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What is responsible investment?

The purpose of the fund is to safeguard and build financial wealth for future generations. This requires sustainable economic, environmental and social development. As we own a small slice of most of the world's largest companies, we have the ability to influence how they operate. We aim to promote long-term value creation at the companies and minimise negative effects on the environment and society. This is how responsible investment contributes to the fund's objective of the highest possible return with accessible risk.

How we work with companies on sustainable growth

The fund’s future value is dependent on the value created by the companies we invest in. We therefore monitor their ESG performance – how they are run and how they impact on the environment and society. We call this active ownership.

We express clear expectations

We express clear expectations for how the companies in our portfolio should address global challenges. We assess how they report on their work in specific areas, and engage with selected companies on making improvements.

We monitor and engage with companies

We identify and manage risks that could affect the value of the fund. We engage with companies that expose us to unacceptable ESG risk. In some cases, we may divest from them completely.

We vote at shareholder meetings and interact with board and management

To protect the fund’s assets, we aim to vote at all shareholder meetings. As a large, long-term investor, we also have an ongoing dialogue with companies’ board and management.

Development of international standards

As a market participant in 70 countries, we benefit from well-functioning and legitimate markets, global solutions to common challenges, and generally agreed international standards. We also support academic research.

How we work with climate and the environment

It is the goal of our responsible investment management for our portfolio companies to align their activities with global net zero emissions in line with the Paris Agreement. Our ambition is for our portfolio companies to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

We must constantly develop and improve our work on responsible investment if we are to be able to safeguard the fund’s assets and create prosperity for future generations. – Carine Smith Ihenacho, Chief Governance and Compliance Officer.

Ethical guidelines

The Norwegian parliament has decided that the fund should not invest in companies that

manifacture certain types of weapons

produce tobacco or cannabis for recreational use

Base their operations on coal

contribute to violations of fundamental ethical norms

Ethical exclusions

An independent Council on Ethics assesses companies against the ethical guidelines for the fund and makes recommendations for further action. Norges Bank’s Executive Board then takes the final decision on whether companies should be excluded, placed under observation, or invited into dialogue with the aim of reducing risk.

Panel discussion: Responsible development and use of AI

We presented our view on responsible artificial intelligence during the Arendal Week. Nicolai Tangen (CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management), Carine Smith Ihenacho (Chief Governance and Compliance Officer in Norges Bank Investment Management, Finn Myrstad (Director of Digital Policy at the Norwegian Consumer Council), Sven Størmer Thaulow (EVP Chief Data and Technology Officer at Schibsted) and Inga Strümke (Researcher at the Norwegian Open AI Lab at NTNU) discussed the topic. The conversation was led by Liv Dingsør (CEO of Digital Norway).

Latest report on responsible investment

2022 was a year marked by both high activity and ambitious new initiatives for our responsible investment work. We became even more transparent, we published the full list of our company meetings, and we reported more on the outcomes of our work. During the year, we held 2,911 company meetings, voted on 117,392 resolutions and continued to integrate ESG data in our investment processes. This is how we build wealth for future generations.

The first 20 years of investing responsibly

How we exercise our rights and manage our responsibilities as an owner has evolved rapidly over the past 20 years. In this publication, we share our experience as an investor in over 9,000 companies. The fund started out as a reluctant owner. Today, we vote at more than 11,000 shareholder meetings and have nearly 3,500 meetings with companies every year. We publish expectations of companies that make clear our priorities as a long-term owner. We contribute actively to the development of international standards on responsible business conduct.