Tobacco Free Finance


Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge



1. Background

There is no safe level of exposure to tobacco, a product that kills 7 million people per year.

In 2017, on World No Tobacco Day (marked every year on 31 May), fifty-three investors, health systems, pension funds and insurers, representing USD 3.8 trillion in assets under management, have signed a statement to World Health Organization (WHO) representatives and national health ministers openly supporting stronger regulation around tobacco control. This builds on international support for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 3.a which looks to strengthen the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), Tobacco Free Portfolios, the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the UN Environment’s Finance Initiative (UNEPFI) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) will hold a Side Meeting at UN Headquarters during the 2018 UN General Assembly to launch the ‘Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge’ representing a new collaboration between global finance health government and community (spanning philanthropy NGOs, universities and faith groups).

2. Aims

The objectives of the Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge are to:

  • Highlight the leadership of the financial organisations that have implemented tobacco-free finance policies.
  • Demonstrate a successful model for cross-sector collaboration between Government, health, finance and community (spanning philanthropy, NGO’s, universities and faith groups).
  • Encourage the finance sector to play an active role in addressing global priorities, as outlined in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Raise awareness amongst financial institutions of the essential role the finance sector must play to assist effective tobacco control and to ensure a tobacco-free future.
  • Draw attention to the UN Tobacco Control Treaty – The World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control – particularly Provision 5.3 of the Guidelines, relating to the obligation of Governments, including sovereign wealth funds and government pension funds, to not be invested in tobacco.
  • Prioritise 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.
  • To de-normalise financial and corporate associations with tobacco manufacturers.
  • Encourage financial market participants to reflect on and reconsider their business relationships with the tobacco industry in light of the global tobacco epidemic.
  • Encourage implementation of tobacco-free finance mandates by individuals, institutions and Governments.
  • To de-normalise tobacco and tobacco use within the community by increasing awareness of the impact of tobacco and promoting evidenced-based messaging about tobacco.

The objective of the event is to accelerate progress towards a tobacco-free future by drawing global attention to the issue of lending to, investment in and insurance of tobacco and to encourage action by finance and business leaders in reconsidering commercial relationships with tobacco companies across lending, investment and insurance. This initiative will drive attention to multiple SDGs, principally SDG 3 – Health and Wellbeing and SDG 17 – Partnerships.

The aim for the inaugural event in 2018 is to recognise global leaders who will become the ‘Founding Signatories’, with view to regrouping in two years’ time with more partners who are increasingly drawn to sign The Pledge.

3. Supporters of The Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge

Founding Signatories of the Pledge

  • Tobacco Free Portfolios
  • PSI
  • PRI
  • AXA
  • BNP Paribas
  • Natixis


The Pledge was also endorsed by:

4. Reference materials and links


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Signatory companies & Supporting institutions