The University of Oxford is committed to ensuring that it makes investment decisions responsibly and with integrity. The University has adopted a Policy on Socially Responsible Investment (the Policy) to ensure that its investment decisions (including those taken on its behalf) take into account social, environmental and political issues in order to maintain its ethical standards.
The University invests its endowment funds in ‘The Oxford Funds’ (the Funds), which comprise the Oxford Endowment Fund and the Oxford Capital Fund. The Funds are pooled vehicles managed by Oxford University Endowment Management Ltd (OUem), a wholly owned subsidiary of the University.
Under the Policy, the Socially Responsible Investment Review Committee and the Investment Committee of the Oxford Funds each have specific responsibilities in respect of the operation and application of the Policy.
In addition to the broad ethical approach taken within the Policy itself, Council has agreed three specific investment restrictions. These may be summarised as follows:
- Council has adopted a ban on direct investment in companies which manufacture arms that are illegal under the Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Act 2010 or the Landmines Act 1998. In respect of pooled investment vehicles, Council has implemented a policy of monitoring investment in such companies by those vehicles;
- Council has asked that OUem continue to hold no direct investments in coal and oil sands and avoid future direct investments in coal and oil sands companies; and
- Council approved a restriction on the holding of direct investments in tobacco companies (as defined by Cancer Research UK)
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OUem’s investment process integrates regulatory, legal, reputational, environmental and social considerations (among others) into its investment decisions. Further information is available on OUem’s Governance webpage.