New College adopts the Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment

01 December 2020

New College
© New College, Oxford
New College, Oxford, has adopted a Responsible Investment Policy that incorporates the Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment, one year ahead of the COP26 Conference, which will take place Glasgow next November.

The Warden of New College, Miles Young, said, "As COP26 is intended to be the first stock take of the Paris Agreement, we thought it important to set out our own path forward now, and our expectations of those with whom we invest. Our objective has been to create the most thorough and carefully founded Responsible Investment Policy in the sector. It is now guiding us in a thorough review of our investment strategy. And it represents our belief that responsible investment is not a zero-sum game, but one where the returns that we need can be allied to positive social and environmental change."

The policy was developed in close collaboration with the Oxford Martin School, and explicitly incorporates the School’s ‘Principles for Climate Conscious Investment’ so that businesses:

  • commit to reaching zero emissions from their business activities
  • develop a plausible and profitable net zero business model
  • set out quantitative new term targets compatible with their net goal.

Professor Cameron Hepburn, Director and Professor of Environmental Economics at the Smith School of Enterprise at the Oxford Martin School said, "I am delighted to see New College seek to align the investment of its endowment with a pathway to net zero emissions. There is so little time left to tackle climate change that all our effects - intellectual, personal and financial - need to be lined up to reduce CO2 emissions as rapidly as possible."

Students were actively engaged in the process of developing the policy. JCR President, Isobel Cook said, "The JCR are very proud to see New College taking steps to ensure it is environmentally and ethically responsible. The urgency of the climate crisis is ever-growing, and its effects will be felt not only by our generation but also by all those who follow us. This policy is powerful evidence of what collaboration between Colleges and their students can achieve, and I hope it will encourage other institutions to follow suit and make tangible, positive change."