Industry Updates

Oxford University selects BlackRock for ESG index fund launch

Oxford University has restricted direct investments into fossil fuels

George Geddes

a woman with long hair

BlackRock has launched a fossil fuel screened equity index fund in collaboration with Oxford University Endowment Management (OUem).

The iShares Developed World Fossil Fuel Screened Equity Index fund tracks a global equity index by MSCI that incorporates a series of fossil fuel exclusion screens.

This fund’s methodology removes companies that are directly involved in fossil fuel extraction, production and exploration as well as those companies that own fossil fuel reserves.

Furthermore, the fund excludes companies that are involved in controversial activities such as nuclear and civilian weapons, tobacco, thermal coal, tar sands and those that are not compliant with the United Nations Global Compact principles.

OUem selected BlackRock to create the bespoke equity index fund following the firm’s commitment to sustainable investing which aligns with the University’s plans to divest its endowment from fossil fuels.

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Sarah Melvin (pictured), head of UK at BlackRock, said: “We are excited to have been chosen by OUem, to design and launch a new product which incorporates precise, transparent, exclusionary screens supporting their divestment objectives."

Sandra Robertson, CEO and CIO of OUem, added: “In the actively managed Oxford Endowment Fund, for permanent endowment, over the past 12 years we have effectively divested from fossil fuels, and we have funded several innovative groups investing in solutions to climate change.

“This is an outcome of an active investment process, and a long-term investment theme of resource efficiency."

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