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Progress on carbon reduction targets

12 April 2016

The University is making good progress on its goal to reduce the carbon footprint of its listed share portfolio. 

Last year the University of Sydney announced it will substantially reduce the carbon footprint of its listed share portfolio. It set a reduction target of 20 percent relative to the footprint of its current listed equity composite benchmark, with the aim of meeting this target by early 2018.

The University is making steady progress towards this three-year goal, which it seeks to achieve by altering the mix of its equities holdings. As at the end of 2015 the University had reduced the carbon footprint of its listed investments to 8 percent below this benchmark. This means it is 40 percent of the way towards meeting its overall target.

In line with a further commitment to put in place ethical investment standards which support the economic and social rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the University formed an Ethical Investments Working Group. Chaired by Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda, the group will investigate ways in which current investment policies can support these fundamental rights.

The University is a signatory to the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project), a global movement urging companies to disclose carbon emissions and set reduction targets. It has also joined the UN-led Portfolio Decarbonisation Coalition, a coalition of investors who collectively are committed to decarbonising $US500 billion worth of investment assets.

“We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made to date,” said acting Vice Chancellor Stephen Garton. “It is in line with our obligation to manage funds wisely on behalf of students, staff, donors and alumni while also addressing climate change and protecting Australia’s heritage.

“The University is committed to a comprehensive carbon emissions reduction strategy. It is of the view that many industry sectors contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and, accordingly, has adopted an industry leading strategy to tackle its investment portfolio as a whole to ensure comprehensive reductions overall.”

Jocelyn Prasad

Media and Public Relations Advisor
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