Second biggest pension fund dumps tobacco, Walmart investments
The giant Dutch health service pension fund PFZW is selling its holdings in tobacco companies and US retail group Walmart.
PFZW, which has €135bn in assets, said in a statement it is selling all its investments in the tobacco industry after several months of discussions with companies ‘failed to bring about the improvements’ it wanted.
In addition, the ‘difficult relationship’ between the healthcare sector and tobacco industry was a factor, the fund said. The fund’s concerns include the way tobacco is produced, in some cases using child labour, and the way tobacco companies target young people.
In addition, PFZW’s fund manager PGGM has also decided to place US supermarket group Walmart on its exclusion list.
In the statement, PGGM said: ‘The motives behind this decision are twofold: firstly, Walmart was not prepared to take PGGM’s concerns about the company’s tense labour relations in its domestic market into consideration and, secondly, the Walmart board was not willing to participate in fruitful dialogues with its shareholders.’
PGGM, which invests assets for five pension funds, is owned by the health service pension fund PFZW.
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