Concordia University’s Foundation is divesting from coal, oil and gas within five years and will become the first university foundation in Quebec to target 100 per cent sustainable investments by 2025.

The foundation is also doubling its target of impact investments by 2025, from five to 10 per cent. This long-term pool of capital is dedicated to investments that generate a social and environmental impact along with a financial return.

“We believe that being socially and environmentally responsible in our investments is the surest way to be Concordia University’s best possible fund management partner,” said Howard Davidson, chair of the board of the Concordia University Foundation, in a press release. “Investing in sustainability is not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do. The foundation has already been working in that direction and this is a last push toward 100 per cent sustainable investments.”

The foundation has been on a sustainable path for some time. Since 2014, it has reduced the exposure of its investments to coal, oil and gas to 5.7 per cent of its portfolio, representing $14 million of its $243 million in assets.

In 2014, the foundation also created a sustainable investment fund and, in 2016, it established a joint sustainable investment advisory committee with student and faculty representatives.

In 2018, the foundation’s journey towards sustainability continued when it became a signatory of the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Investment and implemented a new responsible investment policy that integrates environmental, social and governance factors into decision-making. This also includes an impact investment policy.

“Promoting sustainability and fighting climate change are priorities for the Concordia community,” said Graham Carr, Concordia’s interim president. “Our researchers, students, faculty and staff are all engaged around this issue and want to be part of the solution. The foundation’s commitments are crucial next steps in our sustainability journey.”

The foundation’s announcement doesn’t cover the investments by Concordia University’s pension plan.