Collaborative engagement with banks wins Green Gown Award
Jesus College, alongside Trinity College and the University of Cambridge, shared a prestigious 2022 Green Gown Award in the Money for Good category for effective engagement with the banking sector on climate finance.
Collectively, the trio were leading participants in efforts of the Responsible Investment Network – Universities (RINU) to focus engagement on persuading banks to stop financing companies that continue to build new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Their engagement helped a global bank include methane emissions in its methodology, and to report on absolute emissions for the first time.
They also persuaded a second global bank to commit to phasing down their financing of the fossil fuel industry on a timeline consistent with the UN goal to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to update oil, gas and coal policies by the end of 2022.
Green Gown judges were incredibly impressed with the quality of the Collegiate Cambridge initiative, calling it “innovative” and “sector-changing”.
“This initiative is leading the way and we cannot wait to see the change they create using money for good,” the judges said.
Anthony Odgers, Chief Financial Officer of the University of Cambridge said: “Banks have a key role to play in the energy transition. Our historic relationship with major banks, combined with our academic expertise, puts the University of Cambridge in a strong position to influence finance towards net zero goals. This award will help us share this approach with other institutions.”
Dr Richard Anthony, Jesus College’s Bursar said: “This is a significant achievement and shows how working in partnership to effect change can deliver on a scale that is much bigger than the College. We must all work together as we face the real and immediate challenge of climate change. As a College, we have made a commitment to sustainability, setting ourselves bold and ambitious targets, and we are having an impact where it matters.”
Romane Thomas, Trinity College Investment and Sustainability Officer, said: “Our engagement with HSBC and other banks, including through the activities of the Trinity Responsible Investment Society, has shown how influential networks can be in accelerating the energy transition, especially when communicating expectations both as shareholders and clients.”
Green Gown Awards are awarded by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), an alliance for sustainability leadership in education with more than 300 member institutions in the Further and Higher Education sector of the UK and Ireland.
A version of this story appeared on the University of Cambridge's website.