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Auckland uni falls behind on ethical investment ranking


16 September 2015

Auckland uni falls behind on ethical investment ranking

Auckland University is being called out for its complete lack of an ethical investment policy in its $80 million endowment fund, and for falling behind competitors Victoria and Otago by not divesting from fossil fuels.

Over 2200 students, staff and alumni have signed a petition calling on the University and its associated foundations to stop investing in the fossil fuel industry and to establish an ethical investment policy.

"The University of Auckland is at the bottom of the pack in Australasia by not having any formal policy on what it invests in, meaning it could be funding tobacco, munitions, and dirty coal companies which are listed on the stock market," said Alex Johnston, spokesperson for student group Fossil Free UoA.

"For a university which prides itself on being a leader in the Pacific region, it is unacceptable to be contributing to climate change through its financial investments, given the impact climate change is having on our Pacific neighbours."

"There is a moral imperative on an institution that teaches about the devastating impact of things like climate change and smoking to put its money where its mouth is and divest from these industries."

Victoria University and Australian National University divested from fossil fuels last year, while the University of Otago Foundation Trust followed suit in August. In addition, five of the group of top eight Australian Universities have extensive ethical investment policies, while Auckland has none.

"Students and academics are increasingly conscious of a university's social responsibility when deciding where to study or work. Auckland University has got to step up and show leadership in its investment decisions, or else face damage to its reputation", said Johnston.


Notes to editors
Universities' investment policies table: attached photo
University of Auckland Foundation:

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