National Taiwan University (NTU) plans to divest NT$432 million (US$14.3 million) from six “high pollution” and “high carbon emission” companies by the end of next year, the university’s Student Association said.
NTU’s chief financial officer (CFO) told the student group that the school has targeted six companies, accounting for 22 percent of the university’s investments, and has already divested from four of them, NTU Student Association head of sustainability Huang Yu-ting (黃毓庭) said.
Divestment from the remaining companies is expected to be completed by the end of next year, she said, adding that the university did not publicly reveal the names of the companies.
Photo taken from the National Taiwan University Student Association Department of Sustainability Facebook page
The association said that it had previously asked university presidential candidates whether they would divest the school’s fund from “high pollution, high carbon emission” companies, and NTU president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), then a candidate, promised he would.
On Nov. 28, the association received details on the divestment from the CFO, who told them that starting in mid-September, the university had begun the divestment process, Huang said.
Although the university’s divestment is “the first in Asia,” more than 150 universities around the world are already doing the same, she said.
International groups that track divestments would base their observations on public and official commitments made by the university, she said, urging NTU to make a public announcement.
She said that NTU should set guidelines for future investments and that it consider not just profit, but also environmental risks.
In the past, the university has invested in companies with the top 12 highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions in Taiwan, Huang said.
She said she believes that input from university professors could help it establish better investment parameters.
Investments by NTU’s fund in China Steel Corp, Asia Cement Corp, Taiwan Cement Corp, Formosa Plastics Group and other companies total about NT$260 million, the student associations’ data showed.
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