UBC has a clear framework to decide when divestment will be considered. This section highlights current and past divestment proposals.
Fossil Fuel Divestment Proposal: 2014/2015
UBC is a place of academic dialogue and debate, and we welcome our students’ and faculty members’ interest in our investment policies. As the result of faculty and student referenda (in 2015 and 2014 respectively), the Faculty Association and AMS submitted a fossil fuel divestment proposal to the Board of Governors. In accordance with the university’s responsible investment policy, the proposal was referred to the Endowment Responsible Investment Policy Committee of the Board of Governors. The divestment proposal was considered by the full board on February 15, 2016.
The Board carefully considering a student and faculty proposal for divestment. As a result of a detailed review and third-party analysis by Koskie Minsky, an external law firm with expertise on responsible investment, the Board concluded that the proposal would not necessarily meet the objectives of addressing climate change or influencing corporate behaviour.
The Board further recommended that the Endowment Responsible Investment Policy Committee of the Board of Governors – a committee of faculty, staff, student and appointed board members, as well as alumni and investment professionals – continue to evaluate investment alternatives that could improve ESG objectives for the endowment within UBC’s fiduciary mandate.
The board also directed the university to establish the Sustainable Future Fund, to give university donors concerned about climate change more choice when donating to UBC.
The Board of Governors recognizes the importance of responsible investment and has put in place a process that allows us to balance the university’s fiduciary duty in managing the endowment fund with the interests of all its diverse university stakeholders. This allows for a deliberate process, which is designed to lead to decisions that will stand the test of time.