Ethical investment overview

Rajai Davies made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to University of the Highlands and Islands

Automatic anti-spam measures are in place for this older request. Please let us know if a further response is expected or if you are having trouble responding.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear University of the Highlands and Islands,

Can you please advise whether your University holds investments in any of the following products, operations, or industries:

Gambling, alcohol, tobacco, firearms, armaments, animal testing, oil and gas (fossil fuels), fur, genetic engineering, meat and dairy production, nuclear power, pornography, chemicals of concern, high carbon industries.

Please provide full details of all investments of the above nature and any investment strategy or approach (eg ethical investment principles, policies, or strategies) your University adheres to.
Please advise what proportion of your total portfolio is invested in any of the above industries. Please also advise whether your University has a compliance officer or similar responsible for monitoring its investments and investment strategies.

Yours faithfully,

Rajai Davies

FOI, University of the Highlands and Islands

Dear Rajai,

Re: Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – Request for Information

Thank you for your enquiry, which has been logged and passed to the relevant department within the University for processing. Please quote reference number FOI 102 should you need to contact the University regarding this request.

A response will be sent to you promptly and in any case not later than 20 working days after the date we received your email. The University will make every effort to provide you with the information requested; if any clarification is required, the University will contact you as soon as possible.

In some circumstances, it may not be possible to provide you with an answer to your enquiry. Where the University believes this is the case, you will be informed in writing, stating the reason(s).

If the information you are seeking is already published by the University, or is otherwise available to members of the public, you will be sent details outlining how to access the information.

You will be advised if it is necessary for the University to charge a fee to cover the costs of processing your request. Should this be the case, please note the information cannot be released until such payment is received.

If you have any questions regarding your request for information then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,

Christine Shaw
Corporate Governance Officer
Oifigear Riaghlaidh Corporra
DDI / Fòn: +44 (0) 1847 889380

University of the Highlands and Islands, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ
Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis IV3 5SQ
Web: www.uhi.ac.uk


Pròiseact crannchuir Coimisean nam Mìle Bliadhna. Na companaidh earranta clàraichte ann an Alba, Àireamh 148203. Àireamh Carthannas Albannach Clàraichte SC022228. Oifis chlàraichte 12b Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis, Alba, IV3 5SQ
A Millennium Commission lottery project. A limited company registered in Scotland no. 148203. Scottish charity no. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, University of the Highlands and Islands

Dear Rajai,

Re: FOI 102

In order to respond to your request, please could you clarify the definitions of chemicals of concern and high carbon industries?

Please could you also clarify whether ‘holds investments in any of the following products, operations or industries’ refers to companies solely, partially or incidentally involved in these areas? For example, does Sainsburys count as an investment in alcohol, tobacco, meat and dairy production?

This request has been put on hold until we receive your response.

Kind regards,
Christine

Christine Shaw
Corporate Governance Officer
Oifigear Riaghlaidh Corporra
DDI / Fòn: +44 (0) 1847 889380

University of the Highlands and Islands, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ
Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis IV3 5SQ
Web: www.uhi.ac.uk

Please note my working days are Monday to Thursday.


Pròiseact crannchuir Coimisean nam Mìle Bliadhna. Na companaidh earranta clàraichte ann an Alba, Àireamh 148203. Àireamh Carthannas Albannach Clàraichte SC022228. Oifis chlàraichte 12b Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis, Alba, IV3 5SQ
A Millennium Commission lottery project. A limited company registered in Scotland no. 148203. Scottish charity no. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear FOI,

My answers below:-
Chemicals of concern - manufacture/ use of ozone depleting chemicals and pesticides
High carbon industries - air transportation, fossil fuels, coal extraction, iron and steel production, aluminium and non-ferrous metals production, including those companies involved in extraction, refining, retailing etc.

Please could you also clarify whether ‘holds investments in any of the following products, operations or industries’ refers to companies solely, partially or incidentally involved in these areas? For example, does Sainsburys count as an investment in alcohol, tobacco, meat and dairy production?
Only those involved directly and mainly, primarily production. If you are unsure whether to list them please err on the side of caution and release the details of these investments too.

If you have your own policy or criteria on what is classified as sin stocks/ socially responsible/ environmentally conscious investing then please use these when determining the release.

Yours sincerely,

Rajai Davies

FOI, University of the Highlands and Islands

Dear Rajai,

Many thanks for your clarification.

I have now forwarded your response to the relevant department.

Kind regards
Christine

Christine Shaw
Corporate Governance Officer
Oifigear Riaghlaidh Corporra
DDI / Fòn: +44 (0) 1847 889380

University of the Highlands and Islands, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ
Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis IV3 5SQ
Web: www.uhi.ac.uk

Please note my working days are Monday to Thursday.


Pròiseact crannchuir Coimisean nam Mìle Bliadhna. Na companaidh earranta clàraichte ann an Alba, Àireamh 148203. Àireamh Carthannas Albannach Clàraichte SC022228. Oifis chlàraichte 12b Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis, Alba, IV3 5SQ
A Millennium Commission lottery project. A limited company registered in Scotland no. 148203. Scottish charity no. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, University of the Highlands and Islands

Dear Rajai,

Re: Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 – Request for Information

I refer to your request for information received on the 23 October 2020, relating to ethical investment overview - request number FOI 102. Please see our response as follows:

• Gambling – No
• Alcohol – Yes, Diageo
• Tobacco – No
• Firearms – No
• Armaments – No
• Animal testing – Yes, Croda & GlaxoSmithKline (between 0 & 5% of revenues on animal testing, for cosmetic and non-cosmetic products)
• Oil and gas (fossil fuels) – No
• Fur – No
• Genetic engineering – No, but AstraZeneca & GlaxoSmithKline have noted involved in research on human embryonic stem cells from previous accounts
• Meat and dairy production – No
• Nuclear power – No
• Pornography – No
• Chemicals of concern – Yes, Croda
• High carbon industries – Yes, Rio Tinto

Ethical Considerations
The Trustees have advised that it is important that the holdings within the portfolio are sensitive to the objectives and mission of UHI. The Trustees have therefore requested that there is no direct investment exposure to companies where more than 10% of sales come from tobacco, child labour, fossil fuels, pornography and armaments. The Trustees are committed to conducting their financial affairs in a responsible manner consistent with the ethical obligations of stewardship and relevant legal requirements.
The Trustees acknowledge that exclusion of companies involved in the above areas is not possible when investing through pooled funds, although consideration will be given to the underlying holdings in any such collective fund, at the time of purchase and periodically so that any substantial exposures may be identified and appropriate action taken. The Trustees may see fit to exclude other areas from the investment portfolio in the future and they will inform the investment managers of any changes to the ethical policy.

Please note that the University of the Highlands and Islands operates as a collegiate federal partnership comprising of thirteen independent further and higher education colleges, specialist colleges and research institutions. A list of contact details for our partner organisations is available at http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en/campuses and further information about the University is available online at http://www.uhi.ac.uk/en

Copyright
Please note that copyright in the information you have been given belongs to the university. Copyright material must not be copied, distributed, modified, reproduced, transmitted, published (including published on the Internet or an intranet), or otherwise made available in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the copyright holder or as expressly permitted under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998. Should the university agree to give consent to the use of the information, then the university must be credited as having done so.

Your right to seek a review of our decision If you are not satisfied with our response or our reasoning set-out above, you have forty working days in which to request a review of our decision. Any request should be put in writing and should be sent to me at the address detailed at the bottom of this email. Your request should:

(a) describe the nature of your original request; and
(b) explain the reasons why you are not satisfied with our response.

If you remain dissatisfied with how your request for information has been dealt with, you also have the right to apply to the Scottish Information Commissioner for a decision as to whether we have handled your request properly.

Information relating to your right to seek review is available from the Scottish Information Commissioner's web page at: http://www.itspublicknowledge.info/faqs.... or by contacting the Scottish Information Commissioner's Office at the following address:
Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle, Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife
KY16 9DS
Telephone: 01334 464610
Fax: 01334 464611
E-mail: [email address]
Website: www.itspublicknowledge.info
www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal

Finally, should you wish to discuss the contents of this response then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,
Christine Shaw

Corporate Governance Officer
Oifigear Riaghlaidh Corporra

University of the Highlands and Islands, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis IV3 5SQ
DDI / Fòn: +44 (0) 1847 889380 Lìn | Web: www.uhi.ac.uk

Pròiseact crannchuir Coimisean nam Mìle Bliadhna. Na companaidh earranta clàraichte ann an Alba, Àireamh 148203. Àireamh Carthannas Albannach Clàraichte SC022228. Oifis chlàraichte 12b Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis, Alba, IV3 5SQ A Millennium Commission lottery project. A limited company registered in Scotland no. 148203. Scottish charity no. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Dear University of the Highlands and Islands,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of University of the Highlands and Islands's handling of my FOI request 'Ethical investment overview'.

You have not answered all of my questions, which I repeat below:-

Please provide full details of all investments of the above nature (I do not consider the names of the companies adequate - please confirm the amount of your holdings too.)
Please advise what proportion of your total portfolio is invested in any of the above industries.
Please also advise whether your University has a compliance officer or similar responsible for monitoring its investments and investment strategies.

Furthermore please can you define what and who the 'Trustees' are in your initial response.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/e...

Yours faithfully,

Rajai Davies

FOI, University of the Highlands and Islands

Dear Rajai,

I refer to your email dated 22 November 2020, in connection with our response to your recent freedom of information request (reference number: 102) seeking an internal review as outlined in your request.

Please be advised that I have referred this matter to the University’s Director of Corporate Governance who has responsibility for conducting reviews on behalf of the University. Please note that we are treating your email as a formal request for a review and the University will endeavour to reply to your request promptly and within twenty working days of receipt.

If it is agreed that our original response was wrong, or if the original request was not handled fairly then you will be given a new response, which may include all, some (or possibly none) of the information originally requested. If the response is not complete, reasons related to exemptions will be provided to you.

If you are unhappy with the outcome of the review, you may wish to raise an appeal with the Scottish Information Commissioner, using the following address:

Scottish Information Commissioner
Kinburn Castle
Doubledykes Road
St. Andrews
Fife
KY16 9DS
Tel: 01334 464610

mailto:[email address]

Yours sincerely

Christine Shaw
Corporate Governance Officer
Oifigear Riaghlaidh Corporra

University of the Highlands and Islands, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ
Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis IV3 5SQ
DDI / Fòn: +44 (0) 1847 889380 Lìn | Web: www.uhi.ac.uk

Pròiseact crannchuir Coimisean nam Mìle Bliadhna. Na companaidh earranta clàraichte ann an Alba, Àireamh 148203. Àireamh Carthannas Albannach Clàraichte SC022228. Oifis chlàraichte 12b Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis, Alba, IV3 5SQ
A Millennium Commission lottery project. A limited company registered in Scotland no. 148203. Scottish charity no. SC022228. Registered office: 12B, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ.

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

FOI, University of the Highlands and Islands

1 Atodiad

Dear Rajai

I write further to your email dated 22nd November 2020 below, wherein you requested an internal review of our handling of your Freedom of Information request reference number FOI 102 for information relating to the University’s investments. Please see the response attached from Roger Sendall, Director of Corporate Governance.

Kind regards,
Christine

Christine Shaw
Corporate Governance Officer
Oifigear Riaghlaidh Corporra
DDI / Fòn: +44 (0) 1847 889380

University of the Highlands and Islands, Ness Walk, Inverness IV3 5SQ
Oilthigh na Gàidhealtachd agus nan Eilean, Slighe Nis, Inbhir Nis IV3 5SQ
Web: www.uhi.ac.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir