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Queen's to update responsible investing policy

Individuals and groups invited to submit feedback on revised policy. 

The university is in the process of updating its responsible investing policy following recommendations made by the Principal’s Advisory Committee on Divestment: Fossil Fuels in its October 2015 final report. The report highlighted interpretive difficulties in applying the existing policy, the Queen’s University Statement on Responsible Investing, which was approved in 2009. The purpose of the new policy and corresponding set of procedures is to set down the principles that govern responsible investing practices at the university, while recognizing and respecting the roles of the diverse stakeholders that make up the university community. 

An ad hoc committee of the Board has developed the draft of the revised policy and members of the Queen’s community are encouraged to provide feedback to help inform the revisions.

“As we saw during the recent discussion on divestment, there are many factors and viewpoints to consider when looking at our responsible investing policy and procedures,” says Don Raymond, Chair of the Board of Trustees and former chair of the Board’s Investment Committee. “We want to hear from Queen’s community members and ensure that their feedback is incorporated into the policy process.”

Draft procedures have also been proposed that provide a mechanism for the university to engage with its external investment managers on environmental, social, and governance factors, and that outline criteria for consideration when a special request is received from the university community.

“The proposed policy continues to provide an avenue for members of the Queen’s community to make special requests, such as the one that occasioned the recent consideration of divestment from fossil fuels by the Principal’s Advisory Committee, within the context of the university’s fiduciary responsibility,” says Mr. Raymond. “It also recognizes that the university can make an impact through several means not limited to divestment, including shareholder engagement activities and through its core mission as an educational and research institution.” 

The draft policy has been posted to the University Secretariat’s website. Comments can be sent to policies@queensu.ca. The deadline for submission is Jan. 20.