Stockholm (NordSIP) – Swedish insurance and pensions company SPP is the only company to have received top marks in all categories in both unit-linked and traditional insurance in the new report from insurers Max Matthiessen, “Responsible Ownership”, published late last week. This marks the sixth consecutive year SPP achieves a top ranking in the report.
The report is the sixth effort from Max Matthiessen to guide savers seeking the sustainable management of their pension funds by investigating how well the largest pension managers in Sweden are integrating ethics and sustainability into overall responsible investment policy. The overall trend in this year’s report is positive, with the majority of companies surveyed reaching established benchmarks, but SPP is the only company qualifying for approved grades across all categories.
“Despite the fact that Sweden is full of companies and leaders who do a great job of sustainability, the majority miss the opportunity to position pension funds sustainably,” said Johanna Landberg, SPP Sustainability Manager. “Partly because there is still a blind spot, and partly because it seems awkward. We are therefore working towards making it easier to save sustainably.”
The grading in the report is important proof to the company that SPP’s savers are involved in their investment decisions and are able to make a difference, according to Landberg. SPP’s investment philosophy assumes that sustainable business development is the biggest contemporary business opportunity, alongside being an ethical injunction, something Landberg believes more customers need to realise.
Landberg voices the opinion that SPP’s strength lies in integrating sustainability throughout its product range, as opposed to working with niche funds.
“We have no ‘eco-shelf’ that customers need to look for. Instead, we work broadly across capital investments. For customers, they can be sure their investments are geared towards a sustainable conversion regardless of their choice of savings product. It simply becomes easier to choose the right one,” Landberg said.
The need to measure and compare alternative investments at a time when sustainability is gaining interest is what Max Matthiessen’s annual report aims to facilitate. “We must admit that it’s hard to stand out as a sustainable pension provider, just as it becomes increasingly difficult for savers to separate the wheat from the chaff. Reports like this are therefore incredibly important to increase transparency,” Landberg said.
Added Kaj Elfgren, Life & Pensions Analyst at Max Matthiessen: “The development has been strong during the six years we have reviewed the work of pension companies. Today, there is no company that does not take responsible ownership into account. However, we see that there are still relatively big differences between the companies, especially when we dig deeper into what they are actually investing in.”