University Council Investing Unethically?

And then I said...we invest ethically

And then I said…we invest ethically

At the last meeting of University Council in May (see previous minutes and agendas here), student representatives from ANUSA and PARSA pushed the top brass to develop a concrete ethical investments policy, through consultation and the formation of an ethical investments committee. We’ve just received confirmation that the ANU will not be holding public consultations on the issue!

We need to show the ANU that this is an issue the public is willing to fight for! Click the link on the right to sign our petition, and stay tuned to see how you can help Fossil Free ANU with our submission to the Council.

Read more to find out about developments in ANU’s approach to investment and ethics.

Over the last couple of weeks, Fossil Free ANU has been trying to figure out just how the university decides to invest its funds – and what a significant amount that is (see the delicious 7MB document release that our Freedom of Information request yielded)! From what we’ve gathered, the ANU doesn’t invest in tobacco, but all other ethical decisions seem to be made on an ad-hoc basis. Some digging around the ANU’s investments page reveals nothing of the sort – could it be that their accountants aren’t creative enough to put a price on ethics?

An email to the Vice-Chancellor on the prospect of public consultation for the formation of an ethical investments policy was met with ambivalence. In a response to Fossil Free ANU, he wrote

…it is not desirable to create a formal consultation process for the development of the SRI [socially responsible investment] Policy

Which seems a little dubious, given how ANUSA and PARSA representatives to the council were pushing for just that at the last Council meeting.

In other news, a report from the International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons shows that ANU is (indirectly?) investing in manufacturers of weapons of mass destruction through their investment funds. The report found that some $800,000 was invested in British arms proliferators BAE Systems and Jacobs Engineering. Scary stuff.


1 Comment

Filed under Updates

One response to “University Council Investing Unethically?

  1. Ivo Lovric

    Does Fossil Free ANU plan on any actions to encourage the University administration to comment on and or abandon its investments in nuclear weapons companies as discussed in the ICAN report cited on the Fossil Free ANU WordPress page (June 28th 2013)?

    Does Fossil Free ANU see such actions as detracting from the focus of its main campaign, which is to stop the University from investing in coal, gas and oil? If so, do you encourage those concerned to begin a separate divestment campaign? Please advise.


    Ivo Lovric

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