New Policy to steer Monash University’s attack on climate change

ESG statement

Monash University Chancellor Simon McKeon AO

The Monash University Environmental, Social and Governance statement (ESG) will tackle climate change through its teaching, research, engagement, investments and campus operations.

The new policy statement commits Monash, Australia’s largest and most global university to heightened levels of environmental and social sustainability.

Monash University has an annual operating revenue of more than $2 billion and generates $3.9 billion worth of economic activity each year. It has more than $3.75 billion in assets.

The Chancellor of Monash University, Simon McKeon AO said the commitments contained in the environmental, social and governance policy statement applied across the full scope of the University’s operations.

“The time for action to fight climate change is now. Our new policy statement will influence our research, teaching, investments and how we engage with our industry and government partners and the broad community. It will also impact on our campus facilities,” Mr McKeon said.

“Very few organisations in Australia have anywhere near Monash’s breadth of capability. The implementation of the new policy will see Monash use that capability to help combat the effects of global warming.

“We’ll seek to influence the transition to a net zero carbon economy by engaging with governments and businesses and utilising the technologies developed from Monash’s world class research programs.” Mr McKeon said.

The President and Vice Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO said the new policy would also see Monash set five year infrastructure goals to measure and monitor its transition to a net zero carbon emissions organisation.

“Monash will commit itself to achieve net zero emissions and we will announce that target date for its achievement early next year,” Professor Gardner said.

“Under the new policy announced today, the University will review every year the environmental, social and governance factors relating to our direct and indirect investment portfolios.

“Already, Monash has no direct investments in companies whose primary ongoing business is production of fossil fuels. Further, Monash has been successful in excluding companies whose primary activity is coal production from more than 90 percent of our indirect investment portfolio. The University will be working with fund managers to exclude all companies whose primary activity is coal production from our indirect investments,” Professor Gardner said.

Monash University’s environmental, social and governance policy was developed by a working group that comprised members of the Monash University Council. The working group was chaired by The Honourable Simon Crean and included as members Professor Rebekah Brown, Mr Mark Cubit from Council as well as Professor Simon Molesworth AO QC.

Monash has a student population of 70,000. It has campuses in Australia, China, India, Malaysia and a learning centre in Prato, Italy. The University was established in 1958 and has 333,000 alumni in 144 countries around the world.