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Investors make a pledge toward tobacco-free portfolios

Tobacco is responsible for more than seven million deaths – and rising – each year. The nonprofit Tobacco Free Portfolios, which advocates tobacco-free finance policies across lending, investment and insurance, launched a tobacco-free pledge at the U.N. last week.

Organizers say the pledge already has support from 130 institutions representing $6.82 trillion in assets. The pledge is personal to Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan, the nonprofit’s global ambassador, as the mother of a cancer survivor.

“Many of the CEOs of the finance industry are lovely people. They have kids and families,” she told ImpactAlpha. “It’s just that the conversation wasn’t there. That’s the beauty of this initiative.”

  • Financial leadership. The pledge is intended to highlight financial institutions with tobacco-free finance policies and to “prioritize tobacco on the corporate agenda as a product and industry distinct from any other with no safe level of use and no opportunity for effective engagement.” Tobacco Free Portfolios developed the pledge in a partnership with U.N. agencies and financial institutions AXA, BNP Paribas, AMP Capital and Natixis.
  • Ensuring healthy lives. Organizers have tied the pledge to Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 and are seeking to “de-normalize financial and corporate associations with tobacco companies.”

Tobacco Free Portfolios CEO Dr. Bronwyn King said, “This initiative exemplifies the action required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and brings us closer to a tobacco-free world.”

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