Sustainable long-term growth

Our motivation for responsible investment is to achieve the highest possible return with moderate risk. Companies’ activities have a considerable impact on society and the environment around them. Over time, this could affect their profitability and so the fund’s return. We therefore consider both governance and sustainability issues, and publish clear expectations of companies in the portfolio.

This is how we work

1. Establish principles

Standards establish common ground across markets and raise the bar for all companies. We participate in the development of international standards and expect the companies we invest in to comply with them.

2. Exercise ownership

The fund has a small stake in more than 9,000 companies worldwide. We exercise our rights and discharge our obligations as an owner with a view to long-term value creation at these companies.

3. Invest sustainably

Environmental, social and governance issues can affect the value of the companies we invest in. We work on identifying, measuring and managing risks and opportunities that could impact on the fund’s value.

Our expectations of companies

We publish clear expectations of the companies in our portfolio should address global challenges in their corporate governance. These expectations largely coincide with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Children's rights

Children are the key to future prosperity but also society’s most vulnerable members. A fund for future generations cannot accept the exploitation of children.

Climate change

Climate change may impact on corporate earnings and portfolio returns over time. It may also bring business opportunities.

Water management

How companies manage water risks and tap related opportunities may affect our long-term return as a shareholder.

Human rights

Respect for human rights is a natural part of good business practice and risk management.

Tax and transparency

Complex and opaque ownership and organisational structures hamper transparency and can undermine investors’ financial analysis.

Anti-corruption

As a financial investor, we expect companies to have clear guidelines and take effective action to combat corruption.

Ocean sustainability

Some economic activity has a negative impact on the ocean. In the long term, this will reduce companies’ profitability. It may also create business opportunities.

Our voting

Voting is an important tool for protecting the fund’s value. We aim to vote at all general meetings of the companies we invest in. As a large, long-term investor, we also engage directly with individual companies’ board and management on a regular basis.

11,287 General meetings we voted at in 2018

3,256 Company meetings

Voting guidelines

Our global voting guidelines

Company divestments

Ethical exclutions

The Norwegian parliament has decided that the fund should not be invested in companies that contribute to violations of fundamental ethical norms, manufacture certain types of weapon, base their operations on coal, or produce tobacco. The Ministry of Finance has issued guidelines and set up an independent Council on Ethics to assess companies and make recommendations on exclusion and observation.

Risk-based divestments

Norges Bank Investment Management itself may take the decision to divest from companies that impose substantial costs on other companies and society as a whole, and so are not long-term sustainable. These might be companies with business models that do not align with prevailing technological, regulatory or environmental trends.

Report on responsible investment

Read our 2018 report on responsible investment.