Carbon commitment

Napier sells investments in fossil fuel firms


Selling up: the university will no longer invest in fossil fuel

Edinburgh Napier University has disposed of all its direct investments in fossil fuel companies.

In a statement on its net zero ambitions principal and vice chancellor Andrea Nolan said it has a “strong history of enhancing environmental sustainability within and beyond Edinburgh Napier”.

The university strategy includes achieving net zero carbon in its operations by 2030 “at the latest”.

“We are now fully divested from direct investments in fossil fuel companies, including investments through share providers,” she said.

“This announcement recognises the dedication and enthusiasm of our University’s students and staff to work together to meet our sustainability goals.

“We have made the commitment to achieve net zero carbon in our operations by 2030 at the latest, while also seeking to minimise both our wider and legacy carbon footprint and influence sustainable practices within and beyond our campuses.

“By removing all direct investments from fossil fuel companies, we are taking significant steps towards meetings these commitments.”

Members from the Edinburgh Napier Sustainable Society and the Edinburgh Napier Students’ Association were instrumental in making their voices heard, taking the issue to the University and advocating for the position of divesting from fossil fuels.

As well as engaging with senior leadership, the students also worked with the Edinburgh Napier University Development Trust to ensure that the Trust itself – a separate legal entity from the University which manages all philanthropic funds on behalf of the University – also removed all direct investments from fossil fuel companies.

In February, investment management company Brewin Dolphin wrote to the Trust to confirm it had taken action to sell all remaining collective funds in the UK, Europe and the US where there was any indirect exposure to oil and gas companies, reinvesting the proceeds into a range of directly held stocks or into collectives where there is no underlying exposure.

Brewin Dolphin also stated it would continue to work with the Trustees not only to generate investment returns, but also to reflect the values of the University and the wishes of the donors within the investment strategy by favouring companies which contribute positively to society.

George Borthwick, chairman of the development trust, said: “Edinburgh Napier University recognises the challenges we all face in living and working more sustainably.

“Aligned to the University’s strategic priorities, the University Development Trust, which raises funds to provide student scholarships, bursaries and awards, has completed divestment from fossil fuels.”

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