AP Funds’ Council on Ethics to drive positive change even more effectively
Since its inception in 2007, the Council on Ethics of the AP Funds, a collaboration between AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4, has built up a strong position both nationally and internationally and today plays a key role in driving positive change, primarily in foreign companies in which the Swedish AP Funds are shareholders, through dialogue and engagement.
At the same time, sustainability issues have been increasingly integrated into and become a major focus of the management strategies and investment processes of the respective AP funds. Against this background, the AP Funds have now jointly reviewed their mission and strategy to ensure that the Council on Ethics continues to be a key partner that is integral to the coordinated sustainability efforts of the AP Funds.
As part of this initiative, the Council on Ethics has clarified its purpose and set long-term objectives. The Council on Ethics will work to ensure that the AP Funds continue to serve as global role models on sustainability issues. The Council on Ethics will also support the AP Funds in complex and material sustainability issues in order to achieve the objectives that the AP Funds set for themselves.
Previously, screening of the AP Funds’ holdings in listed foreign equities has been carried out twice a year. This initiative will now be extended to cover business loans. The purpose of the screening is to discover whether the holdings can be associated with violations of international conventions ratified by the Riksdag (the Swedish parliament).
In order to implement the new strategy, the Council on Ethics organisation has also been reviewed. It will consist of a board of directors with one member from each Fund appointed by the respective CEO. The Council on Ethics administrative office will be strengthened with the addition of three new positions: an executive director for the AP Funds’ Council on Ethics and two sustainability analysts.
Kristin Magnusson Bernard, CEO AP1, Eva Halvarsson, CEO AP2, Staffan Hansén, CEO AP3 and Niklas Ekvall, CEO AP4, issued the following joint statement:
“The First, Second, Third and Fourth AP Fund work together on sustainability to strengthen the AP Funds as exemplary managers and responsible owners. Developments within and views regarding sustainability have rapidly evolved in recent years, placing increasing demands on our own sustainability work. It is therefore important for us to be proactive and further develop the Council on Ethics so that the good work being done can continue to make progress. The Council on Ethics is a very important collaborative body for the AP Funds, enabling resource-efficient management of potential sustainability risks and thereby also achieving better results for the income pension scheme both today and in the future."
About the Council on Ethics of the AP Funds
The AP Funds' Council on Ethics is a collaboration between AP1, AP2, AP3 and AP4 on sustainability issues with the aim of strengthening the AP Funds as exemplary managers and responsible owners, based on a strong foundation of trust and a solid reputation. The aim of the collaborative effort is to achieve a positive impact on portfolio companies and their value chains from an economic, environmental and social perspective. Collaboration within the Council on Ethics has a strong position both nationally and internationally and today plays a key role in driving positive change in foreign companies in which the Swedish AP Funds are shareholders through dialogue and engagement.
The Council on Ethics works both proactively and reactively globally with companies in the portfolios held by the AP Funds. The point of departure is that over time, well-managed and responsible companies provide higher returns at lower risk. The aim of the Council on Ethics is for companies and sectors to use a structured, transparent and systematic approach to working with sustainability.
Read more at www.etikrådet.se