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Issue 473, 19 November 2001

Council news

An ethical investment policy has been adopted by the University, under which it has decided to no longer invest in tobacco companies.

Following a decision by the University’s ruling body, Council, on November 8, the University will now take steps to disinvest its holdings in tobacco stocks. Around 3% of the University’s 52m endowment funds are currently invested in tobacco.

University of Leeds Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Alan Wilson said: "Our decision was made on a matter of principle, and in recognition of the social responsibilities of a leading university.

"We have a longstanding policy of not accepting research grants from tobacco companies. The decision to pull our endowment funds out of these same companies is a natural extension of this policy.

"We would like to acknowledge the important role played by our students in reaching this decision."

Earlier this year, the University adopted a ‘socially responsible’ investment policy, committing the University to the principle of engagement with companies on the full range of ethical issues.

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