Feeds

Gates Foundation launches investment review

Good money for unethical companies?

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Bill and Melinda Gates are reviewing policy at their philanthropic foundation after a newspaper investigation revealed it invested in corporations with questionable ethical records.

The LA Times discovered cash ploughed into oil companies which have been implicated in environmental disasters in the developing world. The paper questioned the apparent contradiction between the Foundation's aims battling poverty and HIV, and its investments in pharmaceutical companies which have been accused of obstructing provision of low cost drugs to poor countries.

In an interview with the Seattle Times, Gates Foundation chief Cheryl Scott said there would be a methodical review of the billions of dollars of shares it owns. She said the review would identify if "there are cases simply where the situation is so egregious it will cause us not to invest." The tobacco business is the only industry currently blacklisted by the gates Foundation.

Scott denied the move was a response to the public criticism of the Foundation, adding: "This has been an issue that has been top of line for a long time and will continue to be."

She said the Foundation tries to avoid ranking investments on their ethical record, preferring to focus on giving the money they make away. She said there would be room for much error and confusion in such judgments and "...divesting from companies would not have an effect commensurate with the resources we would divert to this activity."

The Foundation can be assured the results of its latest investment review will be closely scrutinised. At the moment the financial and philanthropic sides of the Foundation have remained separate. Part of the plan is to formalise oversight by the Gates's of the $35bn endowment, which is set to near-double with billions more from Warren Buffet.

Scott has posted a statement on the Foundation website here. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Relive the death of Earth over and over again in Extinction Game
Apocalypse now, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that ...
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.