NORWAY - Norway's Government Pension Fund Global has shed its NOK13.7bn (US$2.4bn) investment in 17 tobacco producing companies including Philip Morris and British American Tobacco.
The Norwegian Ministry of Finance said it made the decision to divest based on recommendations it received from the Council on Ethics, new government frameworks and a World Health Organisation treaty regarding tobacco.
The Ministry of Finance said: "In drafting a new criterion on screening tobacco producers, the Ministry of Finance placed particular emphasis on finding a delimitation that fits well with the structure of the current ethical guidelines, including existing rules for negative screening of certain weapons manufacturers.
"On this basis, a rule has been adopted that in principle will exclude all production of tobacco, regardless of the percentage of business represented by tobacco production."
Negative screening, or excluding companies from a portfolio based on certain criteria is common practice among pension funds around the world.
In 2008, for example, Sweden's AP funds 1-4 excluded nine companies involved in the sale of cluster bombs. (Global Pensions; September 15, 2008)
Ex-BHS owner Dominic Chappell has been ordered to pay a total of £87,000 in fines and court costs after he was found guilty of failing to provide The Pensions Regulator (TPR) with information.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has said it while believes in the benefits of consolidating defined benefit (DB) schemes, there are significant issues to overcome.
There is just one week left to register to enter the Workplace Savings and Benefits Awards 2018.
Nearly a third (32%) of employers believe new technologies, such as augmented and virtual reality, will play a part in benefits communications, latest research from Aon Employee Benefits reveals.