Ethical Investment Policy
Kingston Unity Friendly Society recognises its responsibility to operate in an ethical manner, and believe that the successful management of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues is fundamental to creating value for our Members.
What is our ESG approach?
We will not directly invest into companies who main business focus includes:
- selling (or servicing) weapons, weapon systems or weapon components to (or for) oppressive regimes;
- manufacturing or distributing nuclear weapons, landmines, cluster bombs/munitions and biological and chemical weapons;
- manufacturing, creating or distributing pornography;
- offering high-interest loans to those in financial difficulties; and
- rearing animals for their fur or testing products on animals for non-medical purposes.
We may also exclude companies on other environmental, social or governance grounds such as excessive and prolonged breaches of Human Rights, promoting alcohol or gambling irresponsibly or where they adopt an irresponsible approach to environmental issues.
It should be noted that where the Society holds externally managed or tracker (which replicate the performance of an index) funds, the Society will be unable to apply its ESG approach.
How will we manage this policy?
This policy will be owned by our Investment Committee and implemented by LGT Vestra, our Investment Manager.
LGT Vestra will screen out investments into firms where their main business includes any of the above elements and monitor the current Investment Portfolio against our approach. Should one of our investments fail to meet our ESG approach, the Investment Committee will decide on how to remove the Society’s holding in that stock whilst considering the merits of the company and the rationale for the stock being highlighted.
LGT Vestra uses an independent, external firm “Ethical Screening” which undertakes research and analysis into those non-financial aspects of corporate activity and highlights any environmental, social or governance breaches that have occurred on the stocks within the Society’s portfolio and on any stock that may be added.
The ethical investment policy will be the subject of an annual review by the Investment Committee and Kingston Unity Board to ensure it remains fit for purpose.