AP4 does not invest in:
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.
Fossil-based companies: thermal coal, oil sand and companies not aligned with the Paris Agreement
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 carbon 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 such companies in 2018. During 2020 AP4 also divested its holdings in energy companies in the entire internally managed global equity portfolio whose plans and goals are considered to not be aligned with the Paris Agreement. In addition, AP4 applies lowcarbon strategies for global equities, entailing that AP4 is reducing its exposure to the companies in each sector that have high carbon intensity, and using forward-looking data sources regarding companies’ actions in relation to the Paris Agreement.
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.
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.
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:
|Cann Trust Holdings Inc||2019||Canada||Cannabis|
|Cronos Group Inc||2019||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|
|Larsen & Toubro||2015||India||Industrial|
|Motorola Solutions||2015||United States||Telecom|
|Poongsan Corp||2008||South Korea||Metals and mining|
|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.