The People’s Pension has pulled investment in companies worth up to £226 million from its funds over significant human rights, labour, environmental and corruption concerns.
The divestment is particularly focused on contentious weapons companies and organisations that are thought to pose some of the most severe ESG-related investment risks.
B&CE managing director of investments Jon Cunliffe says: “We’ve taken the significant step of divesting from companies which fail to meet our ESG standards because of the risks they pose to member accounts and the reputation of the scheme. We have removed investments from these holdings, in the best interest of our members, as engagement with companies which flagrantly breach good practice is unlikely to work.
“Both SSGA and our Trustees have worked very hard to get to this point, and we know that this decisive action will have the support of our members as our polling tells us that responsible investment is important to them. These exclusions underline our commitment to being a responsible investor, which we put at the heart of our decision making.”
State Street Global Advisors managing director and head of retirement strategy Alistair Byrne says: “ESG considerations are an increasingly crucial aspect of the investment strategy of any pension scheme. We are delighted to have been able to work with The People’s Pension to design and implement these changes, creating a more robust and sustainable default fund for their millions of members. We look forward to continuing our collaboration to evolve the ESG strategy of the scheme.”
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