In 2016 we invited the UTS community to provide feedback on draft responsible investment statements to help the university better align issues of environmental, social and governance (ESG) dimensions, including our investment approach to fossil fuel, with the UTS Treasury Policy and Sustainability Policy. There was overwhelming support for the draft statements with 195 detailed responses, and 188 supporting the principles.
Since then, we have been working with our investment fund manager, TCorp, to integrate ESG factors into their investment process under their new Investment Stewardship Policy. Excitingly, their policy now aligns with the principles for responsible investment (PRI), the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. This means that for more than $70 billion in third party funds they manage, TCorp will demonstrate a commitment to investment stewardship and ESG integration.
After lengthy deliberation, The UTS Council decided that seeking this exponential change had greater value in creating significant and lasting sectoral change than divesting from fossil fuels directly.
Naturally, UTS will continue to monitor its investment performance, TCorp’s governance and disclosure as a result of implementing the Stewardship Policy.
UTS Council has now ratified the updated UTS Treasury Policy incorporating our community feedback, which aims to:
- align with the UTS Sustainability Policy
- align with PRI, which is supported by the United Nations
- apply good governance principles in respect of entities in which it invests, including seeking disclosure on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and
- take into account ESG factors that may impact on investment risk and opportunities.