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Canadian universities unite as investors to help address the climate crisis

The University Network for Investor Engagement (UNIE) initiative targets greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk at companies across the economy
February 22, 2021

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A coalition of Canadian university endowments and pension plans, including Concordia, is launching a new initiative through SHARE, a non-profit investor advocacy organization, to engage investee corporations on climate change risks.

On behalf of the new University Network for Investor Engagement (UNIE) initiative, SHARE will engage with North American public companies held in university endowment and pension portfolios to address pervasive risks associated with climate change. The UNIE initiative will focus on key sectors where advocacy can make the biggest difference, including finance, transportation, energy and utilities, and manufacturing.

Initial participants include Carleton University, Concordia, McGill, McMaster, Mount Alison University, Université de Montreal, University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto Asset Management, University of Victoria and York University.

The UNIE initiative is focused both on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy.

The new group was formed through dialogue between SHARE and university leaders about how to use their power as institutions to respond to the climate crisis. Discussion started more than a year ago, and continued through online meetings during the course of 2020. It is open to new members and new institutions are joining regularly as word gets out about the initiative.  

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