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Storebrand divests from fossil fuel firms

08 July 2013

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Norwegian pension fund and life insurance firm Storebrand has excluded 13 coal and six oil sands companies from all investments following the latest sustainability analysis of the energy sector.

By excluding these companies, Storebrand's head of sustainable investments Christine Torklep Meisingset said that the pension fund aims to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels to secure long-term, stable returns for its clients.

Meisingset said that if global ambitions to limit global warming to less than two degrees Celsius become a reality, then many fossil fuel resources will become unburnable and their financial value will be dramatically reduced.

Since exposure to fossil fuels is one of the main sustainability challenges facing business, Meisingset said was a "logical and necessary step" to adjust its investments accordingly.

"The exlusion of 13 coal and six oil sand companies raises our sustainability standards to a new level. We continually seek to improve our existing practices, both in order to stimulate sustainable development, and to systematically reduce risk for our clients," Meisingset said.

She added that the same high quality sustainability standards applies across the board to every company and sector to offer security to clients no matter which fund or portfolio their assets are invested in.

All 13 coal producers in the energy sector in the MSCI All Countries index have been excluded. The exclusion also covers the six oil companies that have the highest exposure to oil sands, measured by both actual production and reserves.

Overall, Storebrand has excluded 177 companies and 32 countries for breaches of the company's minimum standard for sustainable investments.

First published 08.07.2013

monique_simpson@wilmington.co.uk