SSF Engagement Initiatives

Open letter to index providers on controversial weapons exclusions

SSF coordinates an investor initiative for an "Open letter to global index providers" to exclude controversial weapons* from mainstream indices.

Image of the "Broken Chair" by Swiss artist Daniel Berset in Geneva, symbolizing the victims of landmines and cluster munitions.

Detailed description

A number of international conventions prohibit or restrict the development, production and use of controversial weapons. Some countries have gone further by implementing legislation against direct and/or indirect financing of such weapons. For institutional and individual investors, excluding companies involved in controversial weapons has become standard practice or expectation. However, mainstream indices continue to include such companies. This is causing a problem for active and passive investors who may be subject to extra tracking error and/or additional costs, or unable to invest in controversial weapons-free solutions.

Swiss investors therefore have launched this investor initiative and SSF is coordinating the collection of co-signatories who support the view that index providers should remove companies involved in controversial weapons from mainstream indices.

Launched in August 2018, this initiative has already received the support from a core group of more than 60 Swiss investors representing over USD 2 trillion. To co-sign this letter, please fill in the signatory form.

Latest figures (as of 21 January 2019)

  • 132 signatories
  • USD 6.6 trillion

The letter is on Swiss Sustainable Finance (SSF) letterhead, as SSF holds the coordination role of the letter and subsequent actions, and will be signed by institutions only (i.e. no names of individuals).

Due to strong momentum, the deadline for the call for signatories has been extended and will remain open until 31 January 2019, after which time we will inform you about further steps.

The call for signatories is also posted on the PRI Collaboration Platform where PRI signatories can find further information.

*cluster munitions, anti-personnel mines, biological and chemical weapons, as well as nuclear weapons which are produced for countries that have not signed the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

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