Stockholm (NordSIP) – Folksam, one of the largest insurance companies in Sweden, announced it increased holding in the steel company SSAB. Following this increased investment, Folksam’s position now amounts to approximately 5.2% of the votes and 2.1% of the capital.
The decision to increase the holding in SSAB was made in the spring and aims to increase Folksam’s involvement in SSAB’s transition to fossil-free steel production and follow on the heels of the issuance of SBAB’s green steel bond. Over the last years, Folksam has made several investments with the aim of accelerating climate change, including in green bonds, Northvolt and Volvo Cars.
“Fossil free steel production will be one of the key elements of a successful climate transition, both in Sweden and globally. At the same time, SSAB’s ongoing transformation is important to ensure that industrial jobs stay in Sweden. We have been shareholders in SSAB for many years and are now ready to take a more long-term responsibility for the company’s climate transition efforts”, says Ylva Wessén (Pictured), CEO of the Folksam Group.
SSAB, mining company LKAB and Vattenfall launched HYBRIT in 2017, a project to decarbonise the steel industry by replacing coking coal with hydrogen made from fossil-free electricity and water. The project focuses on a process called direct reduction which will replace the current blast furnace process. Instead of producing pollution, the by-product is water, which in turn can be recovered for the production of hydrogen gas.
“We are convinced that wecan make a more substantial contribution by supporting large emitters in their transition efforts, rather than excluding them from our portfolios. Through our increased ownership in SSAB, we have an opportunity to make a real impact in a company that today represents 10 and 7 percent of the emissions in Sweden and Finland”, says Ylva Wessén
Folksamgruppen manages over SEK500 billion in assets and aims to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. The goal is expect to be primarily achieved through influencing existing portfolio companies to reorient their operations in line with the goals in the Paris Agreement.
Image Courtesy of Folksam