Our progress


Last week, the Responsible Investment Working Group (RIWG) published its report to the Board of Governors — none of them recommending the University divest its pension or endowment funds from fossil fuel companies. The report came a mere four days before the Board is expected to vote on its recommendations this Tuesday, June 5th.

2017 – Responsible Investment Working Group Consultations

Since May 2017, the RIWG, assembled by the UW Board of Governors to assess whether and how to integrate ESG considerations into UW’s investment decisions, has met several times — though it has not made any information regarding its progress public yet — and has made a call for comments from the UW community. All comments should be directed to the RIWG secretary, Mike Grivicic. To ensure this process is done with utmost accountability and that no voices are left unheard, we will continue actively engaging the working group as well as the greater campus community.

Read Fossil Free UW’s annotated bibliography and official submission to the RIWG.

Fall 2016 – Environment, Social, and Governance guidelines

In response to the WESEF vote, the Investment and Finance Committee of the UW Board of Governors has struck a committee to draft guidelines on environment, social, and governance (ESG, in corporate social responsibility parlayance) for the University’s investments. They have been working on a Terms of Reference and designing a consultation strategy which Fossil Free will engage. In the meantime, we will continue working at the grassroots to build awareness, support, and action. Read about the ESG process in the Board’s minutes.

Winter 2016 – Faculty support divestment

In support of the WESEF decision, over 60 professors from every faculty at Waterloo wrote an open letter to the Board of Governors. Read more in the Imprint.

Fall 2015 – WESEF divestment vote

After organizing students in the Faculty of Environment over the preceding Winter and Spring terms, in November of 2015 the Waterloo Environment Students Endowment Fund (WESEF) voted unanimously (minus one abstention) to divest their funds at their Annual General Meeting. Because faculty endowment funds are not managed directly by their own Boards but by the University of Waterloo Board of Governors, this decision is pending enaction. Read more in the Imprint.