December 7, 2015

Swinburne University takes first steps towards full fossil fuel divestment

MELBOURNE—- This afternoon, Swinburne University announced a new Responsible Investment Charter that will commit the university to taking account of environmental and social impacts in its investment portfolio. Swinburne has identified companies that generate significant revenues from fossil fuel extraction or coal power generation for possible divestment, as these activities are considered inconsistent with the Charter’s aims. The Charter also commits the university to full transparency of its investment holdings’ carbon emissions and to report annually on its progress in implementing the Charter.

The move comes after a year of divestment campaigning by student and staff group Fossil Free Swinburne.

“As world leaders meet in Paris, Swinburne’s commitment comes as yet another reminder that the world is bidding farewell to fossil fuels,” commented PhD student and Fossil Free Swinburne spokesperson Garrity Hill.

“We welcome Swinburne’s announcement today and commend the university on its leadership among higher education institutions in Australia. Our campaigners will continue to work closely with the university towards full and swift divestment of all fossil fuels from the university’s endowment,” concluded Miss Hill.

“Swinburne has shown it is concerned not just about thought leadership, but is also financially prudent. Swinburne has seen the writing on the wall for fossil fuels and will reflect this in their investments once this Charter is implemented” said Michael Leach, Associate Professor in Politics and Public Policy at Swinburne.

Said Ray Yoshida, Australia Campus Divestment Coordinator “Swinburne has listened to its staff and students’ deep concern about the morality of investing in an industry blocking action on climate change. It’s time for other Australian universities to follow Swinburne’s lead.”

Fossil Free Swinburne’s campaign forms part of a global movement calling on institutions to stop investing in the top 200 coal, oil and gas companies. To date, 35 universities have committed to partial or full divestment globally, including the Australian National University. To date, almost 500 institutions, representing $3.4 trillion globally, have committed to dump their investments in coal, oil and gas.

Swinburne University of Technology currently has a total investment portfolio of $150 million, which includes cash investments.


  • Ray Yoshida – 350 Australia – 0404 614 469
  • Garrity Hill – Fossil Free Swinburne – 0401 671 659