Storebrand to intensify deforestation engagement
The financial industry plays a vital role in the work against deforestation. Storebrand intensifies its work on sustainable investments by committing to a clear deforestation policy. The policy includes several measures to curb deforestation.
- The deforestation and the fires in Amazonas are deeply concerning. Given the political situation, the financial industry plays an even more important role. Deforestation has been an important issue in our investments for a long time. Now, our role as an active owner will be intensified, in order to halt deforestation, says CEO in Storebrand Asset Management, Jan Erik Saugestad.
Few investors have a clear policy addressing deforestation specifically in their investment portfolios, and Storebrand encourages other investors to follow suit. We were among the first investors to divest from palm oil in 2013 - and are now engaged with palm oil producers in order to make the production more sustainable. Storebrand is leading the investor groups working to influence companies within soy, cattle, palm oil and banks in the investor initiative PRI.
In July, the deforestation of the rain forest tripled, compared to the same period last year. The Norwegian government has stopped the transfer of NOK 300 million to Brazil to reduce deforestation, and recently, President Jair Bolsonaro rejected financial assistance from the G7 countries. Considering these developments, the financial sector has a special responsibility.
The most important measures in our deforestation policy are:
A clear target and escalation plan for active ownership: The deforestation work intensifies, and within 2025, Storebrand shall, by implementing active
ownership, achieve the goal of having an investment portfolio that does not contribute to deforestation.
- Mapping deforestation risk and be transparent: Storebrand shall map sectors and companies with high deforestation risk. This applies to all companies involved in production, trade, use or financing of deforestation-risk commodities, particularly palm oil, soy, timber and cattle products. As of next year, we shall map our portfolio exposure to deforestation risk and report on progress annually.
- Influence companies and encourage higher standards: We shall use our shareholder position to influence high risk companies. Several companies fail to have ambitious performance and policies. We will influence these companies through direct dialogue and voting at general meetings.
- Strengthen the cooperation with other financial institutions to improve the standards for measuring, monitoring and reporting on direct and indirect deforestation risk.
Storebrand highly encourages other investors and businesses to map their business activities with relevant companies and make measures to stop deforestation.
Storebrand's ambition is to be the best provider of saving for pensions. Storebrand will deliver sustainable solutions adapted to the customer's individual situation, so that each person receives a better pension in a more sustainable world. Storebrand has about 40.000 corporate customers and 2 million individual customers, and has its headquarter at Lysaker outside of Oslo, Norway. Storebrand manages more than NOK 750 bn and is Norway's largest private asset manager. We work hard to fulfil our vision: Recommended by our customers. Storebrand (STB) is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange. Visit us at www.storebrand.no and follow us on Twitter: @Storebrand_no