BDS Investment Update
How we screen companies operating in Occupied Territories
At Future Super we have a set of negative screens in place - if companies fail these, we rule out investing with them. Some of our screens that are relevant to this issue include screens that prevent us from investing in weapons companies and companies that have documented contracts with military forces that make up a significant portion of their revenues.
There are four companies that we invest in that have been flagged by campaigners as having current or historical activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). We are actively reviewing all four.
Here’s an update on our assessment of these companies
HP Inc. and HP Enterprises
In 2015, HP (Hewlett-Packard) split into two entities: HP Inc. and HP Enterprises
HP Inc., previously supplied personal computers to military and security agencies. The latest advice from the company is that this contract has been terminated. Future Super only invests in HP Inc and we will continue to monitor and engage with them. We do not invest in HP Enterprises.
Expedia and Booking.com are travel companies with a global footprint that have some travel services in certain parts of OPT.
They do not fail our negative screens, however, we are reaching out to them to gain insight into their approach to operating in conflict zones.
Alstom SA is involved in building trains and railways. Alstom is invested in through a fund that seeks exposure to companies supporting the transition to a net zero economy.
We plan to engage with Alstom to understand how they are assessing and mitigating risks connected to their current activities.
What is “engaging”?
When we say we are engaging, we mean we are talking to the company and getting all the facts together. This information is important to make sure we act as responsible investors for our members’ retirement savings.
We understand this can be frustrating to hear when you want action, but we need to be sure we are making investment decisions in line with our screening process and in the best interests of our members.
As shareholders, we have the ability to reach out for information and to apply pressure on companies we invest in to make sure their actions align with our values.
We also have the ability to escalate our response, such as by divesting, if we believe they are no longer an appropriate investment. Engaging is how we make sure we have a full picture of a company’s activities so we can make those decisions.
When our members reach out to us on issues like this, we take it seriously. We’re providing this information about our investments to be transparent, and to clear up some misinformation that we understand has been shared on social media.
Future Super’s team has reviewed any investments that have operations in the OPT. We have contacted HP Inc, Expedia, Booking Holdings (which owns Booking.com) and Alstom SA and have begun the process of engaging with them.
Engagement is a process that takes time, we understand that this can be frustrating. Why the process? As a responsible investor for all of our members’ retirement savings, we have to follow a thorough process and engage and liaise with multiple stakeholders. This takes time to ensure we are acting in the best interest of members.
Future Super has made some updates to our investment mix. This involved selling out of some investments, including Alstom SA. Future Super no longer has any exposure to Alstom SA. You can find information about everything we invest in here.