To main content

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.

2025 Climate action plan

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.

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.


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.

Biodiversity and ecosystems

Changes to natural ecosystems and the biodiversity that underpins them, pose business risks to companies in our portfolio.

Human capital management

Companies’ effective management of human capital is increasingly critical to their success, as it supports both value creation and business resilience.

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.

11,616 General meetings we voted at in 2022

2,911 Company meetings

Voting guidelines

Our global voting guidelines

Company divestments

Ethical exclusions

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.

Unlisted real estate and renewable energy infrastructure

We have prepared guidance for responsible management of real assets related to environmental, social and governance matters. The guidance documents serve as a starting point for our interaction with investment partners and asset managers that we co-invest or contract with.

Panel discussion: Human capital management

We have published new expectations of companies in which the fund is invested, on how they should manage their human resources. We invited to a panel discussion on the topic at Arendalsuka. The participants were Carine Smith Ihenacho (Chief Governance and Compliance Officer at the fund), Kristin Skogen Lund (CEO of Schibsted), Kaj-Martin Georgsen (Secretary general of Care Norway) and Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (editor in E24).

NBIM Talk: Corporate sustainability reporting

How companies manage their use of social and natural resources can affect their ability to create value. We have assessed companies’ reporting on material sustainability topics since 2009. In this NBIM Talk, we explore trends in what companies do report, how reporting standards might converge and what investors can reasonably expect companies to do. This discussion is based on our assessments of companies’ reporting. We will be joined by guests from academia and the corporate world with expertise on the topic.

NBIM Talk: Investing responsibly

In 20 years, the fund has grown to become the largest single owner in the world’s stock markets. At a virtual event August 2020, CEO, Yngve Slyngstad, Chief Governance Officer, Carine Smith Ihenacho, and Head of Governance, Jonas Jølle, took us through our experience as an investor in 9,000 companies, and discussed how we went from a small, reluctant owner to a large, active owner. They also took a virtual travel to meet Professor Alex Edmans at the London Business School and Paul Simpson, CEO of CDP. They talked about the role of large investors, responsible business conduct and the development of international standards.

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.