What do we mean by expectations?
We express clear expectations of the companies and markets we invest in. Companies must be run properly, and our rights as a shareholder must be protected. Companies must also understand how they impact on the environment and society, and address negative impacts. Our expectations are based on international standards such as the UN Global Compact, OECD guidelines and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and provide a starting point for all of our engagement with the companies we invest in.
Our expectations cover
Climate and environment
We expect companies to address challenges relating to climate change, water management, ocean sustainability and biodiversity.
We expect companies to respect human rights and children’s rights and take account of these rights in their operations and value chain. We have separate expectations on human capital management.
We expect companies to have clear guidelines and take effective action to combat corruption. They should also adopt appropriate and prudent tax policies and be transparent about where they generate economic value.
We publish position papers setting out our views on specific aspects of corporate governance. Together with our expectation documents, they serve as a starting point for our dialogue with companies and standard setters. These positions are also reflected in our global voting guidelines, which form a basis for our voting at shareholder meetings.
How we work
We express clear expectations of companies and share our views on how they should be managed.
We assess companies against these expectations and positions
We follow up with dialogue, voting and potentially divestment
We engage in regular dialogue
We are in regular contact with the companies we invest in. We want to understand how they are run and how they address sustainability-related risks and opportunities. We focus on selected topics that are important for the fund’s long-term return and monitor companies over a number of years.
We vote at shareholder meetings
Our voting at companies’ annual shareholder meetings plays an important role in safeguarding the fund’s assets. Shareholders elect the board and approve key decisions at a company. We aim to vote at all shareholder meetings at portfolio companies.
We may divest from companies if we believe that their business activities expose the fund to unacceptable ESG risks, and engaging with the company has failed or is unlikely to succeed. Risk-based divestments are financial decisions and may be an appropriate response following a broad evaluation of the impact on the fund. This mechanism is generally used for a limited number of small investments where we have identified systematic mismanagement of ESG risks.
We have published expectations of how companies in our portfolio should address global challenges in their operations since 2008. These expectations largely coincide with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Tax and transparency
Biodiversity and ecosystems
Human capital management
Guidelines for unlisted investments
We have drawn up ESG guidelines for our investments in unlisted real estate and renewable energy infrastructure. The guidelines provide a basis for our dialogue with investment partners and asset managers.