The Second Church Estates Commissioner answered a written question in the House of Commons yesterday on the Church Commissioners’ ethical investment policy.
Helen Goodman: To ask the hon. Member for Banbury, representing the Church Commissioners, what the category limits are of the Church Commissioners’ ethical investment policy.
Sir Tony Baldry: The Church Commissioners are advised on ethical investment policy by the Church of England’s Ethical Investment Advisory Group. In directly held investments, the Church Commissioners avoid investment in companies involved in indiscriminate weaponry and, if their strategic military supplies exceed 10% of turnover, in companies involved in conventional weapons. The Church Commissioners do not invest in companies that derive more than 3% of revenues from the production or distribution of pornography, nor companies a major part of whose business activity or focus (defined as more than 25% of group revenues) is tobacco, gambling, alcoholic drinks, high interest rate lending or human embryonic cloning. Where the Church Commissioners are not able to invest in an asset class directly they do so indirectly (in pooled funds). In indirectly held investments, where the Church Commissioners usually cannot fully implement their ethical restrictions, exposure to businesses operating in excluded sectors is monitored. If the level or nature of exposure to excluded sectors in any one fund becomes unacceptable, the Church Commissioners review the options for remedial action.