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Big Livestock

Big Livestock

Big Livestock

8 February 2022

The investment team were made aware of the Big Livestock vs. The Planet - Feedback ( campaign, via other LGPS funds, Brunel Pension Partnership, and write up in the Independent, 19 January 2022.

The campaign website hosts an LGPS Industrial Livestock Divestment Briefing for Councillors explaining the moral and financial case for divestment. The briefing draws heavily on UK Divest's fossil fuel divestment work and uses Climate change and deforestation as key reasons to divest.

Resources also include a tool that shows how much is invested in industrial livestock by LGPS fund and functionality to email local councillors. The Pension Fund Committee are not aware of any direct messages to Wiltshire Councillors, however, analysis work was completed to provide informed answers to any questions raised as a result of the campaign.

Analysis - the list of companies on the campaign database attributed to Wiltshire Pension Fund differ from those actually held by the Fund.  This was due to the assumptions and method used by the Big Livestock to estimate (by mapping pooled fund holdings to market indices) compared with filtering Wiltshire's actual holdings by industry (Fisheries/Food-Dairy Products/Food-Meat Products).
The overall estimated and actual value were similar at £1.5m, but the constituent stocks were not.  The total value of Wiltshire Pension Fund as at 31 December 2021 was £3.3bn. The value of holdings listed (£1.5m) represents approx. 0.05% of the Fund total.

It should be noted that Wiltshire Pension Fund, along with other LGPS funds and institutional investors, is invested in pooled equity funds with both active and passive strategies.  This involves holding large numbers of diversified stocks across industries and sectors.  More information on Stewardship can be found on the relevant investment page and in the  Stewardship Report 2022 (PDF) [8MB] (opens new window)

The approach of Wiltshire Pension Fund, which is shared by Brunel and partnership funds is to engage collaboratively rather than divest.  Officers will continue to monitor all aspects of Fund investment, engaging with its asset managers and reporting back to the Pension Fund Committee accordingly.

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