The College has pledged to no longer invest its discretionary investment portfolio, valued at around £50m, into the fossil fuels, tobacco, or defence sectorsWikipedia

Fitzwilliam College has introduced a new responsible investment policy, a part of the continued development of the College’s “ambitious” new strategic plan. 

The Master of Fitzwilliam College, Sally Morgan, emphasised that this policy comes as  part of the College’s plan “to ensure that sustainability is embedded in everything the College does”. 

Though Fitzwilliam is comparatively a “small investor”, the position it holds within the wider Cambridge community means that the Master hopes that the decision should have “a broader impact beyond the direct steps the College has taken.”

The policy outlines how “everyone needs to continue to assess how they can effectively contribute towards halting the climate crisis”. The way that the College has set out to do so is through no longer investing its discretionary investment portfolio, which is valued at around £50m, “either directly or indirectly in the fossil fuels, tobacco or defence sectors”. 

The decision to review the pre-existing investment policy was made at the end of 2020. The Bursar and Chair of the College’s Environment Committee, Rod Cantrill, stressed that investments will be managed “by embodying the College’s values and recognising the collective example we set for others” rather than with solely financial benefits in mind. 

Joshan Parmar, President of the College, described the policy as “brilliant”, and MCR President Jon Ostolaza praised “Fitzwilliam College [for] tak[ing] the stand once again to highlight that climate change and the environment are matters of top priority for the whole community.”

The policy also aims to measure the investments that the College does make against the “leader” ESG rating, which is “designed to measure a company's resilience to long-term, industry material environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks”

This policy introduction comes in the same week as Selwyn College’s announcement of their new divestment policy which removes all “meaningful” investments of fossil fuel companies by the end of 2021.