Disinvestment from fossil fuel suppliers

Published: 17/09/2021

The Royal College of Anaesthetists committed to disinvesting from fossil fuel suppliers (including oil and gas companies) by January 2022, if they were not compliant with the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2016).

The Paris Agreement seeks to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

We have been advised by our investment managers, that no fossil fuel supplier within our portfolio of financial investments has credible plans to achieve this target, we have therefore chosen to disinvest from all fossil fuel suppliers as of March 2021.

We are also working with our investment managers to reduce the carbon impact of our remaining investments. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) benchmarking is provided by MSCI. As of March 2021, the carbon impact of our portfolio is equivalent to the ESG Leaders Index and well below the MSCI World Index for portfolios.

Disinvestment 2021

However, the work does not stop here, and we will continue to work with our investment managers to reduce the environmental impact of our investments.

As well as disinvesting from non-compliant fossil fuel companies, the College does not knowingly invest in tobacco, armaments, gambling or pornography. We work closely with our investment managers to ensure that funds in which we do invest do not include such industries.

In addition to ensuring environmentally sound financial investing, the College is also committed to embedding sustainability in everything we do. This includes:

  • minimising the environmental impact of our work as an organisation
  • aligning ourselves with relevant national and international initiatives to mitigate further global temperature rise and climate change
  • encouraging our members to consider the environmental impact of their clinical practice without compromising patient safety or quality of care.

Dr Lucy Williams, Council Member, Trustee and Sustainability Lead, said “We listened to our members who requested we disinvest from fossil fuel, and we achieved this goal within the two-year target. Climate change is with us, and we must play our part to deal with it. I am proud how we as a College and a specialty are doing this. The College’s website has information about our environmental strategy, with links to blogs and other resources. I encourage members to see what the College is doing in this area.”