Today the University has announced that their endowment cash is to be invested in an ethical fund free from coal, tar sands, arms companies and tobacco. We have also received assurances from the Vice Chancellor and Finance Director that this does include the sale and re-investment of their remaining direct shareholdings; including that in Shell which was the subject of our #showthelove campaign! We are delighted that this means Southampton has now joined a growing list of universities committed to the socially and environmentally responsible investment of their students’ tuition fees.
Kames’ ethical investment fund is a genuinely high quality, “dark green”, investment vehicle and we wholeheartedly support their choice; which ensures that the University does not profit from the dirtiest sources of energy; socially destructive industries or human rights abuses. We would like to thank the University for engaging so warmly and constructively with our campaign and for taking this decision. Particular congratulation must be given to our new Vice Chancellor, Professor Snowden, who has now seen two universities commit to ethical investment under his leadership. Thanks also to our Students’ Union; for voting overwhelmingly to back an end to coal and tar sands investments at Union Council in December last year. Finally, the greatest thanks of all to the student society committees and academic staff who added their names to our first open letter and the more than 150 students who signed and hung green hearts during SUSU’s, “Change Your World”, week.
It is wonderful to see that progress is possible and we send our support and encouragement to the many other divestment campaigns around this country and beyond; who are united in working for a cleaner, safer future. Together, we can beat climate change.