Stockholm (NordSIP) – Alecta has announced it will begin to exclude investments in commercial gambling and tobacco. The company will also clarify its view about the role of human rights in its investment decisions. The two new exclusions join a list that already included coal and weapons.
Alecta is a Swedish pension provider and of the country’s largest investors with approximately SEK900 billion of assets under management. The company provides occupational to approximately 2.6 million Swedes and 35,000 companies. Alecta’s equity investments focus on a few carefully selected, preferably publicly listed, companies, including just over 100 listed shareholdings. Alecta’s investments seek to create the highest possible value for the collectively agreed occupational pension, which is also based on the sustainability of investments. Before each investment, a thorough analysis is made that covers how companies work with human rights, working conditions, the environment and anti-corruption. Alecta is a member of Global Compact and has signed Principles for Responsible Investments (PRI).
“The positions should be seen as a compass on how we look at responsible investments and clearly show what we do not want to invest in,” says Peter Lööw (Pictured), sustainability manager at Alecta’s asset management. “We are taking a stand against investing in games or tobacco, something we have not invested in for many years, and which we clearly want to confirm that we will also not do in the future.”
Although Alecta has a long-term investment horizon that leads it to focus on sustainable companies, this decision is not merely a business decision, but rather an ethical one, according to Alecta. “We do not see coal being a sustainable investment. Coal as an energy source has passed its due date because of its large climate footprint and the large emissions of carbon dioxide. Commercial games are something we choose not to invest in for other reasons. Business models that involve an increased risk of gambling addiction are incompatible with our broader view of long-term value creation due to high risks of costly losses for both individuals and society. There are also regulatory risks in the business model itself,” Lööw concludes.
Image courtesy of Alecta