Stockholm (NordSIP) Enter Fonder AB, the Swedish loan agency and asset manager, has opted to make all of its funds ethical, the entirety of its funds now classified as ethical according to the Fondbolagensförening (Swedish Investment Fund Association – SIFA)’s classifications and limit value.
The decision was made by the Board of Enter Fonder to heighten the ethical commitment of its funds in June. Implementation since then has resulted in award of the ethical rating from SIFA.
In concrete terms, this means Enter no longer invests in any activities involving weapons, tobacco, alcohol, games, pornography and the exploitation of fossil resources (coal, oil and gas). Its funds now also refrain from investing in companies where over 5 per cent of sales originate from the production of alcohol, tobacco, weapons and games, or derive from the distribution of pornographic material.
Companies are screened twice a year according to GES Investment Services ESG values. Enter is also a signatory to the UN PRI.
“In practice, [this upgrade] has not made such a big difference to our portfolios,” commented Enter marketing director Richard Bentefour. “This focus has existed among our institutional owners for a long time, so we have been discarding unethical holdings over many years. The ethical area is important. It is also a process constantly undergoing change and something we look forward to meeting as it develops,” he told Finwire.
In addition, Enter has been reporting on its carbon footprint as of January 2017, comprising its equity funds Enter Sverige, Enter Select, Enter Småbolagsfond and the equity component of Enter Preserve.
Enter’s ethical journey has been gradual, however. It instituted its first regulations in 1999 when the company decided not to invest in companies that were in violation of the international conventions based on the UN Global Compact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in the areas of the Environment Human Rights, Labour, Corruption and Inhumane Weaponry.
In active ownership screening, however, Enter Fonder does not qualify at the vanguard of the list:
“We believe that active ownership extends much further than merely speaking at a general meeting,” explains Bentefour. “Our focus on how we influence and affect change is in meetings with executives, which is where we both listen and provide a voice. The impact [there] is much more direct than in, for example, nomination committees, but as these are often highly ranked by default, we are ranked lower by comparison.”
“We do not think this is fair,” Benterfour added.
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