Excluded companies

Following an internal assessment or recommendation from the Council on Ethics of the AP Funds, AP4's CEO decides which assets AP4 should not invest in.

AP4 does not invest in: 

Nuclear weapons

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction, and their use would bear a heavy toll on civilians. Corresponding biological and chemical weapons are addressed and banned by UN conventions. Nuclear weapons are covered by the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which permits five states to have nuclear weapons. However, under the treaty these states have committed themselves to reducing and, over the long term, eliminating their own nuclear weapons. Currently, modernisations and upgrades are being made to nuclear weapons programmes. AP4 is of the opinion that these modernisations and upgrades go against the spirit of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. AP4 therefore decided in 2018 to not invest in companies involved in this area.

 

Tobacco and cannabis

In 2016 AP4 decided to not invest in tobacco companies, based on the determination that mounting regulations would negatively impact tobacco companies’ future stock market valuations. In addition, AP4 believes that an exemplary interpretation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which seeks to steadily and sharply reduce tobacco consumption, supports AP4’s decision to not have ownership in tobacco companies. The Council on Ethics of the AP Funds has recommended that the AP Funds exclude companies active in cannabis as a pleasure drug or for religious purposes based on the UN’s conventions on narcotic preparations. Companies that produce cannabis for medical or scientific purposes are not covered by the exclusion. This decision was made in 2018.

 

Thermal coal and oil sand

AP4 does not invest in companies for which thermal coal or oil sand account for more than 20% of sales. Thermal coal and oil sand are fossil energy sources with high CO2 intensity per energy unit, and AP4 believes that these must be phased out in a global transition to a low-fossil society in line with the UN’s Climate Convention and the Paris Agreement. AP4 therefore divested its holdings in these companies in 2018. On top of this, AP4 applies low-carbon strategies for global equities, entailing the AP4 is reducing its exposure to the companies in each sector that have high CO2 intensity or fossil fuel reserves.

 

Cluster munitions and mines

The Mine Ban Treaty and the Convention on Cluster Munitions stipulate that states that have signed and ratified these treaties shall cease to produce, conduct trade in and use anti-personnel mines and cluster bombs. The Council on Ethics of the AP Funds has recommended that the four AP Funds divest companies that manufacture anti-personnel mines or cluster bombs, and AP4 therefore has not had ownership in any such companies since 2008.

 

Company-specific exclusions

AP4 has been collaborating with AP1-AP3 through the Council on Ethics of the AP Funds since 2007. In the event of confirmed violations of international conventions, the Council on Ethics may choose to engage individual companies in a dialogue to bring about a change. If such a dialogue proves to be unfruitful, the Council on Ethics recommends that the AP Funds exclude such companies from their investment portfolios. AP4 has chosen to exclude companies based on recommendations from the Council on Ethics due to violations of conventions on health and safety, negative environmental impact, labour law, corruption and operations in occupied areas.

 

Application

At directly owned holdings, AP4 has complete opportunities to influence the portfolio. Then instructions are issued to the responsible trustee not to own these assets in the portfolio. In cases where AP4 is invested in actively managed mutual funds or derivatives, AP4 makes a structured evalutation of the fund manager's process for sustainability, receives the assurance from the trustee that only in exceptional cases hold these assets, regularly monitors the underlying holdings and announces that holdings of excluded companies can form the basis to complete the management assignment.

 

Exclusions on the recommendation of the Council on Ethics:

Company Year excluded Country Sector 
Aphria 2018 Canada Cannabis
Aurora Cannabis 2018 Canada Cannabis
Cannopy Growth 2018 Canada Cannabis
Elbit Systems Ltd 2010 Israel Aerospace and defence 
Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc 2013 United States  Metals and mining 
Hanwha Corporation 2008 South Korea  Chemicals 
Incitec Pivot Ltd 2013 Australia  Chemicals 
L-3 Technologies, Inc. 2008 United States  Aerospace and defence 
Larsen & Toubro 2015 India Industrial
Motorola Solutions 2015 United States  Telecom 
Nutrien 2014 Kanada Chemicals
Poongsan Corp 2008 South Korea  Metals and mining 
Textron Inc  2008 United States  Aerospace and defence 
Vale S.A. 2019 Brazil Metals and mining
Walmart Stores Inc 2013 United States  Food and staples retailing 
Zijin Mining 2016 China Metals and mining

 

For more information about the excluded companies and details about the specific cases,
please read the Council on Ethics of the AP Funds annual reports.