Work on responsible investment strengthened
5 February 2015
The Government Pension Fund Global strengthened its work on responsible investment in 2014, and today we present our first report on this issue.
Our work on responsible investment spans standard setting, active ownership and risk management and is an integral part of the investment process.
“Our aim with this report is to provide a full overview of the many different areas we are working on and so increase transparency on the management of the fund,” says Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management. “We recognise that there is still much to be done, and that we will encounter a number of challenges in the years ahead. Our role is to think long-term and protect value for future generations.”
We work with international principles and standards and attach importance to them in the formulation of our own principles, in our ownership activities and in our risk management. We express expectations as an investor and exercise active ownership through voting and engagement with companies. As a large, long-term investor, we have an opportunity to enter into dialogue with companies. In 2014, we held 2,641 meetings with companies, giving us an opportunity to increase our understanding of their business and to present our expectations and views on ownership.
Environmental, social and governance issues are integrated into the investment process. This can lead to adjustments to the portfolio and decisions to divest from specific securities. Based on these assessments, we chose to divest from 49 companies in 2014 where we considered there to be high levels of uncertainty about the sustainability of their business model.
“We have gradually increased the scope of risk-based divestments, both geographically and thematically,” says Slyngstad. “In total, we have divested from 114 companies in the past three years.”
We conduct risk assessments at company, sector and country level. Because the risk picture is complex, our assessments need to be forward-looking and have a long horizon. To gain a better understanding of portfolio companies’ greenhouse gas emission intensity, we conducted an analysis of emissions from these companies in 2014. This revealed that emission intensity was lower for the companies the fund was invested in than for the benchmark index for equities set by the Ministry of Finance. The difference was due mainly to the fund's investments in the basic materials, oil & gas and utilities sectors having a lower emission intensity than the benchmark.
“This analysis has provided valuable information that we can use in our risk management of the fund’s investments,” says Slyngstad.
Marthe Skaar, Spokesperson
Tel: +47 9261 7663 / +47 2407 3561