Stockholm (NordSIP) – The first so-called âNordic swanâ-labelled investment funds were presented at a conference in Stockholm Monday, with Swedish finance minister Per Bolund at hand to present certificates to 12 investment funds worth a combined SEK30bn, including funds managed by SEB, Alfred Berg, Handelsbanken, Skandia and Swedbank. Nordic Ecolabelling launched its criteria for investment funds only four months ago.
The Nordic swan, or Nordic Ecolabel, as it is more formally known, is the official sustainability ecolabel for the Nordic countries, introduced by the Nordic Council of Ministers in 1989. The label now covers 68 different product groups, from furniture to hotels and now including investment funds, where products must verify compliance with ecolabelling criteria such as environmental, quality and health standards. The label is usually valid for three years, after which criteria are revised and a company must reapply for a license.
Professional investors in Sweden, Norway and Finland can now look for the Nordic swan ecolabel when evaluating investment products.
âThe massive interest emphasises the industryâs need for a strong benchmark,â Martin Fabiansen, Director of Environmental Marking Denmark, said in a Ritzau press release. âWe are very pleased that we have already received so many committed players with us on the way to a greener Nordic financial market.â
Nordic Ecolabelled investment funds are required to meet 25 mandatory standards governing the various ways a fund can affect companies, including among other things the right to waiver, company choice and transparency concerning fund investments.
While Danish investment funds are lagging in securing the ecolabel, Fabiansen has an explanation: âSwedes have saved up for their retirement through funds for many years â the Swedish market for investing savings money in funds is therefore far more mature than in the rest of the Nordic countries. We therefore also see that Swedish investment funds are in the lead. But we do not doubt there are also Danish investment funds that want to send a clear signal to consumers and professional investors that they can influence companies to act in a more sustainable manner. We expect them to follow suit.â
The following funds were awarded the Nordic Swan ecolabel: Alfred Berg HÃ¥llbar TillvÃ¤xt Sverige, CB Save Earth Fund, Handelsbanken HÃ¥llbar Energi, SEB HÃ¥llbarhetsfond Sverige, Skandia Cancerfonden, Skandia VÃ¤rldsnaturfonden, Swedbank Robur Ethica Global, Swedbank Robur Ethica Global MEGA, Swedbank Robur Ethica Sverige, Swedbank Robur Ethica Sverige MEGA, Swedbank Robur Humanfond, and Tundra Sustainable Frontier Fund.
Image: (c)Â Sharon Day-shutterstock