Ethical Investment: for the students, by the students

What the heck is ethical investment?! Ever wondered what ethical investment is all about? Well, The Stand is here to help. The St Andrews Ethical Investment Campaign (E.I.C.) kicked off […]


What the heck is ethical investment?! Ever wondered what ethical investment is all about? Well, The Stand is here to help.

The St Andrews Ethical Investment Campaign (E.I.C.) kicked off in 2003 with a group of students campaigning for the University to make a solid commitment to sustainable, ethical investment. In 2005, the University listened, producing their first ever ‘Sustainable Investment Policy’. So basically it’s all about sustainable development. (Isn’t everything these days?)

This year, everybody’s favourite insurance company, Aviva, has been chosen by the University to invest University assets in a £25 million endowment fund, which has a strong focus on sustainability issues through engaging with companies to make their business more sustainable. However, a significant aspect of the E.I.C. was that students had a voice as to what these ‘sustainability themes’ should be, and how they should be addressed. This hasn’t changed. The way the E.I.C. sees it, each student invests money in the University, and the University invests money in the campaign, so each student should have a say in working towards a more sustainable future – pretty simple.

 

Unfortunately, the University Court has the power to cancel the policy if they believe it is ‘not performing at a competitive level compared to other investment strategies’. This is where the E.I.C. needs its students’ support.

On the 25th of October, students launched the Defend Our Ethical Investment Campaign (D.O.E.I.C.) beginning with the Rectorial Elections. The policy includes commitments to promoting human rights, community investment, international co-operation, sustainable procurement, and prohibition of companies testing cosmetics on animals. (a.k.a., St Andrews can’t dabble in gun running).

The moral of the story? This is yet another case of something “for the students, by the students” needing some back-up from, you guessed it, the students.

For more information, visit their policy page