Nordic pension insurers take up environmental investing

It is gradually becoming mainstream for pension insurers in Nordic countries to direct their investments towards environmentally sustainable targets, says Risto Murto , President and CEO of Varma. Finnish pension insurance companies conduct their business responsibly when it comes to sustainable investing.

”So far on the global level, when pension assets are invested, sustainability has not been prioritised very high. In the United States, for example, it has only recently gained attention in discussion”, Murto observes. The Nordic countries are ahead in the process, and their sustainable investments are increasing little by little.

Varma, Finland’s largest statutory earnings-related pension insurance company, has calculated the carbon footprint of its own investments in listed shares, corporate bonds and real estate assets. Their goal is to reduce the carbon footprints by 25%, 15% and 15% percent respectively by the year 2020.

There are many approaches to take to environmentally-friendly investing, and different countries and industries differ greatly from one another. Some countries have already progressed far, while others have only just begun to plan the development of their environmental policies. Furthermore, the emissions of the mining sector, for example, are also on an entirely different scale than those of the service sector. ”The question is whether our investing strategies should aim to make the good companies even better, or to get the unsustainable ones to improve their ways”, Murto ponders.