The University of Ottawa has signed the Montreal Carbon Pledge, under which investors commit to measuring and publicly disclosing the carbon footprint of their investment portfolios on an annual basis, becoming the first Canadian university to do so.
As the world turns its attention to Paris for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the University is strengthening its commitment to responsible investment and sustainable development.
"I'm proud to see uOttawa taking this meaningful step. We know that it is possible to achieve good returns on our investments while at the same time being environmentally responsible," said President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Rock.
"This commitment is a logical progression as we expand our initiatives in this arena. It also meets our objective for greater transparency in keeping with our recently updated responsible investment guideline," said Barbara Miazga, treasurer and director, pension fund.
The University of Ottawa is playing a leadership role, having established a responsible investment approach in line with the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), which it has signed. It has publically committed to make investment decisions that consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, while taking appropriate steps to meet its fiduciary responsibilities to optimize investment returns. Signing the Montreal Carbon Pledge is the latest example of uOttawa's commitment to responsible investment.
"To combat climate change, we must drive investment towards lower carbon solutions for energy, transportation and other industries," said Professor Stewart Elgie, director of the University of Ottawa's Institute of the Environment and chair of the Sustainable Prosperity, Canada's main green economy think tank. "I am proud to see the University take this important step, which will help build momentum in Canada for this vital global initiative."
In keeping with its strategic plan, Destination 2020, the University is a key player in finding innovative solutions to environmental problems and in training the green leaders of tomorrow. It plays an active role in strengthening society's ability to find solutions to environmental issues. Through a variety of programs, the University is also taking steps towards a better environment, such as reducing its consumption of water and fossil fuel energy and its greenhouse gas emissions, despite continued growth in both its population and infrastructure.
For more information on the University's sustainability initiatives, see the Report on Sustainable Development at the University of Ottawa.
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