3.11 Shetland Islands

Members of Shetland Islands Council Pension Fund include employees of Shetland Islands Council, Orkney and Shetland Valuation Joint Board, Lerwick Port Authority, Shetland Islands Tourism and several other public and charitable bodies in the Shetland Islands. The fund was valued at £461 million in 2020.[1]

Shetland Islands Council Pension Fund’s statement of investment principles says that fund managers are expected to take into account environmental, social and governance factors “to the extent that these may materially affect the long-term prospects of such companies” and to engage with companies “in relation to the pursuance of socially responsible business practices”. [2]

We asked Shetland Islands Council for a list of the pension fund’s investments but the council rejected our request on the grounds that the fund “does not hold any shares in individual companies”. We have therefore been unable to establish whether or not Shetland Islands Council Pension Fund holds investments in nuclear weapons producers.

The fund’s annual report shows that it is managed by five external investment fund managers: Blackrock; KBI Global Investors; M&G; Newton; and Schroders.[3] Each of these fund managers has a separate mandate that covers, amongst other things, “investment objectives and restrictions”.

We asked Shetland Islands Council for a copy of the mandates to see whether they contain any restrictions regarding nuclear weapons investments. This request was rejected too, on the grounds that disclosure would “prejudice substantially the commercial interests of fund managers”.


If you live in the Shetland Islands and you’re concerned about the fund’s investments, please contact your local councillors: https://nukedivestmentscotland.org/local-authority-divestment-resolutions/

[1] https://www.shetlandpensionfund.org/media/5840/sic-pension-fund-audited-accounts-2019-20.pdf.

[2] https://coins.shetland.gov.uk/viewSelectedDocument.asp?c=e%97%9Dd%91r%82%8C.

[3] https://www.shetlandpensionfund.org/media/5840/sic-pension-fund-audited-accounts-2019-20.pdf.