University publishes endowment investments climate report

endowment investments climate reportThe University of Manchester has published a report into the climate impact of its endowment investments, revealing that by 31 July 2022, the carbon intensity of the University’s endowment equity investment portfolio has been reduced by 55% from 2019. The Endowment Investment Portfolio Climate Change report for the year ended 31 July 2022 has been prepared with support from Mercer, the University’s investment adviser.

The University has a target to reduce the exposure of investments to carbon-intensive companies, also known as the weighted average carbon intensity by 50% by 2027, and so has achieved this goal ahead of time.

Carbon intensity is a measure of carbon efficiency, in which the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions by a company are divided by the level of its activity (as measured in value of sales). The University aims to reach net zero carbon in its investments by 2038 at the latest.

Asset owners like the University sit at the top of the investment chain, and therefore, have an important role in influencing the organisations through which they invest (such as asset managers) and companies in which they ultimately invest to provide better climate-related financial disclosures.

Professor Nalin Thakkar, Vice-President for Social Responsibility, said: “I’m really pleased with the progress we have made on this, as it brings us much closer to our ultimate ambition of net zero-carbon in our investments. Publishing this report is part of demonstrating our ambition in a transparent way.”

“This work, and our efforts to decarbonise our campus operations, helps us make a contribution to tackling the climate crisis, alongside our important teaching, research and social responsibility activity.”