Workers' Rights and Ethical Investment


Aston takes the welfare of its suppliers' staff and internal staff seriously as well as looking to invest our funds as ethically as possible. Workers' rights  are a core issue in our ethical procurement and we have set out to reward best practice across a range of approaches described below.



The university has taken the decision not to invest directly in fossil fuel companies with immediate effect. It follows a review of the university's Ethical Investment Policy, concerns of staff and students and a decision to support the Student Union campaign to divest from fossil fuels. The policy goes to include other aspects that are not to be invested as shown below: In order to ensure investments meet appropriate ethical values, the University will not invest directly in:

  • the core activities of fossil fuel companies
  • activities that lead to environmental degradation
  • production of landmines, cluster bombs, nuclear and conventional weapons (arms companies)
  • tobacco manufacture, alcohol, pornography, gambling
  • support of oppressive regimes, or those covered by International sanctions
  • anti -social sales and marketing practices relating to alcohol and tobacco; nor
  • funds associated with violations of international conventions and norms in the areas of human rights, employment practices and climate change. 

The full Ethical Investment Policy can viewed here.

The University has invested in the NetPositive Supplier Engagement HE Tool. This tool allows suppliers to create a Sustainability Action Plan that they share with their customers. The University has a target to engage with its top ten high risk suppliers using such a tool.

The Sustainability Team also have a target to map the supply chain of one of its main suppliers a year.

The University currently pays more than what is advised by the Living Wage Foundation. Details of Aston Pay Suppliment can be found here. However, the University is unable to align its review period with that defined in the Living Wage Accreditation. Hence, Aston University can not currently obtain the accreditation.