Auckland Council’s Finance and Performance Committee today (11 April) agreed to change its responsible investment policy and exclude investment in a number of activities and industries.
Most notably, the committee agreed that the policy should now exclude and divest any investments that are not consistent with the revised policy, which are currently held in the following areas:
- the manufacturing or development of controversial weapons
- the manufacturing of tobacco
- the production of fossil fuels
- generating revenue from the operation of gambling.
In addition, the council will also now ask investment managers to monitor and screen council exposure to companies that sell high-sugar low-nutrient products in alignment with the broader initiatives with the Auckland Plan.
The council will also undertake a further review of the Diversified Financial Asset Portfolio as a whole, with a view to report back to the committee by June.
Committee Chair Ross Clow welcomed the decision.
“This is an issue that many people, including those round the council table, feel very strongly about,” says Cr Clow.
“It has been clear for some time that our policy should meet certain ethical standards and changing the policy to exclude investments in some areas is a good outcome for all.
“The next step is also important. Given that we have already been increasing the divestment of the portfolio over the past two years, and that there will only be around $130 million left, it is right to review the value of the portfolio, and decide if the money could be better used to invest in infrastructure across the city.”