Stockholm (NordSIP) – Alecta announced today that it was the first organisation in the world to be awarded an ESG4Real certification. ESG4Real is Alecta’s first comprehensive certification on the investment side. Other examples of initiatives and collaborations in sustainable finance that Alecta has joined are Climate Action 100+, CDP, The Montreal Carbon Pledge, PRI and Swesif.
ESG4Real was launched in 2015 by the asset management/pension units of labour unions FNV in the Netherlands and LO in Sweden, motivated by asset managers’ low transparency about ESG integration in investment processes and irregular reporting.
The certification requires that Alecta exclude companies operating in controversial weapons, that listed shares and corporate bonds are screened for norm violations, that sustainability aspects be integrated into investment decisions, and that Alecta exercises active ownership through, among other things, dialogues and voting. The certification applies to listed shares and corporate bonds and was approved in June 2019.
Alecta is Sweden’s largest, and Europe’s fifth largest, pension manager. It is often ranked top when it comes to financial sustainability. Its president, Magnus Billing (pictured), was a member of the EU expert group on a sustainable financial market whose recommendations the Commission has adopted in its action plan and legislative proposals.
“We are responsible for 2.5 million people’s pensions. We must ensure that the capital we manage has a long-term value development and therefore sustainability is at the core of our investments,” said Peter Lööw, responsible for sustainable investments at Alecta. “It is not about marketing. Sustainability is a critical aspect to consider and is part of our investment processes, so we are proud to be certified by ESG4Real.”
Morgan Zerne, CEO of RIA Sweden, who has worked closely with Peter Lööw during the process, hopes that the certification of Alecta will help to attract more attention to ESG4Real. “I am proud that ESG4Real, one of the most comprehensive standards for responsible investment, is now being rolled out in the Swedish market,” said Zerne. “The fact that Alecta, one of the largest asset managers in the Nordic region, is the first organization to have completed a certification process gives us a real push to create a new industry standard for ESG.”
Image courtesy of Alecta