McGill University to decrease carbon intensity of investment portfolio

McGill University is moving forward to reduce the overall carbon footprint of its investment portfolio, as part of its ongoing commitment to fighting climate change and its own stewardship role with respect to sustainability.

The Board of Governors, the University’s highest governing body, approved all the proposed recommendations from the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR) at its meeting today. The report recommends decreasing McGill’s endowment portfolio exposure to carbon-intensive investments, including those within the fossil fuel industry. The report also recommends increasing McGill’s low-carbon holdings through impact investments, such as those in clean technologies, renewable energy infrastructure and fossil-fuel-free funds.

“Adopting a more carbon-conscious investment approach complements McGill’s far-reaching climate change and sustainability goals, including institution-wide efforts to achieve carbon neutrality across the University’s operations by 2040,” says Suzanne Fortier, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University. “These recommendations are aligned with our steadfast commitment to further advance the sustainability agenda across our campuses, through additional efforts to identify targets and effective approaches.”

“The McGill Community’s resolve to combat climate change is reflected in the knowledge being created and shared by our researchers and students, in the ongoing improvements to the operations that support our academic mission.”

CAMSR will now engage in determining responsible, proactive and comprehensive guidelines, including decarbonisation targets and timelines, which will be presented to the Board by April 2020 for the University to operationalize its new investment framework.

Read the report

CAMSR is one of the Board’s nine standing Committees. Its mandate involves advising the Board on matters concerning social responsibility. More specifically, the Committee, taking due regard of the mission of the University, and the fiduciary duties of the Board, advises the Board on matters concerning social responsibility related to University endowment investments within the mandate of the Board’s Investment Committee.

About McGill University

Founded in 1821, McGill University is home to exceptional students, faculty, and staff from across Canada and around the world. It is consistently ranked as one of the top universities, both nationally and internationally. It is a world-renowned institution of higher learning with research activities spanning two campuses, 11 faculties, 13 professional schools, 300 programs of study and over 40,000 students, including more than 10,200 graduate students. McGill’s commitment to sustainability reaches back several decades and spans scales from local to global. The sustainability declarations that we have signed affirm our role in helping to shape a future where people and the planet can flourish.

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