Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology has invested $215 million into two of Mercer’s socially responsible equities funds.
Swinburne University of Technology has transitioned $215 million of its investment funds to Mercer in order to satisfy the university's Responsible Investment Charter.
The fund will be invested in Mercer's Socially Responsible Global Shares Fund and the Socially Responsible Australian Shares Fund.
Both funds restrict investment in businesses that are involved in activities that are in breach of socially responsible criteria, including weapons manufacture, tobacco, alcohol, gambling, adult entertainment and thermal coal.
The Mercer funds also target companies that are focused on sustainable development.
Swinburne chief financial officer Fiona Schutt said investing in Mercer's Australian Shares Fund would put the principles of the university's Responsible Investment Charter into practice.
"Swinburne believes that a responsible approach to investing is not only a commitment to our community, but crucial to the sustainable growth of our investment funds," Ms Schutt said.
"With this in mind, we adopted a Responsible Investment Charter to guide our investment practices. We have now taken a first step towards the achievement our goal."
Mercer global business leader for responsible investment Helga Birgden said Swinburne is now allocating capital to sustainability while seeking to avoid material harm.
"Guided by its strong policy in this area, Swinburne’s investments will help the university create and preserve long-term investment capital," Ms Birgden said.
Mercer's Australian Shares Fund targets a carbon intensity that is 20 per cent below the carbon footprint of the ASX300 over three years.
Mellon Capital portfolio manager Karen Wong argued yesterday that Australian institutions like Swinburne should be looking to decarbonise their portfolios to minimise climate change risk.