The Orkney group of the Scottish Green Party are urging Orkney Islands Council to cease investment in Rolls Royce immediately as part of their campaign for the Council to initiate a socially responsible investment policy. Rolls Royce was described at a recent Committee Meeting of OIC as a company which “many folk would not regard as unscrupulous and malevolent.”
According to the Orkney Greens, Rolls Royce recently revealed a loss of £4.6billion, including a compensation payment of £761million to avoid prosecution for bribery and corruption in its dealing with international sales. Rolls Royce has also paid its former Chief Executive £6.2million in salary, pension and other benefits, and has paid off its Chief Financial Officer for almost £1 million. It is also currently under investigation by UK Export Finance for misusing financial support intended to stimulate overseas trade.
The Orkney Greens regard the continuing investment in Rolls Royce as an economic risk which could leave Orcadians open to further loss of funds from their investments. They also state that Rolls Royce is deeply involved in the carnage currently being inflicted on Yemen by Saudi Arabia, which uses fighters and bombers powered by Rolls Royce engines. Some 10,000 civilians have been killed during the conflict since May 2015, many by ordnance sold by the UK to Saudi Arabia and partially funded by investments from local authorities, including Orkney.
Steve Sankey,co convener of the Orkney Green’s said:
“It’s time for OIC to follow the recent lead given by Westray, and start seriously considering an ethical investment policy in the longer term, with an immediate divestment from the thoroughly corrupt organisation that is Rolls Royce.”
Orkney Green member Helen Woodsford Dean, said:
“Surely no-one with a conscience would wish to be investing directly or indirectly in this corrupt company and the weapons it manufactures – if you live in Orkney, that’s exactly what you’re doing as a result of OIC’s investment policy.”
The Orkney Greens are standing two candidates in May’s local elections Steve Sankey and Helen Woodsford Dean