Cazenove Charities releases a new report outlining actionable steps for universities to align their investments to net zero

by | Jun 25, 2024

Cazenove Charities, in partnership with British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG), has published a guide for universities looking to align their investments with their net zero ambitions. The guide, ‘Net zero investments: a guide for universities’ , follows on from the success of the ‘Climate Confident: Charity investments and net zero‘ report, launched last year.

The report highlighted that whilst 89% of survey respondents have made a climate commitment, such as a net zero target, only 38% currently include their investment portfolio in this commitment. 

Universities identified the most common barrier to developing such an approach were concerns over investment returns and a focus on other priorities. However, the reputational risk of inaction and the opportunity to demonstrate leadership were reported as the driving forces for taking action.

To read the full report, click here.

The report outlines five key steps in developing a net zero investment strategy:

  • Agree motivation and priorities – is your university aiming to manage climate risks or to achieve real world impact, or both?
  • Set time horizon and interim targets
  • Agree the investment strategy and preferred levers such as divestment, investing in climate solutions and active ownership
  • Decide how you’ll track progress
  • Document the plan in your Investment Policy Statement

Emily Petersen, Portfolio Director, Sustainability and Impact, Cazenove Capital:

“Universities play a pivotal role in combating climate change through their research, innovation, and education. We believe this report will provide valuable and practical guidance for universities looking to align their investments with their climate ambitions.”

Karel Thomas, Executive Director, BUFDG:

“We recognise the sector has a role to play in the UK’s net zero journey, and that today’s students seek meaningful commitments from their universities in all areas of their operations. 

Featuring useful data and insights, practical and applicable guidance, and examples of those already underway, this guide will be useful to any university looking to decarbonise their investment portfolios and use their funds for good.”

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