Increased pressure from responsible investors has reportedly driven the outsourcer Serco to step out of the competition concerning which company will manage the UK’s arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Well-known for being involved in Britain’s NHS Test and Trace programme during the COVID-19 outbreak, it is believed Serco planned compete for available contracts with the current Atomic Weapons Establishment, which both makes and manage nuclear warheads.
However, Serco has abandoned its bid following warnings from investors, who warned that should the FTSE250 firm begin working on nuclear-powered weapons, they would act, potentially dumping shares to ensure Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards were met.
In the first half of this year, Serco enjoyed revenues of £2.1 billion. The firm now operates in five key sectors, including health, transport, citizen services, justice and immigration, as well as defence.
The government outsourcer is one of many enterprises now being forced to step more cautiously when approaching the government due to the new ESG commitments of investors.
Experts anticipate that the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) created at the COP26 summit on climate change in Glasgow may strengthen the part ESG plays further by developing an international framework for ethical behaviour in the business world.
Responsible investors often consult experts in portfolio management in Chester, Glasgow, London and other key UK cities to track down more ethical assets. Wealth managers work with clients to understand their personal ethics and find suitable investments that match their stance.