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UofG Sustainability

Investing to Address Climate Change

The University of Guelph is among 15 Canadian universities pledging to help address climate change by following responsible investment practices.

U of G has signed on to a new national charter intended to encourage sustainable investment and transition to a lower-carbon economy.

Called “Investing to Address Climate Change: A Charter for Canadian Universities,” the document calls for universities to adopt a responsible framework to guide investment decision-making. Signatories agree to measure the carbon intensity of their investment portfolios and set meaningful reduction targets.

Universities will also evaluate and share their progress and lead in addressing climate change through research and teaching and by reducing their campus carbon footprint.

Joining the charter aligns with U of G’s ongoing broader commitment to sustainability and its environmental social governance guidelines.

In April, the University’s Board of Governors voted to divest from fossil fuel companies in its endowment portfolio over a five-year period. The Board also recommended providing an exception process to allow for specific investments that support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

U of G is among the first Canadian universities to make such a divestment commitment. The decision followed several years of discussion and planning to lessen the environmental impact of the University’s endowment investments and to become a leader in advancing sustainability.

U of G is also a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment and has engaged in sector-wide discussions to pursue responsible investing and consider environmental, social and governance criteria.

An advisory board will review the Charter periodically, share expertise on evolving investment practices and participate in a biennial conference with Charter signatories. The advisory board members are Mark Carney, former governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England; Pauline D’Amboise, secretary general and vice-president of governance and sustainable development, Desjardins Group; Michael Sabia, director of the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy; and Barbara Zvan, president and CEO of University Pension Plan Ontario. 

The charter’s other signatories are Dalhousie University, McGill University, McMaster University, Université Laval, Université de Montréal, University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba, University of Ottawa, University of Toronto, University of Victoria, University of Waterloo, Queen’s University, Simon Fraser University and Western University.

For more information, visit: https://climatecharter.utoronto.ca/

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