Positive Investment is a global organisation of students working with academics, staff, industry experts, and other allies to offer a toolkit of options for maximising the good (and minimising the bad) done with investments – without losing sight of financial goals. We are especially driven by the urgency of climate change and strongly believe that there can be win-win solutions that bring ethics and finance together.
We started out at the University of Cambridge as Positive Investment Cambridge – a group of students, academics, and staff working with the University to integrate ethical considerations into its investment practices. We have been covered in the media by The Independent (front page), The Wall Street Journal, and The Guardian, among others.
Our work at Cambridge led to a year-long ethical investment review, led by the university, which will share its findings shortly. However, we realised that we needed to tackle certain issues at a global level if we were to be truly effective. We connected with friends and allies at other universities and within the financial sector, and Positive Investment was born.
We recognise the need for an international movement for sustainable and socially just finance and we work collaboratively with other campaigns. Our core team comprises campaigners and researchers of all stripes. We foster debate, disagreement, and discussion, but we also take decisive action when there is an opportunity to make a real impact.
Any questions? Contact us at:
Address: Box 109, King’s College, Cambridge, CB2 1ST, UK
Tel: +44 7980 164662
All who invest in Exxon-Mobil and Chevron should surely use their voices as shareholders to influence these companies’ policies. Universities have a special responsibility. Their students and faculty are rightly anxious about the consequences of continuing fossil fuel use — and, as respected institutions, their potential influence could be substantial.
I applaud this global multi-university initiative to influence Exxon Mobil and Chevron to join the rest of the world in fighting climate change. I encourage all of my academic colleagues to support it by signing these letters. University endowments need to know that the faculty care as much about climate change as the students do.
Universities are charitable corporations. They ought to take heed of their designation: working for the best interests of society as the core of their existence. This means not placing their own financial strategies first if those strategies might harm society. Let us take the long view. Use imagination informed by fact. Envision the future as it might be. Almost every new scientific report, including recent ones about the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, put this handwriting on the wall: “The times they are a-changin’.”
Institutions that take seriously their task of preparing the leaders of tomorrow need to consider the future itself. Climate change represents a real and indisputable threat to the planet and its inhabitants, and these institutions should summon their moral authority and influence to lead the transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
This is a clever and cooperative approach to corporate change; Exxon and Chevron would do well to heed the advice of so many eminent academics.
Divestment is good, and often also the profitable path. It doesn’t get much more symbolic than the company with the New York Stock Exchange symbol “BTU” declaring bankruptcy. Positive investment takes divestment a step further. It means energy companies taking the risks of climate change seriously in their investment decisions. It also means considering climate policy itself not as a risk but as an opportunity.