University of Edinburgh invests £5m in green projects after joining HSBC programme



The University of Edinburgh has invested £5 million in green projects after becoming the first university in the UK to sign up to HSBC’s new green deposits programme.

The University of Edinburgh’s Old College Quad. Photo: Neale Smith

The Green Deposits programme enables organisations to invest directly in green projects that promote the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy.

HSBC uses funds deposited exclusively in green businesses and projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency initiatives, sustainable land use, clean transport and biodiversity.

Dave Gorman, director for social responsibility and sustainability at The University of Edinburgh, said: “Investing in organisations that promote the transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and sustainable economy is a key way in which the University can act on evidence from our own world-class research. The University has invested more than £150 million in low carbon technology, climate-related research and businesses that directly benefit the environment since 2010. Through our investments we intend to deliver multiple benefits for society, the economy and the environment.”

Initially, 100% of the University’s investment will finance renewable energy businesses, but HSBC expects this to change as time progresses and a wider range of projects are identified.

Entering the HSBC Green Deposits programme is the latest action taken by the University of Edinburgh to make its investments more socially and environmentally responsible. In July, the University scored an ‘A’ grade by the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment, the world’s leading proponent of responsible investment. It was the first university in Europe to sign the UN Principles for Responsible Investment in 2013.

Karen Armstrong, head of education at HSBC global liquidity & cash management, said: “Many organisations struggle to directly invest in green initiatives but want to follow ethical investment strategies. This approach enables them to do this transparently. The University of Edinburgh is at the vanguard of sustainable investment in the UK higher education sector.

“Sustainability has long been a focus for universities and their students. Facilities such as this continue our backing of education institutions and supports them with their renewed focus on playing a vital part in a more sustainable future.”



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