UC ranked highest university worldwide for investment in combatting climate change

DANIEL TAK / AGGIE
DANIEL TAK / AGGIE

UC ranked 17th best worldwide investor in the AODP Climate 500 Index

On May 2, for the second year in a row, Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP) ranked the University of California as the highest among all universities worldwide in incorporating climate change risks in its investment decision-making. The UC retirement system ranked 17th best amongst other investors.

The AODP Global Climate Index ranks stakeholders on how each major asset owner manages climate risk. The goal is to encourage climate change integration into the stakeholders’ investment strategies across the investment sector.

The “Global Climate 500 Index” survey comprises 41 questions which rank individual stakeholders on their transparency and disclosure of information, as well as how effectively asset owners are managing, monitoring and measuring climate risks in their projects and their involvement in low carbon investments.

AODP CEO Julian Poulter commends the UC combatting against global warming and its influence on the rest of the industry.

“Leadership in the AODP Index is critical to identifying what measures can be taken to manage climate risk and how funds compare with their peers. As UC shows, this leadership is achievable with no discernible impact on returns — and will raise the bar for the rest of the industry,” Poulter said in the UC press release.

Spokesperson for UC Office of the President Claire Doan agrees with Poulter.

“[The ranking] shows UC is a global leader in the area of climate change solutions,” Doan said via email. “We hope, by leading the charge when it comes to sustainability, we can influence others to also make forward-thinking decisions that prioritize the environment.”

Students such as Hannah Ulansey, fourth-year environmental science and management major and the unit director for the Campus Center for the Environment, believes UC Davis reflects the AODP ranking with its achievements in sustainability.

“I would say that UC Davis reflects this commitment to climate change,” Ulansey said via email. “We recently constructed a 62-acre solar farm in the south campus that will produce energy for campus use. Additionally, UC Davis recently partnered with an anaerobic biodigestor. All pre-consumer food waste from the dining commons are now composted.”

According to the UC press release, the University is a signatory to the Paris Pledge and has thus committed to investing $1 billion in global warming solutions for the next five years. UC is also working with Bill Gates and the Breakthrough Energy Coalition to boost innovative energy development, government research and technologies to build a network of investors to support climate change solutions.

Written by: Yvonne Leong – campus@theaggie.org