The new policy comes after the University and a number of different colleges have made commitments to divestRept0n1x

St Catharine’s College published their new investment policy on Wednesday (18/11) committing the College to limiting their investment in a range of industries.

In the report, the College states that they do not “and will not invest directly in companies with more than 10% of their business in fossil fuel, arms, tobacco or gambling industries.”

On the issue of divestment St Catharine’s bursar, Nicola Robert, clarified that “the College holds no direct investments in fossil fuels.” While there is no commitment to not holding direct investments in the future, the 10% rule ensures that any such investment would continue to be limited.

Beyond direct investments, the report also confirms that St Catharine’s will take ethical considerations into account when investing in investment funds. Again, while this does not amount to full divestment it does include “hiring investment managers with ambitious shareholder engagement goals, including those that combine divestment and engagement to good effect” and “not investing in funds that focus on companies whose activities run counter to the environmental and social values of the College.”

Currently St Catharine’s indirect investments in fossil fuels are held primarily through two funds, The Future World ESG Developed Index Fund and The COIF Charities Ethical Investment Fund, both of which take environmental considerations into their investment policy. By January 2021 the College aims to only hold investment through these funds.

Robert said The COIF Charities Ethical Investment Fund, managed by CCLA, is already “fully divested” clarifying this meant it held “no investment in electrical utilities that are not aligned with the Paris Agreement, or any companies primarily focussed on oil sands/coal/fossil fuel extraction.”

In addition, Robert detailed that “The Future World ESG Developed Index Fund managed by LGIM aims to reduce carbon emissions and carbon reserves intensity by actively and effectively engaging companies who are critical if we want to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

She confirmed: “we are on track for the January 2021 timeframe and all other commitments in the investment policy are firmly held by the College with immediate effect.”

Students at the College were quick to praise the new policy. Alice Horrell, the JCR’s ethical and environmental officer, commented, “the new investment strategy news is incredibly exciting and urgently needed. This move by the College shows a commitment to fighting the climate crisis and this has a great deal of the support amongst the student body.”

President of the JCR, Rory Cockshaw, revealed that “it took almost no student pressure for College to commit to this investment policy...the College body, both staff and Fellows, are utterly committed not just to the furtherment of St. Catharine’s as an historic institution, but rather to the good of the students and of the world at large.”


Mountain View

Clare students call for College to commit to full divestment

Zero Carbon commented on the role that the University’s divestment announcement had on encouraging colleges to do the same saying “the University’s commitment, despite its limitations, has established a strong precedent.”

However, they continued “partial divestment is not enough - St Catharine’s and all other colleges must not commit to full divestment and cut all other links with the fossil fuel industry.”

While St Catharine’s announcement does not amount to divestment, according to XR’s definition, the new investment policy is more wide ranging than many other colleges as it specifically includes a wider range of other unethical industries beyond fossil fuels.