Positive investment is any investment strategy that contributes to the wellbeing of people and the environment. Positive investment can be achieved in a variety of ways, including through the issuance of green bonds and/or the establishment of Green Revolving Funds (energy efficiency financing), collaborative shareholder engagement, divestment from certain industries and/or (re)-investment into renewable energy, and even the creation of ethical pooled funds and venture capital that would appeal to other large institutional investors.
Positive Investment Cambridge is a broad-based coalition of students, academics, and staff. We are committed to using the power of finance to for environmental and social change. We are a smart campaign and we look for where the ethical and economic agree. The financial system is often short-termism and terrible at accounting for the social and environmental costs of the businesses it often backs. Yet it can often be used to drive positive change, whether in putting pressure for corporate reform or in backing technologies that will help us transition into a sustainable future. We believe both in reducing the harms of our investments and in maximising their positive impact.
At Cambridge, we work to ensure that the University and its colleges engage in socially and environmentally responsible investment practices, touching on a range of concerns from climate change to indiscriminate weapons. We directly engage with the University administration, University pension funds, and college bursars to promote positive investment strategies. PIC also runs events and training sessions to promote the discussion of investment issues among students and the local community.
The University of Cambridge and its colleges have a total endowment of around £5bn, the largest university endowment in Europe. As an institutional investor with a long-term investment horizon, the University has a great opportunity – and a strong incentive – to influence companies’ long-term performance and to invest money where it’s needed to build a more sustainable, more equitable future. From infrastructure projects, to energy efficiency retrofits, to renewable technologies, there are range of possible investments that will that benefit society and produce good returns over the coming years and even decades.
For more information check out our Education Document, which contains 1-page summaries of the various strategies we promote!