Support your institution to invest for change!

Updated totum
Monday 12 April 2021, 13:23

Do you have a bank account? Have you ever thought about what your money does when it sits in the bank? Since 2015, 35 global banks have invested £1.5 trillion of our money in fossil fuels, like oil and gas. 10 European banks have some of the highest investments in 11 of the largest Global arms manufacturers in the world. Like individuals, universities and colleges also use banks to keep their money, which is in turn often invested into harmful companies.

Although the environmental and social impacts of how we, or our institutions choose to bank and invest may feel distant or invisible, they are very real. By investing our money in banks or companies that support fossil fuels or arms manufacturing, we are supporting socially and environmentally destructive industries.


As the climate crisis unfolds, an impactful action we can take is to encourage our institutions to manage its money more ethically, for example by investing in renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. Students Organising for Sustainability wants to help you do this!

Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS-UK) is an educational and sustainability charity developed within the National Union of Students to take its transformational sustainability worker further and faster. SOS-UK delivers programmes, workshops and campaigns that aim to effect change on individual, institutional and systemic scales.

SOS-UK runs a campaign called Invest for Change, calling on universities to invest money in the interest of students and the world they will graduate into, centring environmental and social justice solutions. The campaign supports students to lobby their institutions.


This year, Invest for Change are calling for universities to use their invetsments to take AGM action. Barclays and HSBC are both holding Annual General Meetings (AGMs) this May, where shareholders are calling for them to pass resolutions to stop funding fossil fuels. Thetwo banks that have funnelled over US $255 billion into to the coal, oil and gas sectors since 2015, according to the Banking on Climate Chaos report.


How are we doing this? Universities who invest in Barclays and/or HSBC are direct shareholders of these companies and therefore have a vote at their AGMs. We are asking students to contact their vice-chancellors to support the climate resolutions at these AGMs, using a simple template letter.

UK universities have over £15 billion(1) that is frequently invested against the interests of students. Let's come together to change this and ensure we are graduating into a safe, sustainable and just world.


Read more about Invest for Change here and access resources on how to ask your VC to vote on resolutions here.

Related Tags: