Scandinavian asset manager Swedbank Robur announced today the introduction of its updated responsible investment policy, including an expansion of its exclusion strategy, and the publication of papers outlining the firm’s expectations for companies on key sustainability issues ranging from climate to labor rights.

The new policy adds an exclusion for investments in the gambling sector, expanding the firm’s list of excluded sectors, which also include controversial and nuclear weapons, tobacco, and fossil fuel companies without clear conversion goals, among others. Swedbank Robur has also introduced an extended exclusion policy for some funds, adding of investments in alcohol, weapons and military equipment to the list.

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Pia Gisgård, Head of Sustainability and Governance at Swedbank Robur, said:

“The continuous reviewing of our guidelines is an important part of our work. By sharpen and clarifying our policies and strategies step by step, we can also give our customers a greater understanding of how we work and what we as asset managers stands for.”

Swedbank has also published a series of expectation papers for companies in areas including climate, animal welfare, children’s rights, labor rights, and biodiversity and natural capital management. Some of the expectations set out for companies include integrating climate risks into regular risk assessments, setting 2050 net zero targets, reporting using the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, evaluating wages in relation to the concept of a living wage, countering all forms of forced labour and human trafficking, preventing harms to animals in operations and the value chain, assessing child labor risk, and acting to stop deforestation, among others.

Gisgård said:

“Expectation paper is a good way to clarify to our savers how we approach different issues. An example of something that we know has been high up on our customers agenda, is our stance related to animal welfare. This is an area we know engages many, so it feels very good to be able to better clarify Swedbank Robur’s position in this matter.”