The CDPQ December 31, 2022, year-end report is out and shows $2.4+B investments in a dozen companies (up from 10 from last year) that are listed on the UN Data base as complicit with war crimes. These combine with $10 B in other companies complicit with Israeli war crimes, including $3.5B in WSP, the Montreal headquartered company that is under investigation to be added to the UN data base. CDPQ also has majority ownership in Allied Universal (which purchased G4S) of at least $1.5 B (but more likely much more, perhaps around $7B).
Thus, similar to the last two years, the CDPQ continues to invest heavily in Israeli war crimes, approaching at least 5% of the total portfolio.
UN identified companies complicit with war crimes
Investments of over $2.42 billion in companies identified by the UN as complicit is war crimes.
|Company (with references)||# shares||$ (millions)||Who Profits|
|Bezeq, the Israel Telecommunication Corp Ltd.||3,194,759||7.4||https://www.whoprofits.org/company/bezeq-the-israeli-telecommunication-corporation/|
|Israel Discount Bank Ltd||64,356||0.5||https://www.whoprofits.org/company/discount-bank/|
|Mizrahi Tefahot Bank Ltd||29,106||1.3||https://www.whoprofits.org/company/mizrahi-tefahot-bank/|
|Yes Bank Ltd||5,343,358||1.8|
|Booking Holdings Inc||46,581||127.2||https://www.whoprofits.org/company/booking-com/|
|General Mills Inc||420,159||47.7||https://www.whoprofits.org/company/general-mills-pillsbury/|
|Indorama Ventures P.C.L.||3,797,710||6.1|
|Motorola Solutions Inc||101,394||35.4||https://www.whoprofits.org/company/motorola-solutions/|
The United Nations (UN) Database of companies complicit with human rights violations
The UN Database was released on February 12, 2020 in the Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/43/71) after the independent international fact-finding mission to investigate the implications of the Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people throughout the oPt, including East Jerusalem. There are a total of 112 companies included on the UN list. Based on CDPQ 2020 Annual Report of equity holding, the CDQP is invested in at least a dozen companies that are listed in the United Nations database.
UN Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) reaffirmed that settlements have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation under international law.
Violations by Code (codes are by each company)
In resolution 31/36, the Council defined the database by reference to the listed activities compiled by the fact-finding mission in its report, which were:
A The supply of equipment and materials facilitating the construction and the expansion of settlements and the wall, and associated infrastructures;
B The supply of surveillance and identification equipment for settlements, the wall and checkpoints directly linked with settlements;
C The supply of equipment for the demolition of housing and property, the destruction of agricultural farms, greenhouses, olive groves and crops;
D The supply of security services, equipment and materials to enterprises operating in settlements;
E The provision of services and utilities supporting the maintenance and existence of settlements, including transport;
F Banking and financial operations helping to develop, expand or maintain settlements and their activities, including loans for housing and the development of businesses;
G The use of natural resources, in particular water and land, for business purposes;
H Pollution, and the dumping of waste in or its transfer to Palestinian villages;
I Captivity of the Palestinian financial and economic markets, as well as practices that disadvantage Palestinian enterprises, including through restrictions on movement, administrative and legal constraints;
J Use of benefits and reinvestments of enterprises owned totally or partially by settlers for developing, expanding and maintaining the settlements.
Alarming! CDPQ is reported to own 80% of Allied Universal
CDPQ reports holding over $1.5 billion* in Allied Universal Holdco LLC but does not report the actual amount.
Also, CDPQ holds up to $5 million* in Allied Universal Manager LLC but does not give actual figure.
*INVESTMENTS IN SHARES, BONDS AND CORPORATE RECEIVABLES ISSUED IN PRIVATE MARKETS
In April 2021, Allied Universal, a leading security and facility services company in North America, announced the acquisition of G4S.
G4S held 50% of Policity Ltd., a company contracted to build & run the Israel’s National Police Academy, as well as provide training.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (“CDPQ”) in February 2019 announced a huge investment in Allied Universal (the “Company”) noting that this is the leading security services provider in North America, and indicated the transactions values Allied Universal at more than US$7 billion.
This meant Allied Universal is controlled by Québec’s CDPQ, alongside U.S. private equity firm Warburg Pincus.
According to AFSC Investigate
Until 2017, G4S was deeply involved in several projects of the Israeli occupation of Palestine through its Israeli subsidiary G4S Israel (formerly Hashmira). In 2016, following an international campaign, G4S plc divested G4S Israel, which was renamed G1 Secure Solutions. G4S plc still retains a 25 percent stake in the Israeli National Police Academy.
G4S is involved in the operations of the Israeli National Police Academy, which consolidated all of Israel’s police training facilities and trains all units of the Israeli Police, as well as other security forces and private security companies. The Israeli Police is in charge of enforcing Israel’s military law in the occupied West Bank and providing security for Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements. In addition, the Border Police branch is regularly deployed in the occupied Palestinian territories, where it is under military command.
The National Police Academy is owned and operated by Policity, a consortium of companies that was created for the purpose of this project. Policity is owned by Israeli infrastructure company Shikun & Binui (50 percent), Israeli security company G1 Secure Solutions (25 percent), and G4S (25 percent). Policity formed in 2010 as a joint venture between G4S and Shikun & Binui for the purpose of bidding on the National Police Academy. The facility opened in 2015, with G4S and Shikun & Binui each owning a 50 percent stake. In 2017, after G4S sold its Israeli subsidiary (see below), its stake in Policity was reduced to 25 percent. Policity has the contract to operate the Academy at least until 2035.
Security Info Watch indicated Allied Universal is 80% owned by Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Valued at $8.5 B in 2020, if CDPQ owns 80% the value would seem to be around perhaps $7B.
On May 1st, the Globe and Mail included “South African prison scandal raises concerns over Caisse’s G4S connections” Also can read here.
Beyond this, CDQP is invested in an additional $10+ billion in Israeli war crimes
Of specific note is WSP Global (WSP), the Montreal based company which CDPQ has $3.54 B.
In September 2022, Al Haq and Just Peace Advocates along with 100+ other organizations submitted a report to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for WSP Global Inc. (WSP), a Canadian company, to be included to the UN database of businesses operating in illegal Israeli settlements (‘the database’). The submission is endorsed by 105 organizations from all over the world, in addition to esteemed individuals, such as former Canadian Member of Parliament Libby Davies; former UN Special Rapporteurs Michael Lynk, John Dugard, and Richard Falk; and Noam Chomsky.
WSP, whose major shareholder is the Canadian Public Pension Investment Board, has been contracted to plan, design, maintain, and extend the Jerusalem Light Rail (JLR), an Israeli public tramway system that contributes to the maintenance of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied and annexed Eastern Jerusalem. WSP facilitates the practice of forcible transfer of settlers into the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT), through its construction and servicing of the JLR, while deepening the physical, social and economic integration of the settlements. Through its active maintenance of Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise in occupied Eastern Jerusalem, WSP is involved in gross and systematic violations of fundamental human rights against the protected Palestinian population.
The AFSC Investigate report indicates the following companies (including WSP), beyond those listed in the UN Database are complicit with Israeli war crimes associated with occupation.
|Company||# Shares||FMV ($ M)|
|ABB India Ltd||25,000||1.1|
|Alphabet – Class A shares||5,013,547||599.4|
|Alphabet – Class C shares||4,992,994||600.3|
|Atlas Copco – Class A shares||6,464,077||103.5|
|Atlas Copco – Class B shares||2,689,297||38.9|
|Bombardier Inc. – Class A shares||230,976||12.2|
|Bombardier Inc. – Class B shares||1,905,200||99.6|
|Doosan Bobcat Inc||105,041||3.9|
|Doosan Enerbility Co Ltd||357,259||5.9|
|HeidelbergCement India Ltd||2,707,854||8.3|
|Hitachi Construction Machinery Co Ltd||14,079||0.4|
|Hyundai Heavy Industries||14,001||1.1|
|HDC Hyundai Development Co-Engineering & Construction||31,198||0.3|
|Hyundai Department Store Co Ltd||5,740||0.4|
|Hyundai Doosan Infracore Co Ltd||4,435||0.0|
|Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co Ltd||133,790||5.0|
|Hyundai Glovis Co Ltd||48,987||8.6|
|Hyundai Marine & Fire Insurance Co Ltd||59,831||1.9|
|Hyundai Mipo Dockyard Co Ltd||49,709||4.5|
|Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd||170,012||36.5|
|Hyundai Motor Co||291,718||47.2|
|Hyundai Motor Co-preferred shares||133,422||10.6|
|Hyundai Steel Co||231,185||7.6|
|Hyundai Wia Corp||11,815||0.6|
|IBM – International Business Machines||566,319||108.1|
|JA Solar Technology Co||1,121,090||13.1|
|Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corp||111,798||0.8|
|Mitsubishi Electric Corp||252,291||3.4|
|Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd||7,403,565||130.1|
|Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co Inc||199,600||3.7|
|Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc||3,226,127||21.5|
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd||454,610||24.4|
|Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc||8,240,533||75.2|
|Orbia Advance Corp SAB||7,552,620||18.1|
|Siemens Energy AG||33,590||0.9|
|Siemens Healthineers AG||56,924||3.8|
|Tempur Sealy Intl||358,091||16.7|
|Teva Pharmaceutical Industries||564,328||7.0|
|Toyota Motor Corp||10,542,340||196.2|
|Toyota Industries Corp||21,892||1.6|
|Toyota Tsusho Corp||56,304||2.8|
*Note these figures do not include several real estate holding identified by the CDQP but no value provided.
Based on this analysis, the CDPQ is invested in more than 80 entities that are involved in Israeli war crimes, for a total of at least $14M but likely closer to $20 M or even more. Thus at least 3.5% of CDPQ $401.9B value is invested in Israeli war crimes, but perhaps 5% or even more given the actual values for Allied Universal is not included, nor are the real estate values, as well as the possibility of other investments not identified through AFSC Investigate or the UN data base.
Companies not invested that had previously been part of CDQP: One company that CDPQ dropped during 2022 is Palantir, but it is most likely not for ethical reasons, but because the shares plummeted 70%. (The Royal Bank of Canada despite this share value drop persists in maintaining their shares.) In 2021, CDPQ dropped Elbit and from our analysis we cannot see investment in other related companies. Elbit is Israel’s largest weapon company. Makes killer drones, large weapon systems, and ammunition used against civilians. Monitors walls and borders in Palestine. Canada has entered a contract with Elbit for $35 M of armed surveillance drones, which over 70+ organizations and thousands of people have demanded Canada cancel.
Campaigns through the Canadian BDS Coalition related to these companies include
Palantir: https://bdscoalition.ca/2021/11/01/rbcsayno2palantir/ (CDPQ divested during 2022)
In “Bad” company with the Canadian Public Pension Investment Board (CPPIB)
On March 8, 2021, over 70 organizations along with dozens of individuals contacted the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board about its investment in funds related to Israeli occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Heights.
See statement in English and French
The 2021 CPPIB Annual Report indicated increased investments in Israeli war crimes with at least 10 companies identified by the UN as complicit in war crimes.
While the CPPIB indicated it was initiating a review in March 2021, no response has been received to the thousands of letters over 2021.
During 2021 over 5,000 letters were sent to the CPPIB and the Minister of Finance.
March 31, 2022 reports indicate CPPIB Invests at least 7 percent of our public pension in Israeli war crimes
Results will be updated with CPPIB releases their March 31, 2023 report.
See webinar regarding CPPIB: https://www.justpeaceadvocates.ca/webinar-info-what-is-the-cppib-really-up-to-o-que-o-cppib-realmente-esta-fazendo/
Demands of QDPQ
1.Divest immediately from:
-United Nations (UN) identified companies held by CPPIB, and ensure that no investments in the future include these UN identified companies
-all companies identified by AFSC Investigate
- Review all portfolios for any other investments that are in violation of international law.
- Put in place a transparent process to ensure that companies are vetted for violations of human rights and international law.
The concerns that we raise are also in the broader context of ethical investment related to Quebec’s public fund investment including in mining, fossil fuels, private health care, and other issues of justice and humanitarian concern.
We ask the CDPQ to take all steps necessary to ensure that the activities of all companies included in all of its portfolio are in compliance with international law governing war crimes. We remind CDPQ that in Canada, parties that are complicit in war crimes are liable to criminal prosecution under the Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act, including corporations.
 S.C. 2000, c. 24. R.S.C., 1985, c. C-46, ss. 22.1-22.2.
Note: information about the mentioned companies, have been verified by Who Profits, an independent Israeli research organization and/or the American Friends Service Committee “Investigate” as per links provided with each of companies listed.
You can review the details associated with each of these companies listed on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights report.
Background regarding CDPQ/Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Total portfolio Dec. 31, 2022: $401.9 Billion
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec is an institutional investor that manages several public and parapublic pension plans and insurance programs in Quebec. CDPQ was founded in 1965 by an act of the National Assembly.
CDPQ at a Glance
CDQP Governance and Responsibility
CDPQ indicates their “Calling for responsible governance practices” and their priority areas: • Use ESG analyses across our investment activities • Anticipate cybersecurity issues • Counter abusive use of tax planning.
The CDPQ indicates it “Foster equity, diversity and inclusion at all levels.”
CDPQ commits to: Effective risk management is crucial to our investment activities and an integral part of our portfolio management and business processes. CDPQ says that over the years, they have developed rigorous processes, strong and sustained governance, and effective measurement tools.