Swiss Sustainable Finance leads weapons divestment campaign

Swiss Sustainable Finance leads weapons divestment campaign

Jan 2, 2019
Image credit: orientalizing via Flickr
Wednesday, January 2, 2019

For this investor initiative, launched initially by Pictet Asset Management, Swiss Sustainable Finance has taken over the coordination role and is calling for more signatories to a letter urging index providers to exclude controversial weapons from mainstream indices. 115 signatories are already on board, further investors have till the end of January to sign up.

“Investors tracking big-name benchmarks are all contributing to the financing of companies involved in controversial weapons,” says the letter that Swiss Sustainable Finance intends to send to index providers in early 2019, the Financial Times reported. “Many of them are unaware of this fact or are unable to invest in controversial weapons-free index funds/trackers.”

The investors’ initiative was launched in August 2018 and by 20 December had attracted around 106 investor signatories representing roughly USD six trillion. Among the signatories are the investment arms of UBS and Credit Suisse. Due to demand, the deadline for the call for signatories has been extended until 31 January 2019, according to an SSF statement. Since the end of November, the initiative has also been published on the PRI Collaboration Platform.

Media sources listed Korea’s Hanwha, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in the United States, India’s Larsen & Toubro of India and Isreali company Aryt Industries as companies that more investors might seek to leave out of their portfolios.

“Index providers need to reflect investor practices and expectations,” said Eric Borremans, who leads environmental, social and governance investing, or ESG, at Pictet Asset Management.

Image credit: orientalizing via Flickr