The College defines fossil fuel investment as including several oil and gas based investmentscmglee/wikimedia commons

Newnham College has announced in its latest ‘Statement of Investment Principles’ for March 2021 that it will divest “from all meaningful exposure to fossil fuels” by 2030, in line with the University’s commitment to full divestment in the same timeframe.

“Meaningful exposure” is defined by the College as exposure to the following industries: drilling, equipment and services, exploration and production, refining and marketing, storage and transportation and integration of oil and gas, alongside coal and consumable fuels.

Consequently, the College will apply exclusions to “passive investment vehicles as well as to actively managed funds” as “exposure to the excluded areas may be unavoidable.”

The College had stated in its ‘Statement of Investment Principles’ for March 2019, revised in August 2020, that it “recognise[d] the threat posed by global warming”, and that it did not directly invest in any companies involved with the production of fossil fuels, hence it was already considered to be partially divested.

However, the latest statement considers the threat of climate change “not only to global society, but also to the long-term sustainability of financial returns”, saying that “Companies and managers that do not adequately consider - and look to address the risks associated with - climate change do not merit a place in the College’s investment portfolio over the long run”.

The new statement will thus see the College also divest from indirect investment in these companies through the funds it invests in by 2030.

The latest statement also maintains commitments from the College’s 2019 investment statement: it will not directly invest in any companies in the arms, tobacco, gambling or pornography industries, as well as companies abusing human or labour rights, and those with “policies based on racial or sexual discrimination.”


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Corpus Christi set to fully divest by 2025

Newnham has also committed, as in 2019, to only “appoint[ing] investment managers who have integrated considerations of environment, social and governance (ESG) issues into their investment process and who actively engage with company management to improve their ESG practices and policies.”

This follows the news this week that Corpus Christi will divest from all direct and indirect investments in the fossil fuel industry through its investment in the Cambridge University Endowment Fund by 2025.

Christ’s, Clare Hall, Pembroke and Trinity have also committed to complete divestment, with a further 11 - Robinson, St John’s, Fitzwillian, Selwyn, Emmanuel, Downing, Peterhouse, Queens’, Lucy Cavendish, Jesus and Trinity Hall - having publicly pledged to partially divest.

Newnham College declined to comment.