The management of the Union’s investment strategy is overseen by the Investment Committee.

The members of the Committee are Joint General Secretaries, National Treasurer and Chair of General Purposes Committee. Assistant General Secretary (Business Services) and Head of Finance will also attend Committee meetings.

The Committee is responsible for managing the Union’s investments in accordance with this policy and for the appointment for investment managers and the opening of bank deposit accounts.

The Committee will normally meet three time a year and will report to the General Purposes Committee of the Union.

The Investment Committee will decide on the broad allocation of funds invested in equities, bonds and cash. The Union’s investment policy having regard to market benchmarks is to achieve the returns set by the Investment Committee and to ensure that as a minimum the value of the portfolio is maintained in real terms.

Socially Responsible Investment

The Union’s Investments strategy will have regard to ethical, environment, social and governance issues (ESG).

In pursuing the investment strategy, the Committee will positively seek to invest in organisations that promote sustainability and operate in a way to minimise their impact on the environment.

Environmental, Social and Governance criteria

Environment criteria look at how a company performs as a steward of the natural environment. Social criteria examine how a company manages its relationships with its employees, suppliers, customers, and the communities where it operates. Governance deals with a company’s leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls and shareholder rights.

The Union will expect investment managers to engage with companies where ESG is a concern and to report the Union on their engagement activities.

The Union will specifically avoid investments in the following areas:

  1. Armaments
  2. Food and other products from illegally occupied territories where the trade is solely for the benefit of the illegal occupier
  3. Toiletries and cosmetics produced using animal testing
  4. Mining which is detrimental or provides no benefit to the local community
  5. Tobacco products
  6. Organisations condemned by the TUC

The Union will not invest in organisations that do not adhere to the labour standard of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as set out below: -

  • Freedom from discrimination
  • Freedom from bonded or forced labour
  • Freedom from oppression
  • Freedom from dangerous working conditions
  • Freedom of association
  • The right to organise and collective bargaining
  • The right to equal remuneration and
  • The elimination of child labour

Fiduciary Duty

The Committee has a fiduciary duty to maximise the returns from the Union’s Investments; whilst at the same time ensuring that the financial risk of the investment decision is properly considered. The Committee will appoint investment managers to advise the committee and to invest on behalf of the Union in a socially responsible manner to ensure that returns are maximised over the long term. This policy is designed to enable socially responsible investment, whilst minimising any potential impact on its investment returns.

Appointment of Investment Managers

  1. The Union will appoint investment managers to incorporate ESG factors into their selection criteria.
  2. The Union will expect investment managers to engage with companies where ESG issues are a concern.
  3. Where the Union invests in any company that does not appear to be pursuing sound ethical business practices and/or displaying appropriate environmental responsibility, the investment managers will seek to persuade that company to operate in a more socially and environmentally responsible manner. Where change cannot be influenced by the Investment Manager, they will be instructed to undertake a divestment strategy.

Policy Review

This policy is approached by the General Purposes Committee who delegate the activity of implementing the policy to the Investment Committee.

Review

The Union will review this Policy every 2 years.