101 investors say no to nuclear weapons

There’s a new normal in the financial world in which investors are looking to maximize both profit and progress. Nuclear weapons don’t fit in that mix, and the new PAX- ICAN report “Rejecting Risk: 101 policies against nuclear weapons” profiles the institutions leading the way.

The TPNW is having a powerful impact, and this report illustrates just one of the ways it is doing so. Financial institutions representing $3.9 trillion ($3,964,016,300,000) specifically named the Treaty as a reason to exclude the nuclear weapon industry from investment or financing. This represents about a quarter of all the assets held by the financial institutions in the Hall of Fame, a tremendous $14 trillion that is kept away from the companies involved in nuclear weapons.

Download the report here: Rejecting Risk

Download the Executive Summary

In total, 101 financial institution policies are profiled in this report. Of these, most (59) have comprehensive policies preventing any type of financial relationship with nuclear weapon producers, while the rest still have work to do. This is the most weapons policies ever analysed for any type of weapon, and it shows that nuclear weapon industry investments are getting left behind by an industry looking to the future. 

“Nuclear weapons are illegal under international law, and investors are seeing the companies behind the bomb for what they really are a risky business” said report author Susi Snyder. “This change in the legal landscape is already changing the financial industry.”

If a company is doing something that presents a sustainability, governance, human rights related or other problem, financial institutions have a choice if they want to continue financing problematic actors or not. These problem companies need to generate capital to continue their activities, and the voice of investors can sometimes change problematic behaviour. But, not always, and that’s when financial ties are severed and problem companies are blacklisted. About half of the financial institutions in this report publish a blacklist- those companies involved in making weapons so egregious that they are cut out of the investment universe.

The identification of policies for inclusion in this report is based on peer recommendations, and additional information is always welcome. With a significant percentage of new wealth seeking investment in funds with strong environmental, social and governance criteria, along with the Entry into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, it can be estimated that the number of policies excluding nuclear weapon producers will continue to grow.

The financial sector always dances with risk, for without a bit of risk there’s very little reward. Yet, more than 100 institutions are publicly stating the nuclear weapons business is too risky and not worth any reward. 

Download the report here: Rejecting Risk