Sustainable investing underpins our investment strategy. We work closely with the management of Gjensidige Forsikring ASA and our external fund managers to take into consideration environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, enacting active ownership on both areas.
The Gjensidige Foundation is committed to responsible investing. Responsible investing is an effective way to manage investment risks and ensure a good return on investments. The Foundation stresses the importance of taking ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) issues into account in all investment activities. Since 2018 the Foundation has undertaken to comply with the UN supported Principles for Responsible Investment and has built its responsible investment activities around these principles. The PRI helps the Foundation to carry out responsible investment activities.
Through the grants porgram, the investments and ownership in Gjensidige Forsikring ASA, the Gjensidige Foundation promotes and supports sustainable development, locally and globally.
The Foundation incorporates sustainability alongside more traditional investment factors when making investment decisions. In this process, the investment team uses specialized research.
The Foundation invests largely through external investment managers. As such, these investment managers play an integral role in implementing our focus on sustainability. This model requires careful coordination and alignment between the Foundation and its managers. As part of the manager selection and monitoring process, the Foundation’s investment team considers the extent to which the manager is effectively integrating ESG and sustainability factors in their investment process. The responsible investment approaches of the Foundation include sustainability analysis, active ownership and engagement and impact investing. Sustainability analysis includes Norm-based screening, ESG integration and thematic investing.
Norm based screening: The investment team assesses the responsibility level of specific companies through their compliance with the UN and OECD international norms. These norms deal with, among other areas, UN agreements on human rights, labour laws, corruption and environmental protection. The Foundation regularly carries out a norm-based screening of its portfolio. If incidents are detected the Foundation seek to engage with fund managers to map out issues and decide on how this is to be handled in each specific case.
ESG integration: ESG issues are integrated into the investment analyses along with traditional economic indicators. The Foundation favours asset managers that actively monitor the ESG issues in companies as part of their investment activities and strive to understand the impacts of ESG issues on a company’s potential profits and risks.
Thematic investing: The Foundation focuses on sustainable development themes that include climate change, health, circular economy and renewable forms of energy, and changes driven by demographic macro trends.
Exclusion of companies: The Foundation works to avoid investments in companies that manufacture tobacco.
Active ownership and engagement: The Foundation reviews all of its equity and fixed-income investments quarterly to generate a current overall picture of the content of the investment portfolio and identifies engagement cases. In engaging with companies, the Foundation wants to bear responsibility as an owner by promoting responsible business practices, thereby ensuring long-term value for its investment objects. In indirect engagement, an asset manager carries out the dialogue with the companies and participates in the annual general meetings on behalf of the Foundation.
Theme-specific proactive engagement: The Foundation participates in proactive engagement activities intended to influence companies in a constructive manner while taking into account the responsibility challenges of the future and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The engagement activities are carried out with other investors and asset owners through collaborative platforms.
Participation in investor initiatives: The Foundation participates in investor initiatives through the PRI. In an investor initiative, a group of investors combines its resources in order to present a joint message to a company. Normally, one owner or a group of owners acts as the founder and executor of the initiative. A large number of owners can participate in an investor initiative, and its intent is to get as broad and influential ownership pool as possible to convince company management to change some aspect of the company’s operations.
Impact Investing: The Foundation has a portfolio of impact investments. Impact investing refers to investments in companies, organizations or funds, whose purpose is to make investment returns along with a significant social or environmental impact.
As part of our efforts to promote responsible investing, and as a contribution to the development of a more sustainable global financial system, the Gjensidige Foundation has signed several internationally recognized initiatives and principles.
PRI: Since the spring of 2018, the Foundation has been a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). The six Principles for Responsible Investment are a voluntary and aspirational set of investment principles. The network of signatories is working together to put the six principles into practice. The goal is to understand the implications of sustainability for investors and support signatories to incorporate these issues into their investment decision-making and ownership practice.
Norsif: The Norwegian Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is an independent association of asset owners and asset managers, service providers and industry associations with interest in the development of responsible and sustainable investments. The association aims to promote and contribute to the development of the field of responsible investment in the Norwegian financial industry and among other stakeholders. The foundation is one of the founding organizations of Norsif
Climate Action 100+: The Climate Action 100+ is an investor initiative to ensure the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take necessary action on climate change. The companies include 100 “systemically important emitters”, accounting for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions, alongside more than 60 others with significant opportunity to drive the clean energy transition. The initiative was launched in December 2017 and has garnered worldwide attention as one of 12 key global initiatives to tackle climate change.
Investor statement on deforestation and forest fires in the Amazon, September 2019: The Gjensidige Foundation was one of 230 institutional investors, representing USD 16,2 trillion in AuM, to call on companies to take urgent action in light of the devastating fires in the Amazon in the autumn of 2019. The fires were fueled in part because of the deforestation happening at an alarming rate in Brazil and Bolivia. The statement calls on companies to tackle the financial material deforestation risks, including market and reputational risks, within their operations and global supply chains.
ILPA: The Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA) advances the interests of private equity investors globally through education programs, independent research, development of best practices, and opportunities for networking and collaboration. ILPA’s Private Equity Principles stipulate that managers should provide investors with portfolio information on all material risks, including those related to ESG. The foundation has been a member of ILPA since 2018.