Sustainable Investing Policy

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Al-Quds University Sustainable Investment Policy

Overview

Our commitment at Al-Quds University is to the future of our global community, which is strongly reflected in our investment policy. We understand the profound impact our financial decisions can have on societal, environmental, and economic outcomes. In line with our dedication to environmental sustainability and social responsibility, we strive to ensure our investments reflect these values. This policy articulates the guidelines governing our sustainable investment approach, highlighting the strategies that will drive our investment decisions to meet our commitment to a sustainable future.

Definition of Sustainable Investment

Sustainable Investment refers to an investment approach that takes into consideration environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in decision-making processes. This approach acknowledges the financial implications of these factors and underscores the impact of investments on our world. A shift from short-term profitability to long-term prosperity is a hallmark of Sustainable Investment, reflecting our conviction that our financial choices should contribute positively to societal and environmental well-being.

Purpose

This policy is designed to guide the responsible management of funds donated to Al-Quds University, as well as operating funds and financial reserves not immediately required for liquidity and transactions. By setting out a clear framework for decision-making, this policy ensures our investment activities align with our broader mission and ethical principles.

Policy Statement

As part of our sustainable investment activities, Al-Quds University:

  • Expects its fund managers to use their influence to encourage investee companies to operate ethically, responsibly, and in a manner that contributes to a sustainable world.
  • Recognizes the significant impact of climate change on our environment, communities, and economy, and is therefore committed to implementing a climate change strategy for investments. This strategy aligns with our broader Environmental Sustainability Plan.
  • Commits to avoiding any direct or indirect investments in any sector, industry, or product that contradicts the ethical positions, values, and research objectives established by the University Council.

Roles and Responsibilities

A robust system of governance underpins our Sustainable Investment Policy:

  • The University Council has the overall responsibility for setting the University’s organizational strategy, research objectives, and ethical positions.
  • The President and Vice-Chancellor hold the authority to approve the Sustainable Investment Policy.
  • The Finance and Strategy Committee oversees reports from the Investment Sub-Committee on the performance and objectives of investment funds, ensuring the implementation of effective strategies to maximize returns within agreed risk profiles.
  • The Investment Sub-committee bears the responsibility for the design, monitoring, and implementation of the Sustainable Investment Policy.
  • The Director of Treasury and Investment Services, Division of Operations, is entrusted with the development of systems and procedures to support the policy, implementation of the Investment Sub-committee’s decisions, and management of compliance relevant to investment activities.

Progress and Targets

In order to actualize our commitment to sustainable investment, we have identified several areas of progress and set key targets:

  • Fossil fuel divestment: As part of our commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2040, Al-Quds University will fully divest from fossil fuels.
  • Climate-positive investments: We will considerably increase our investments in low carbon technology, climate-related research, and businesses that offer direct environmental benefits.
  • Socially positive investments: We are dedicated to making significant investments in social ventures that drive societal progress.

Engagement and Advocacy

We believe in the transformative power of collective action. Our strategy therefore includes joining forces with major investor groups to exert pressure on companies and policymakers to commit to a more sustainable future. In collaboration with our investment managers, we will divest from companies that fail to demonstrate commitment to transitioning towards a low-carbon economy, setting transparent targets to be achieved over the next five years.

Alignment with Global Goals

The overarching goal of our Sustainable Investment Policy is to ensure alignment of our investment portfolio with the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and to achieve Net Zero by 2050. This policy is designed to evolve in response to new knowledge, emerging opportunities, and unforeseen challenges. We are committed to establishing and communicating clear milestones and methodologies to measure our performance, enabling us to hold ourselves accountable as we strive for transparency, sustainability, and the prosperity of our shared future.

Education and Research

In line with our mission as an educational institution, we also seek to provide opportunities for our students to learn about sustainable investment practices. We are exploring options for a student-run socially responsible investment fund, similar to initiatives at other universities. This experience can provide invaluable hands-on learning for students interested in finance and sustainability.

In addition, our researchers across a variety of disciplines are engaged in work related to sustainable investment, climate change, and environmental policy. We are committed to supporting this research and seeking ways to apply the knowledge generated to our own investment practices.

Review and Update

This policy will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it remains aligned with our values, strategies, and the ever-evolving global context of sustainable investment. We commit to continuously learn, improve, and adapt our investment practices to better serve our mission and commitment to a sustainable future.

 

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