Stockholm (NordSIP) – A new report from Söderberg & Partners, Hållbara pensionsbolag 2017: Ansvarsfull ägarstyrning (‘Sustainable pension companies 2017: Responsible ownership management’), has once again distinguished Swedish insurance and pension company SPP. Other pension companies are taken to task in the report for coming up short on a number of criteria, however, among them Alecta, Skandia and AMF.
The report assesses the sustainability work of pension companies on the parameters of impact work, sustainability objectives and value creation, and sustainable investment processes. Pension companies, which are among the single largest players in the Swedish market, have the power to influence companies in which they have ownership to become more sustainable. Pension savers thereby also have the option of letting their savings influence the behaviour of companies by choosing pension companies with good sustainability track records and ratings.
The Söderberg report contains a rating of 13 different pension companies based on how well they perform in their sustainability work. The rating follows Söderberg & Partners’ traffic lighting system, which contains the grades Red, Yellow and Green. SPP is the only player to obtain green grades from Söderberg in all categories of its analysis. Conversely, Alecta and Skandia both received a red grade, with AMF receiving a passing yellow grade. Alecta was faulted for lacking similar levels of thematic engagement as its peers and a lack of sustainability emphasis in its election committee deliberations, while Skandia is first and foremost lacking proactive dialogue and engagement.
SPP, whose fossil fuel-free funds raised over SEK10bn within a year, which manages the largest green bond fund in the world and which has been distinguished with numerous sustainability awards and rankings over the past year, is clearly a trailblazer in the field of sustainable investment.
“The grade is an important confirmation that we are doing the right things, and we are constantly working to develop in the field,” remarked SPP Sustainability Manager Johanna Landberg. “As a pension company, we have great power to influence the companies we own and manage the capital we manage in a more sustainable direction. Our hope is that more people will see what power they have to influence with their savings by choosing a sustainable pension company while making money.”
A new feature of Söderberg’s report this year was the development of the analysis of impact work, putting additional emphasis on proactive dialogues and thematic engagements. The work of pension companies in election committees is now also included in the analysis. “It is clear that the entire industry is developing very quickly in this area, and it is therefore important to keep ahead and spearhead development to maintain a green rating,” commented Victoria Lidén, one of the co-authors of the report, together with Kajsa Brundin and Viktoria Nacksten.
“We have revised our impact strategy over the course of the year to add further focus on areas where we can achieve a positive effect through our impact. This work is in line with the Paris agreement, and it is important for us to create the opportunities to achieve these goals,” SPP’s Ms Landberg added.
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