companies that will be part of the required transition and investments that support Indigenous economic development—and encourage better disclosure of carbon emissions and climate-related risks.
The university acknowledged that the “passionate commitment, research and perspective shared by students and faculty in pressing the university to address climate change through its investments,” played a factor in the divestment decision by the Board of Governors.
“Investing in the fossil fuel free fund allows us to lower the carbon footprint of our investments which helps to mitigate the investment risk associated with climate change as society transitions to a greener economy that is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” adds Coward.
UVic says the movement of $80 million to the short-term bond will mean investing in holdings that prioritize low carbon intensity investments while excluding companies directly involved in extracting, processing or transporting fossil fuels.
For more details on the University’s working capital investments visit: https://www.uvic.ca/vpfo/capitalinvestments/