Scottish Widows to sell weak ESG companies

Scottish Widows has said it will sell £440m of stocks that don’t meet the firm’s ESG criteria.

Scottish Widows says the decision will cover both funds sold to clients as well as its own investments. Companies that earn more than 10% of revenue from thermal coal and tar sands, manufacturers of controversial weapons and violators of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and corruption will be sold. The investments amount to around 0.3% of £170bn funds under management.

“We have a vital role to play in shielding our customers from ESG investment risks, as well as influencing positive change through the investments we hold. This is just one step in the journey,” said Maria Nazarova-Doyle, head of pension investments at Scottish Widows. “We recognise there’s more we can do as a company.”