Statement on University of Leeds Divestment

Statement on University of Leeds Divestment

University of Leeds

In light of recent inaccurate reports in the press surrounding divestment of certain companies by the University of Leeds, here is the statement from the University:

“The University of Leeds’ endowment portfolio is managed by Sarasin & Partners who, as part of their normal investment research and analysis process, take account of social, environmental and ethical considerations in the selection of investments.

“We have recently adopted a climate active strategy, the purpose of which is to drive behavioural change supporting decarbonisation via a combination of divestments and engagement and as a result have divested of our holdings in Airbus, United Technologies and Keyence Corporation which were all held indirectly in a Global Equities Fund.

“The University Council agreed to adopt a climate active strategy on 31 May 2018 and the University has been implementing this over the last four months. Core funds which included indirect investments in Airbus, United Technologies, and Keyence Corporation were sold on the 15 October 2018.

In summary:

  • The University divested from a Global Equities Fund on the 15 October 2018 before the university received an open letter calling for divestment of specific companies. This fund included investments in Airbus, United Technologies and Keyence Corporation.
  • The University did this because it has adopted a climate active strategy following students’ calls for it to divest from fossil fuels.
  • Neither the University of Leeds or Leeds University Union have a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) policy in relation to Israel.