ESG investing in pensions – environmental, social and governance – is very much in the spotlight.
Environmental criteria look at how a company being invested in works to safeguard the environment, addressing climate change.
Social criteria look at how a company manages relationships with employees, suppliers, customers and the communities where it operates .
Governance looks at a company’s leadership, including executive pay.
The standards adopted by investors are many and varied however, as an example of pro-active management, it is interesting to see the recent activities of Norway's Norges Bank Investment Management, which is responsible for the investments of the Government Pension Fund.
It has now excluded a further three companies from its investment portfolio based on their alleged violations of human rights and potential risks of corruption.
This is in addition to other companies who do not meet the environmental criteria laid down by their Ethics Council.
Whatever their reasons for doing so and whether one agrees or not with the decisions made, it is clear that ESG is becoming a key influencer for major investors.
Norway has had a long and proud history of ethical investing and continues to do so. It is an example that other large investors could – and should – learn from
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