University of British Columbia
Endowment Value: CA$2.8 billion (2021)
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a public research university with a student body of around 60,000 located in British Columbia, Canada. The market value of the Endowment Fund directly managed by UBC Investment Management Trust Inc. (IMANT) and is overseen by the Board of Governors.
In 2013, UBC adopted its Responsible Investment Policy. The policy directs UBC to consider environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors to make informed investment decisions for the UBC Endowment. In 2014 through 2015, the Board carefully considered a student and faculty proposal for divestment and a detailed third-party analysis by Koskie Minsky, an external law firm with expertise on responsible investment.
Although the Board did not approve the proposal, it did allocate $10 million to establish the Sustainable Future Pool for donors concerned about climate change. This fund specifically aims to lower carbon emissions and excludes fossil fuels. In April of 2019, the Board voted to approve an additional $25 million contribution to the Sustainable Futures Pool over the next three years, bringing the total contributed to the pool to $50 million by 2022.
UBC Vancouver also has a Sustainability Fund, established in 2011 with $1 million, for projects that help the University achieve its sustainability goals through reducing campus energy and water consumption, reducing operational waste generation, increasing operational waste diversion from landfills, and increasing the use of alternative energy and alternative transportation.
In December of 2019, UBC declared a climate emergency. After acknowledging the severity of the climate crisis, the UBC Board of Governors expressed its support of fossil fuel divestment and directed the administration to begin taking action to divest. Additionally, UBC transferred $380 million from the university’s endowment to the Sustainable Future Pool.
In June 2020, UBC joined fifteen other Canadian universities in signing a charter committing to increased efforts to address the climate crisis. Signatories of the charter pledge to adopt an SRI investing policy, regularly calculate the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios, publicly share progress and results in achieving sustainability goals, and evaluate fund managers based on their compliance with the guidelines set forth in the charter.
The University of British Columbia is a participant or member of the following Initiatives & Commitments:
- AASHE STARS: No
- ACUPCC: No
- Billion Dollar Green Challenge: Yes
- CDP: No
- Committee on Investor Responsibility: No
- Divestment Goal: Yes, divestment from fossil fuels
- INCR: No
- Montreal Carbon Pledge: No
- Sustainable Investment Fund: Yes
- Sustainable Investment Policy: Yes
- Principles for Responsible Investment: Yes
Other UBC Information:
- UBC signs Canada-wide charter to address climate change through responsible investment (June 2020)
- UBC declares climate emergency and moves forward on two key divestment initiatives (December 2019)
- Annual Endowment Report (March 2017)
- UBC's Sustainable Investment Fund to be Free of Fossil Fuel Companies (February 2017)
- Amid calls for further action, Board of Governors votes to double contribution to UBC’s sustainable endowment fund (April 2019)