Stockholm (NordSIP) – “If you want to reduce our carbon footprint, look to the stock exchange,” says Swedbank Robur CEO Liza Jonson in the latest edition of Swedish business weekly Veckans Affäre’s Hållbarhetspodden podcast.
The stock exchange accounts for half the climate impact of private individuals, she claims. “Now is the time to kill the myth of the opposition between returns and sustainable investments,” added Jonson, who was named the second on VA’s list of the most powerful women in Swedish business life of 2018.
Jonson, who has been CEO for little over a year, says she believes that Swedbank Robur will be better off explaining how it will create value, rather than suggesting than it simply does. In that light, Swedbank Robur has gathered evidence that sustainable investments are profitable in terms of increased returns and a steady way to grow Swedbank’s funds.
The question of how best to influence companies to become sustainable has multiple answers as different fund companies make different kinds of assessments, Jonson suggests.
“We try to include the right company rather than exclude, but that’s not say we don’t exclude, which we also do,” she says. Swedbank Robur works closely with the companies it invests, meeting personally with 2,000 companies in the past year.
Several fund companies have actively reworked how they manage their holdings over the past few years to make their investments more sustainable, such that the funds themselves can be labelled as sustainable. Swedbank Robur’s funds were themselves out of date, prompting the company to develop its methods and to ensure its holding are sustainable both at the financial and social/environmental levels.
Several of the funds in its portfolio have been awarded the “Nordic Swan Ecolabel”.
“7 out of 10 want to invest sustainably, but only 1 in 4 do it right,” she says. “If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, look to the stock market.”
You can listen to VA podcast and Jessica Cederberg Wodmar’s interview with Liza Jonson (in the Swedish) here.
Read NordSIP’s recent interview with Liza Jonson here.