New Zealand Superannuation Fund excludes nuclear base operators

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has excluded a group of nuclear base operators from its $22 billion investment portfolio.

The exclusions include publicly listed companies Babcock & Wilcox, Fluor Corporation, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Jacobs Engineering Group, Serco Group and URS Corporation. A private company, Bechtel Group (which the Fund does not currently hold), will also be excluded. Another publicly listed nuclear base operator, Lockheed Martin, was already excluded.

Nuclear warhead modification, retrofit and maintenance activities undertaken at nuclear bases have increased as part of recent programmes to extend the life of nuclear stockpiles in the United States and United Kingdom.

The Fund’s Responsible Investment Manager Anne-Maree O’Connor said the Fund’s view was that the nuclear base operators were now involved, as part of the life extension programmes, in the modification and upgrade of nuclear explosive devices. “This warrants exclusion under the Fund’s Responsible Investment Policy.”

As at 31 March 2013 the Fund’s holdings in these companies totalled NZ$2.2 million. The holdings have now been sold.

The Fund also confirmed that four companies that it had previously excluded, General Dynamics, L-3 Communications, Raytheon and Goodrich Corp, had been cleared to re-enter its portfolio following independent confirmation that they were no longer involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions.

“The exclusions we have announced today reflect new information and changes in company circumstances,” said Ms O’Connor. “We aim to be consistent in applying our exclusion criteria.”

The exclusions will not have any material financial impact on the $22 billion Fund.

The Fund first excluded companies involved in the manufacture of cluster munitions and in the manufacture or simulated testing of nuclear explosive devices in 2008.

The Fund’s investment portfolio is continually reviewed, based on information from specialist screening agency MSCI, and other reliable sources of information, to ensure its list of excluded companies remains up to date.

Holdings in each excluded company as at 31 March 2013 (Value in NZ$)

Babcock & Wilcox 211,888.42
Fluor Corp 713,656.90
Huntington Ingalls 159,099.05
Jacobs Engineering Group 498,106.54
Serco Group 335,826.63
URS Corp 267,081.14
TOTAL 2,185,658.68

From a release circulated by:

iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand c/o Peace Movement Aotearoa
the national networking peace organisation