Stockholm (NordSIP) – Counting 125 members and attracting a string of new applicants, Sweden’s Sustainable Investment Forum (Swesif) has by now firmly established itself as the leading sustainable association for Swedish asset owners and asset managers, service providers and consultants. “Despite the pandemic and the lack of in-person meetings, Swesif continues to be a relevant meeting place for the sustainable investment community in Sweden,” according to Susanne Bolin Gärtner, Swesif’s chairwoman since May 2020.
From the very start, almost two decades ago, the forum has always been driven by the strong commitment of its board members. At Swesif’s annual general meeting last month, two new sustainability advocates joined the board: Anette Carmelius, Head of Sales, responsible for sustainability at AMF Fonder and Lil Larås Lindgren, AP3’s Head of Communication and a member of The Council on Ethics of the Swedish AP Funds.
“I look forward to contributing with my knowledge and experience as Swesif continues to educate and develop the financial industry – a task that will surely also contribute to my own development,” says Carmelius (in Swedish). “The financial industry has a big responsibility to promote sustainability issues, and Swesif can play an important role by bringing together its members.”
Larås Lindgren is also excited about her new role. “I like to be involved and get to influence, and I believe that Swesif does a great job educating and raising the awareness about those difficult sustainability issues. I want to contribute to a focused communication effort within the organisation; that is how I hope to make a difference,” she concludes (in Swedish).
The new members are certainly a welcome addition, further strengthening the current board: Rebecka Elkert (SEB Pension & Försäkring), Anna Strömberg (Carnegie Fonder), Julian Beer (SEB), Emma Henningsson (Sustainalytics), Tobias Lindbergh (Svenska Handelsbanken), Lingyi Lu (Söderberg & Partner), Åsa Moberg (Mistra) and the chairwoman, Susanne Bolin Gärtner (Danske Bank). The association has set ambitious goals for 2021 and beyond. Several projects, led by dedicated working groups, are already in progress.
The project on long–term perspectives in investment analysis, initiated in 2018 and conducted in collaboration with the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre (SSFC), is entering a new phase. Together with a new partner organisation, Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (MISUM), the project group will continue working on developing methods for integrating sustainability in investment analysis.
The water project, another collaborative effort conducted in association with the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) was only recently completed. A final report is due this summer. A project focused on sustainable models in fixed income is set to gain momentum this year.
Meanwhile, the long-established ‘Sustainability Profile’ (Hållbarhetsprofilen) needs an update, not least in the light of EU’s new Taxonomy and Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulations. Swesif is currently conducting a survey among its members to gauge the interests and needs to further develop this popular tool.
“Projects are great, but if we don’t apply ourselves to delivering on them, they remain mere ideas,” states Bolin Gärtner. “We have a lot on our plate, but thanks to our active membership base and our partnerships, we have given ourselves the means to reach the goals we have set.”