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Our campaign is LAUNCHED! Click on TAKE ACTION and send an email for a More Responsible Cambridge.
We're gearing up for our campaign this Lent term. Stay tuned for updates!
Amnesty's Shell Hell day highlights university investment in human rights abuses in Nigeria.
SRI Day of Action sees flashmob protest make the front cover of TCS & coverage in Varsity
University publishes new Statement of Investment Responsibility - some improvement, but not nearly as much as is needed!
In response to student pressure the University agrees to re-draft its position on Ethical Investment
Hundreds of students demonstrate for a University Socially Responsible Investment Policy
Experts discuss SRI in a panel discussion at the Cambridge Union
CUSU Council votes to call the University to implement an Ethical Investment Policy
Cambridge University Sustainable and Responsible Investment Campaign (CUSRIC)
The Cambridge University Sustainable and Responsible Investment Campaign (CUSRIC) is a broad coalition of Cambridge students, faculty, and alumni committed to changing the way the University invests its money, in alignment with its mission to contribute to society, education and research.
We are concerned about the dangerous disconnect between the values that guide Cambridge's education and research mission and those that inform the investment strategies of University and Colleges endowments. A Responsible Investment Policy would commit the University and Colleges to invest their endowments in ways that support environmental sustainability, human rights, labour standards, international development and innovation.
Campaign Demands: A More Responsible Cambridge
We want to see the University increase its commitment to responsible investment practices, foster greater transparency and establish oversight of how endowment investments are made.
The University should formulate an explicit University Policy on Responsible Investment*, which:
Outlines strategic investment principles that incorporate environmental and social considerations consistent with the research and educational mission of the University
Includes a framework for engaging with fund managers so as to ensure alignment with University's RI policy.
The University should adopt reporting and disclosure mechanisms that foster greater transparency, including:
Integrated reporting into the University's annual financial statements, which links the University's financial performance, governance, and strategy to responsible investment criteria;
A disclosure mechanism on past investments with a reasonable time delay so that the Council and Investment Board's investment strategy is not undermined;
A disclosure mechanism of University fund managers' policies towards Responsible Investment to an Advisory Committee;
The University should strengthen and reform the Executive Committee to act as a Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee, tasked to ensure that the University makes investment decisions responsibly and with integrity.
*In response to student pressure in 2008/9 the University agreed to rewrite their policy on Socially Responsible Investment. This was a great victory for student campaigning! Unfortunately, the new Statement of Investment Responsibility (found here) fails to commit to a binding ethical investment policy.
15 March 2013
Our campaign met with Rob Lake, the Director of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) to learn more about responsible investing, active ownership, and incorporation of environmental, social, and governance issue into investment practice. The Cambridge University Director of Finance attended the meeting.
6 March 2013
The Cambridge University Students' Union (CUSU) and Jesus College Student Union passed resolutions supporting our campaign! Girton College is working on their own motion. If you'd like to submit a motion to your JCR/MCR, please email us for a template.
20 February 2013
Sidney Sussex Supports Responsible Investments!
Contact: Jia Hui Lee, CUSU SRI Officer, email@example.com, 07446088987.
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY, UK---Sidney Sussex College Students' Union last night voted in favour of a motion to support the CUSU Sustainable and Responsible Investment Campaign. The motion also expresses the desire of the Student Union to engage with the college regarding responsible investment practice, in particular to encourage greater explicitness, transparency and oversight of Sidney Sussex's investments.
"This is a fundamental first step in the long process of ensuring that college investments live up to the values and moral expectations we as students share about our role in the world," said Daniel Macmillen, the CUSU Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) Officer, who is also a second-year student at Sidney Sussex.
This is the first official milestone of an ongoing university-wide campaign demanding that the University adopt a Policy on Responsible Investment to align the University's investment practice with its mission to contribute to society, education and research. Currently the University's investment practice is bound by a Statement of Investment Responsibility which does not detail specific criteria or an ethical framework through which investment decisions are made.
The Cambridge University Sustainable and Responsible Investment Campaign (CUSRIC) also calls for greater transparency of the University's investments and for reform to the Executive Committee so that it can review investment decisions in accordance with responsible investment policy.
"I think it adds some real weight to the campaign, it shows that this is a cause that the whole student body genuinely cares about. Hopefully the University will take the opinions of the people it is meant to be here for seriously," Jack Layton, the Ethical and Green Officer at Sidney Sussex, said of the motion's passage.
To date, Cambridge University is the only higher education institution among its peers without a significant commitment to responsible investment. The University of Oxford, University College London, University of St. Andrews and York University each have a Responsible Investment policy.
17 February 2013
""Gross financial mismanagement results in faculty layoffs," he said. "We haven't yet seen a disaster. But if there is a disaster, we don't have anyone else to blame."
Even amid warnings such as Anderson's, Cambridge and some of its colleges are becoming more ambitious in their investing strategies."
A Bloomberg article published on 15/2/13 provides some details about Cambridge's investments.
16 February 2013
Our campaign is launched! Ask for a More Responsible Cambridge by emailing to ask about Cambridge's investment practice. Take action here.
Our very own Ryan Rafaty explains in the King's Review why universities investing in fossil fuel companies should reconsider the core purposes of their endowments.
14 February 2013
Our friends at Vanderbilt University succeeded in getting their University to divest from corporations and funds involved in taking land away from local communities in sub-Saharan Africa.
CUSRIC is running a huge campaign to get the University to increase its commitment to responsible investment practices, foster greater transparency and establish oversight of how endowment investments are made.
- Go here to find out more about the campaign.
- Itching to participate? Take action here!
- Sign a petition calling for a Responsible Investment policy.
- Like the campaign's facebook page for live updates!
- Join the email list.
- Learn about investment here. Or read news articles about the previous campaign.
- Get in touch to find out how you can get more involved - contact ethicalinvestment@cusu (.cam.ac.uk)
CUSU's current policy on SRI is available here
Download the full-length campaign policy proposal and background paper here.
All the colleges have separate investments and investment policies and most colleges do not have an ethical investment policy. Go to the College Campaigns page for more information.
Past CUSU supported campaigns
Cambridge Students Against The Arms Trade have been campaigning since 2005 to persuade colleges to adopt ethical investment policies which exclude arms companies. Campaign activities have included a debate at the Cambridge Union, a banner-drop, stalls, petition-gathering and a mass demonstration on February 10th 2007 which involved over 250 students. Campaign successes include Pembroke's decision to sell its shares in arms companies. If you wish to find out more about CAAT's campaign or get involved, please visit their website.
Sudan Divestment UK have launched campaigns for colleges to disinvest from specific companies which have dealings with the Sudanese government but no tangible benefits to the Sudanese population at large, and are therefore complicit in the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Campaign successes so far include agreement from New Hall and St.Catz to divest from Sudan. To find out more, visit the website.