Jan Lintsen, vice chair of the UvA Executive Board: ‘This is an important measure that will ensure our money cannot be used to finance the fossil industry.’
Switching to sustainable banking services
As part of the UvA’s commitment to making its operational management more sustainable, the Executive Board has decided that the UvA no longer wants to contribute to the financing of fossil fuels. ‘This means that we will review the banking services the UvA currently uses and switch to other banks where necessary,’ Jan Lintsen explains. ‘We have taken this decision for various reasons, which include the concerns expressed by important stakeholders, including the Central Student Council.’
‘The UvA wants to take sustainability seriously across the board. Not only in our education and research, but also in our operational management. That means having sustainable buildings, but also sustainable suppliers and service providers. When it comes to the banking services we use, we are now taking a concrete step by placing cash balances with a sustainable bank. We will place the cash balances we don’t immediately need for our operational management with banks that don’t finance fossil fuels. This will be done in the near future, by mid-April. In this way, we prevent that the UvA’s money is used to directly or indirectly finance the fossil industry. This is great step that brings us closer to our goal of only doing business with sustainable banks. That goal relates not only to the management of our cash balances, but also to our payment transactions and financing.’
The UvA’s payment transactions comprise all its current incoming and outgoing payments. Jan Lintsen: ‘This is the category of banking services about which the Central Student Council initially raised concerns with us. The UvA also wants to become more sustainable when it comes to this category, and we have already started the process for the selection of a sustainable bank. This process will be lengthier, as it requires an EU tender.’
Financing, the final category of banking services, concerns loans the UvA takes out to finance investments. ‘All our loans have been taken out with BNG Bank. Given the sustainable nature of BNG Bank, we see no reason to reconsider our relations with this bank’, Jan Lintsen concludes.
Making the UvA more sustainable
The UvA has a crucial responsibility in accelerating sustainable change in society and as an institution wants to be at the forefront of sustainability. We will be making our education, research and operational management more sustainable in the coming years on the basis of five objectives. You can read more about the UvA’s sustainability programme in our White Paper on Sustainability.