Responsible Investment Policy

The Trustees support the Principles of Good Governance and the Code of Best Practice

Principles

The Trustees believe that with ownership comes responsibility and they are committed to exercising their influence and control to promote the long term sustainability of the Scheme’s Investments. The Trustees believe that its Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance strategy has an important role to play in safeguarding and enhancing the long term value of the Scheme’s assets.

The Trustees are committed to taking appropriate advice on these matters and will seek to collaborate with other pension funds and investors in order to achieve the greatest impact and to make the best use of resources.

Shareholder voting and Engagement with companies

The Trustees have appointed Hermes Equity Ownership Services (EOS) to vote at company meetings on behalf of Trustees. EOS also engages with companies on governance, ethical and environmental considerations. EOS is expected to exercise votes in accordance with the EOS’s Responsible Ownership Principles and such higher standards as agreed with the Trustees, unless they believe that doing so would not be in the best financial interests of the Scheme. EOS is expected to develop policies on socially, ethically and environmentally responsible investing and to encourage these practices in the course of engagements where these will enhance or protect companies’ long-term prospects.

In addition to engagement at the company level, EOS works on the Scheme’s behalf to engage with public, industry and regulatory bodies in the various markets in which the Scheme invests to promote better practices.

The Trustees have delegated responsibility to the Scheme’s investment managers to take account of the social, environmental and ethical considerations in the selection, retention and realisation of individual investments so far as such considerations will affect the prospects or performance of the companies in which they invest for the Scheme.

The Trustees believe change is better influenced through ownership and engagement and have chosen not to impose their own ethical values on the Scheme’s investments when it comes to the purchase and sale of individual securities. They do not oblige the Scheme’s investment managers to invest in or exclude investments for solely ethical reasons.

Affiliations

The Trustees have signed up to the UK Stewardship code The Scheme's disclosure statement in respect to the stewardship code can be found here.

Trustees have signed up to the UNEP Finance Initiative Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI). These are available by visiting their website.   Each year an audit is carried out on each member of the UNPRI in order to provide a measure of how well each is doing in respect of implementing the Principles for Responsible Investment.  You can see the results here.

The Scheme is also a member of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and has signed up to their investor statement. You can get a copy of the statement by visiting their website.

You can also view the Scheme's individual voting record here and the BBC voting and engagement report 2014 here