The University of Oxford’s Linacre College has invested £100,000 into a local social enterprise, the Low Carbon Hub current £3.5 million share offer open on Ethex. This investment will help finance a new wave of renewable energy projects across Oxfordshire, including a hydro scheme at Sandford and 18 installations on schools and businesses. The investment signals a commitment by a growing number of student groups and colleges to identify positive investment opportunities for endowment funds.
Linacre College responded to the Fossil Free divestment campaign at the University by inviting their students to identify positive investment for a proportion – believed to be 1% – of the college’s endowment fund. Principal Nick Brown briefed the students to come up with an investment opportunity that met three criteria: it was local; a good financial investment; and “did good”. After looking at various options, the student committee recommended the Low Carbon Hub’s 2016 share offer, which was then vetted and approved by the college’s finance committee. The students said they learned a lot about social investment in the process.
Tobias Jackson, a PhD student at the college and a spokesperson for the students ethical investment committee said: “We decided to focus on local, forward-looking and sustainable projects. Linacre has a reputation as a green college for its infrastructure and student values, and now its investments are following the same path”.
A small graduate college, Linacre is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and to mitigating its impact on the natural environment. Part of this commitment is investing their endowment funds in an ethical way. The college’s reputation as a “green” college at Oxford is seen an important factor in its selection by many of their students. Let's see if other colleges follow their lead.