If you’re not familiar with the acronym, ESG means taking into consideration environmental (E), social and governance (G) risks and opportunities in investments.
To make sure that our investments are in line with our Group Standard for Responsible Investments, our team analyses hundreds of companies each year, Scheele explains that at DNB we use research from external consultants as well as performing in-house research. And the investment universe is continuously screened.
The standards are implemented through active ownership engagement and ESG integration in investment decisions, in all our investments.
DNB is fully committed to integrating ESG in all assets
DNB has been working with responsible investments for a long time and has been a signatory to the UNPRI since its inception in 2006. Scheele makes the point that we are enhancing our work continuously and the growing demands from our customers indicate that the world is moving forward.
She firmly believes that returns are not sacrificed when material ESG factors are integrated into investment decision making.
On the contrary, she is convinced that integrating material ESG risks and opportunities conducted in the right way can safeguard long term returns.
How does the responsible investment team work?
The RI team’s work is focused around four pillars, Scheele explains: Active ownership through dialogues and voting, setting standards towards companies and industries, integration of material ESG factors in investment decisions and exclusions.
Where we find ESG issues in a company that we believe we can impact, our philosophy is always to influence through active ownership first, says Scheele.
However, if a company is in breach of our Standard for Responsible Investments, and shows no willingness to change, it will be excluded from our investment universe.
What requirements and expectations does DNB have for its investments?
Our Group Standard shall ensure that DNB does not contribute to the infringement of human or labour rights, corruption, serious environmental harm or other actions that could be regarded as unethical.
In addition to that it shall also ensure that assessments of risks and opportunities related to ESG factors are integrated in the investment management.
We’re conducting thematic investments
We also offer funds with additional exclusion criteria and sustainability-themed funds, says Scheele. - For these, we utilise additional exclusion criteria and/or positive selection criteria, thereby going beyond the scope of the Group Standard for Responsible Investments.
The Portfolio Managers of these thematic funds have different approaches to their work on the climate and environment. For example, we manage a fund that invests in renewable energy and energy efficiency with the scope to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Their results so far show us that sustainable investments can provide good returns for both investors and our planet alike.