Storebrand Asset Management, Norway’s largest private asset manager, unveiled today its new climate policy, outlining the firm’s climate commitments, and climate-based strategies and investment methods.
Storebrand Asset Management CEO Jan Erik Saugestad said:
“We aim to maintain our position as a leading provider of Sustainable solutions. With this policy we will excel and improve our work on climate and greening the financial system. We will use all the tools at our disposal including, divestment, investing more in solutions and engaging with companies in order to achieve substantial change.”
Storebrand has been a leading voice among investment managers in promoting sustainability and using its position to effect change. In June 2020, for example, the firm led a group of 30 investment managers to demand action by Brazilian authorities towards ending deforestation, warning that failure to act could make investment in the country less attractive. Members of the group met with Brazilian government representatives in July, and reported a positive initial response to their engagement.
Storebrand outlined several commitments in its climate policy, including using its power as an investor to induce companies to meet the expectations of its climate policy, highlighting tools such as divestment, active ownership, investing in solutions, and using sustainability ratings.
In terms of strategies and investment methods the firm will use in pursuit of its climate goals, Storebrand said that it will make investment decisions aligned with scientific consensus on climate change, will reorient capital flows towards low-carbon, climate-resilient and transition companies, and will avoid investments that contribute heavily to climate change. Storebrand will also use its position as an asset owner to stimulate ambitious climate practices at portfolio companies, through methods including dialogue and proxy voting, while encouraging external fund managers to adopt similar climate policies. Finally, Storebrand stated that it will make it easy for its clients to understand and contribute to a low carbon future, with climate positive investment products such as fossil free funds, Green Bond funds, and Sustainable Property investments.
In line with these commitments, Storebrand added categories to its list of investment exclusions. The firm stated that in its fight against deforestation, it will no longer invest in companies that are involved in severe and/or systematic unsustainable production of palm oil, soy, cattle and timber. Additionally, the company will no longer invest in companies that deliberately and systematically work against the goals and targets enshrined in the Paris Agreement, including in their lobbying efforts. Some of the companies listed on the Storebrand exclusion lists in the Palmoil and Lobbying categories include chemicals giant BASF, energy companies Chevron and Exxon, materials firm Rio Tinto, and food company Cargill.