Current University of Edinburgh Investments

1 Feb

UPDATE: the most recent list of investments can be viewed here after an FOI request. These are from December 2012 and include amounts.(In .doc format here: Endowment Fund Investments Dec2012)

The university’s most recent investment portfolio can be viewed here. Updated versions are published annually and should appear on this page. The next portfolio is due to be published at the end of July.

Some of these investments have clear ethical issues.
In particular:

Monsanto is involved in Genetic Modification (a controversial issue) as well as in suing farmers who try to reuse their seeds (Monsanto has patented seed varieties and prefers farmers to buy these seeds from them directly each year. This practice has been linked by some to farmers’ suicides).

Rio Tinto was divested from by the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund due to Rio Tinto’s involvement in the Grasberg Mine in West Papua which is causing “severe environmental damage

Royal Dutch Shell has been the subject of a campaign by Amnesty International for the environmental and social impact of its oil extraction in the Niger Delta; it also settled out of court recently with the families of Nigerian activists executed by the Nigerian government in 1995; these activists included Ken Saro-Wiwa and Shell was heavily implicated in their killing, though they have not accepted any liability. It is also currently the largest individual company the University of Edinburgh has investments in.

SABMiller was the subject of a (succesful) boycott motion at EUSA last year for their alleged tax avoidance in developing countries. ActionAid has been running a campaign against them as a result of this (unfortunately the boycott motion was overturned by the EUSA board of trustees).

We believe that the university should divest from harmful companies and invest in companies involved in socially and environmentally beneficial activities.

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