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OIC Pension Fund & Investments in Fossil Fuels

Orkney Islands Council is continuing to have its Pension Fund invest in fossil fuels. This is according to new analysis by Platform and Friends of the Earth Scotland. Orkney Islands Pension Fund invests at least £2M into fossil fuel companies.

Fossil Fuel Percentages are a calculation of fossil fuel invested as a percentage of the amount the researchers were able to screen – not the fund value.

Orkney Islands Council Pension Fund

Fund value% Screened*Fossil fuel £**Fossil fuel %***
Orkney Islands Council Pension Fund

* This is the proportion of assets for each fund we were able to screen for fossil fuel investments.

**This is the known fossil fuel investment by LGPS (Local Government Pension Scheme) only.  

***This is the percentage of the known assets of LGPS invested in fossil fuels, rather than the percentage of all assets managed invested into fossil fuels. 

Click on this link for more analysis of OIC Pension Fund fossil fuel investments

OIC was contacted for a comment.

Which assets are invested in fossil fuels?


  • Bhp Group Ltd £1.3M
  • Baillie Gifford Diversified Growth Fund C Acc £316,835.45
  • Enquest £245,984.72
  • Baillie Gifford Multi Asset Growth Fund C Acc £176,348.77

Fund managed by Baillie Gifford £2M. The analysis covers data taken from the 2021/22 financial year.

Commenting on the figures Sally Clark, divestment campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:

“It’s unbelievable that despite clear direction from councillors, the biggest council pension funds in Scotland are still investing this obscene amount of money in fossil fuel companies that are driving climate breakdown. 

“Councils must play their part in protecting the long-term future of their employees by ending their support for oil and gas expansion and investing in building a cleaner, safer future for us all – but their attempts to do this are being blocked by the pension fund managers.

“The money moved away from fossil fuels could instead be invested in ways that support local communities and protect the planet for everyone, like renewable energy. As skyrocketing energy bills are plunging millions of people into fuel poverty across the UK, this transition is more important than ever.”

The funds invest in some of the world’s biggest polluters, including Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Equinor. £2 billion of Scottish council pension funds is invested in the fossil fuel industry.

The new data finds that the biggest fossil fuel investor in Scotland is also the country’s single biggest local government fund. The Strathclyde Pension Fund, administered by Glasgow City Council, was found to have invested at least £618 million in fossil fuel companies. The Lothian Pension Fund, administered by Edinburgh City Council, has at least £350 million invested in fossil fuels.

According to the new analysis ” the sum total of fossil fuel investment by local government pension schemes (LGPS) across the UK is calculated to be £16 Billion. Data was available to analyse 75% of the assets under management of the LGPS. Analysis revealed £12.2 Billion fossil fuel investments. For 25% of assets under management by LGPS, insufficient data was provided to screen for fossil fuel holdings. To generate a UK wide estimate of fossil fuel exposure, we assumed the same proportion of fossil fuel investment for the assets we were not able to screen – to arrive at £16 Billion. “

Stephen Smellie, Depute Convenor at Unison Scotland, said: 

“Fossil fuels are bad for the environment and our retirement. These dirty deals threaten the future of our environment, and needlessly risk the retirements of the hundreds of thousands of Unison members that pay into local government pension schemes. To secure a future worth retiring into, schemes should respond to members’ calls to action and dump these dated fossil fuel assets.” 

Across the UK, £16 billion of council pension funds is invested in the fossil fuel industry. Over 20% of UK councils now invest less than 1% of their fund into fossil fuels – a 10 fold increase since 2020, the last time analysis was conducted. Pension funds in Scotland still invest over 3% into fossil fuels.

UK Divest is calling on institutions like councils, universities, faith groups, charities and more to:

  • immediately freeze any new investment in the top 200 publicly-traded fossil fuel companies
  • divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years

The companies are called the Carbon Underground 200. These are the 200 companies with the biggest coal, oil and gas reserves in the world – the worst offenders in terms of damaging the planet and accelerating climate change.

Fiona Grahame

Scapa Flow with redundant platform and a disused abandoned car on the shore
Scapa Flow seen from Deepdale Image credit Martin Laird

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