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UCU meets USS Investment Management to discuss ethical investment

5 December 2023

UCU met yesterday with senior representatives of the Universities Superannuation Scheme Investment Management company (USSIM).

They discussed their approach to investing in companies driving the climate crisis like BP, Shell, those with poor environmental records like Thames Water, and in companies such as Raytheon and BAE Systems who profit from war through the manufacturing of arms.

UCU highlighted its conference policy and the fact that its members want USS to ethically invest their pensions in companies that are not destroying the planet and not destroying human life.

Speaking following the meeting, a UCU spokesperson said: 'We had the first of a series of meetings with USSIM to discuss its investment strategy. We acknowledged that USS has taken action on both climate and the arms trade but we believe it can do much more. We discussed USSIM's fiduciary duty and where we believe more discretion could be applied.

'UCU is seeking a further member survey for mid-late 2024 to engage scheme members on the USS Responsible Investment Strategy. We have asked USS to do more to support renewables and to withdraw from fossil fuels; and we have asked USS to consider divesting from companies supporting the ongoing devastating assault on Gaza and Israel's illegal occupation of West Bank.

'We recognise that there will be difficult conversations with USSIM ahead as we seek to change their approach to investing but this meeting is the start of that process and while no decisions have been reached, both sides have committed to meet again shortly.'

Last updated: 5 December 2023