UWE signs pledge to divest from fossil fuel extractor companies

A pledge signed by VC Steve West

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UWE Bristol yesterday cemented its commitment to becoming carbon net zero by 2030 when Vice-Chancellor Steve West signed a declaration pledging to hold no investments in fossil fuel extractor companies now and in the future.

The ceremony took place on Frenchay campus in the University’s Business School building and follows a collaboration between The Students’ Union and student environment charity People & Planet. One of the charity’s goals is to work with educational institutions to help them achieve sustainable objectives and therefore help them to reduce global emissions.

Professor West signed the document at the event, which was also attended by other members and students. He said: “We are pleased to be signing this pledge and our ambition is to ensure we not only take steps as a university but educate staff and students to be more sustainable and environmentally aware as we take a massive leap forward at work and at home.”

The pledge is the culmination of work that began with a student initiative alongside The Students’ Union and will also be included as part of UWE Bristol’s Environmental Sustainability policy.

Evan Vavasor Botwood, President of The Students’ Union at UWE, said: “The student campaigning journey that started years ago has culminated in the commitment that UWE Bristol will never invest in fossil fuel extractor companies. This commitment sends a clear message to our partners, suppliers, students and staff that UWE Bristol has high expectations that funds are being invested sustainably, and for our journey towards net-zero. It marks a new beginning towards decarbonising the whole institution, from its finances to its career advice and all in-between.”

By signing the pledge, UWE Bristol becomes the 21st university in the UK to sign the declaration. According to People & Planet, so far more than half of all UK Higher 

Education institutions have committed to divesting from fossil fuel corporations in some way. UWE Bristol also ranks 24th on the charity’s sustainability league table.

More on the University’s plan to achieve net zero by 2030 here.  

For further information, images or interviews, please contact the UWE Bristol Press Office on 0117 3282208 or pressoffice@uwe.ac.uk.

UWE Bristol press release archive available here.