Nottingham investments to further the university’s commitment to sustainability

May 12th, 2021

The university is taking a further step in its commitment to sustainability after appointing investment manager Cazenove Capital to manage its £59.4 million endowment portfolio and £9.5 million medium-term investment fund.

Nottingham is widely known for its commitment to sustainability. It is a leading international centre for energy research, with a reputation for excellence across a broad range of technologies including bioenergy, energy storage, the built environment and electrical grids, with a history of successful collaboration with industry in the UK and globally through its campuses in China and Malaysia.

The decision to appoint Cazenove Capital means future investments will give a significant weighting to ethical, social and governance issues and have positive impact. This builds on the university’s sustainability strategy, developed in consultation with staff and students, which commits to making an outstanding contribution to supporting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through our research and education, our engagement with partners and our behaviour on campus and in our communities. The University achieved its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target in 2020 and has set further targets in line with the Paris Agreement. 

Cazenove Capital are well-aligned to the university’s strategic goals and are a leader in sustainable investment. They will focus on helping the university divest from unethical areas as well as providing opportunities to make positive investments. The equity strategy generates three times the social benefit of a global equity index through activities such as medicine provision, fair wages and innovation, as well as a reduction of 5,600 metric tonnes of carbon – the annual energy use of 655 homes.

Margaret Monckton, Chief Financial Officer at the University of Nottingham, said: “The University has always maintained that it is not willing to invest in organisations which demonstrate harm- this appointment will also enable to look at where we can make investment for good. It will also help the university quantify the non-financial impact of investments using Schroders’ award winning tool, SustainEx. Better reporting will help us to track our progress towards our strategic objectives.

“We are confident that Cazenove Capital, and the wider Schroders Group, align with our own stance on climate change and ethical investment.  We are pleased to see that they have committed to mitigating their carbon emissions from 2020, to 100% renewable energy use by 2025 and to transition their assets under management to Net Zero by 2050.”

Professor John Atherton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Chair of the university’s Environmental Sustainability Committee, said: “Our research, education and the way we organise all our campus activity have a well-deserved reputation for supporting a more sustainable planet. We invest in and research greener sources of energy, food supply and construction. Thus it is only right that our investments reflect this. I’m delighted that we are taking this further step to maximise all opportunities to contribute to carbon reduction, sustainable food, waste management and many other environmental challenges.”

Kate Rogers, Head of Sustainability at Cazenove Capital said: “We are delighted to work with the University of Nottingham. The endowment will be invested in a multi-asset portfolio that avoids harm – with no exposure to fossil fuels and a Paris aligned investment strategy – and actively creates a positive impact for people and the planet. 

“Over a quarter of the portfolio will be invested in companies that make a material contribution to the SDGs. This active investment approach is combined with a commitment to collaborate with investors and use our influence to accelerate change towards more sustainable economies.”

The contract will run for an initial four years with options to extend at the end of the term.

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