Northern LGPS (NLGPS), the pool for Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire pension funds, has published its stewardship report for the last quarter of 2021.
In December, Greater Manchester Pension Fund announced it was filing a resolution at Amazon, in collaboration with the OIP Investment Trust. The resolution asks the global retail giant to sign up to the GRI Tax Standard and disclose its tax figures in all the jurisdictions in which it operates.
This is part of an engagement programme on corporate tax undertaken by NLGPS’s responsible investment adviser PIRC, with the Centre for International Corporate Tax Accountability and Research.
This will facilitate active and ongoing engagements with companies, particularly those with a history of tax avoidance, or operating in sectors that have used evasive tactics in the past. It will also target industries that rely on government contracts.
“Aggressive corporate tax avoidance may have a negative effect on public finances and by extension on public service provision,” says the report. “Therefore we seek to monitor the behaviour of investee companies in respect of tax planning and challenge where necessary.”
NLGPS has also joined the Healthy Market Initiative co-ordinated by ShareAction. The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted a North-South health divide and the initiative seeks to work towards a healthier population by focusing advocacy for greater health through the food choices companies offer.
The initiative has already made extensive engagement, with at least one shareholder resolution in play.
Engagement work will continue on climate change, decent working conditions and human rights.