RMIT: RMIT investments go fossil free

The new global fund excludes companies with carbon reserves and companies which derive material revenue from fossil fuel-related activities.

The initiative is in line with RMIT’s Responsible Investment Principles, which guide the University’s investment managers to ensure the portfolio minimises activities that have an impact on climate change and fossil fuels.

The principles also screen for other issues including those relating to public health and wellbeing.

RMIT’s philanthropic funds will now be invested in two responsible investment products: the Russell Investments Australian Responsible Investment ETF, and the new Russell Investments Sustainable Global Shares ex Fossil Fuels Fund.

Mid-year reporting from the University’s External Fund Managers confirmed that the entire RMIT portfolio had no exposure to fossil fuels from 31 March 2021.

Interim Chief Financial Officer and Chair of the RMIT Investment Committee Clare Lezaja said it was pleasing that the University have been able to influence the market to deliver a product which meets the sustainability expectations of the University community.

“RMIT knows that climate change is one the biggest challenges we face as a global community,” Lezaja said.

“The University strives to be a global leader in climate action through practical steps and innovative partnerships.”

Interim Vice-Chancellor and President Dionne Higgins said it was important to acknowledge the students and staff who had constructively worked with the University to create change.

“Students should be proud to know that their philanthropic funds, which are so important for supporting student outcomes, are not invested in fossil fuels,” she said.

President of the RMIT Student Union Akshay Jose said RUSU was delighted that RMIT had taken such a significant step towards responsible, sustainable and future focused investment.

“RUSU has previously campaigned for RMIT to divest from fossil fuels and this announcement is a clear sign that the University is listening to the voices of its students by placing sustainability at the centre of its business practices.

“We are proud that RMIT is taking this positive step towards a cleaner world.

“RUSU will continue to campaign for positive change at RMIT, as we fight for a greener future for us all”.

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