McGill University has signed on to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which is recognized as the leading global network for investors who are committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into their investment practices and ownership policies.
The PRI’s international investors work together to implement a set of six voluntary principles that provide a framework for integrating ESG factors into investment analysis and ownership practices aligned with investors’ fiduciary duties:
- To incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes.
- To be active owners and incorporate ESG issues into ownership policies and practices.
- To seek appropriate disclosure on ESG issues by the entities in which we invest.
- To promote acceptance and implementation of the Principles within the investment industry.
- To work together to enhance effectiveness in implementing the Principles.
- To report on activities and progress towards implementing the Principles.
Signing the PRI aligns with the University’s ongoing eight-point implementation plan for decarbonizing its endowment portfolio, based on recommendations put forth in the final report of the Committee to Advise on Matters of Social Responsibility (CAMSR).
As part of its commitment to fighting climate change, McGill University’s result-oriented strategy has accelerated the effective decarbonization of its investment, and further reduced its exposure to large users of oil, gas, and coal, as well as fossil fuel producers. By taking a holistic approach that looks beyond the traditional carbon-intensive energy sector, the University has already achieved a nearly 53 per cent absolute reduction in the carbon footprint of its two-billion-dollar endowment portfolio in just two years.
“McGill University’s bold strategy has reduced the carbon emissions of its endowment investments by 78,000 tons annually, which is equivalent to taking approximately 16,800 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles off the road,” said Sophie Leblanc, Chief Investment Officer & Treasurer at McGill University, when the University published its annual Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) report in May 2022. “This is about four times more than what could have been accomplished by divesting from top oil and gas reserve owners alone.”
Read more about the results from McGill’s holistic approach to decarbonizing investments.