Wilfrid Laurier University believes in responsible investing. University administration and the Board of Governors conducted a comprehensive review of the Board’s existing policies, including ESG statements, related to pension and endowment funds to determine if any changes were required. In addition, the Board agreed this broader comprehensive review would be beneficial to ensure investment policies were consistent with Laurier’s values, vision, mission, and guiding principles.
The Responsible Investment Working Group (RIWG) was established by the Board to make a recommendation to the Board on whether and how to revise existing investment policies and procedures for university-managed investment funds. The RIWG completed its review and has concluded that the university take the following actions:
The Board of Governors approved the RIWG’s recommendations, on the recommendation of the Joint Finance and Investments and Pension Committees, on Nov. 30, 2017.
Based on the recommendations of the RIWG, further actions and reports will be brought forward to the committees and the Board of Governors. As these reports are produced they will be available on this webpage as a repository for those wishing to review them.
As a result of the committees’ and Board’s approval of the RIWG’s recommendations, the working group was dissolved as it fulfilled its mandate.
In February 2016, Laurier received a letter from a group of faculty members recommending that the university divest from fossil fuels. The university presented the letter to the Board of Governors, and recommended the establishment of a working group. The Board approved the formation of the RIWG at the September 2016 Board meeting.
Laurier is not alone in this respect. Several Canadian universities have or are in the process of reviewing their RI (Responsible Investing) practices. Recent discussions with other universities indicate that more than 30 Canadian universities have received divestment campaign requests and are at various stages of review and discussion.