10th November 2020

Launch of a Fossil Fuel Screened Equity Index Fund

OUem has worked with BlackRock to meet the specific needs of the University of Oxford's Capital Account

We have been working with BlackRock to develop the Fossil Fuel Screened Equity Index Fund. This relates to Oxford University’s Capital Account, which is structured to allow the University to regularly draw down from holdings. We have been working with BlackRock since May to find a vehicle which is screened for all the University’s ethical restrictions (including tobacco, illegal weapons and all fossil fuel extractors), and we are pleased that the Capital Account will now have no exposure to fossil fuel extractors.

This is not the first time we have backed a group developing a product which fits our specific ESG requirements. In the Oxford Endowment Fund, which is managed on behalf of a range of investors, we have worked with a group called Osmosis Investment Management. This group is focused on companies’ resource metrics on the basis that those which minimise their water, waste and energy use will outperform less prudent peers over the long term. We were their first institutional backer and, in 2011, we invested in the management company at the early stages of their journey. This group now manages over £1bn for institutional investors globally, including groups which are the most vocal proponents of ESG. We backed the company’s next phase of growth in 2019, and were subsequently followed by a leading sustainable investor, eight years after our initial investment.