This weeks column for 24Hrs Vancouver: Schools need ethical investments
This week’s topic: Should universities be forced to divest from fossil fuel investments?
In an era where more people are investigating the importance of ethical investing, it’s not surprising to hear that two groups are now pushing Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia to divest themselves of all fossil fuel investments.
Sustainable SFU, an “independent, student-led not-for-profit society working toward a sustainable future at Simon Fraser University campuses,” recently launched a campaign called Divest SFU. According to their website, they are asking the university to immediately freeze all new investments in fossil fuel companies, end ownership of these companies within five years, and disclose the potential greenhouse gas emissions of those investments.
At UBC, a group of students, staff, faculty and alumni have also started a movement to urge UBC to undertake similar divestments to the SFU action. This isn’t a new movement and it follows in the footsteps of many other major universities and cities. As people become more engaged in the events and changes in the world around us, the social and moral choices we make as consumers and investors become evident and important.
Every investor becomes a part owner in the companies within their portfolio, whether it’s a pension fund, RRSP, or another type of fund, with the ultimate goal of making a good return. Where the ethical or socially conscious investor differs is in examining how those companies make their money.
Read Brent Stafford’s columnhere.
If the values or the manner in which that company makes a profit is not in line with the values of the investor, it can be a personal conflict. For this reason, many people choose not to invest in companies that produce weapons, profit from tobacco and, in these cases, the fossil fuel industry.
READ the rest of this weeks column, vote and or comment at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/2014/12/07/schools-need-ethical-investments