AP4 provides information on its business activities at individual meetings, group meetings and at presentations and conferences. On such occasions views and opinions about AP4’s work is received, noted and addressed. These meetings allow AP4 to better understand stakeholder expectations. In turn, stakeholders gain a better understanding of AP4’s work, including the framework which AP4 works within, and the risks and opportunities that can be connected to the operations both short- and long-term.
AP4 aims to conduct periodic materiality revisions to ensure that AP4’s work, reporting and communications on sustainability initiatives are in line with stakeholder expectations and perceptions concerning what is important.
In 2015, AP4 conducted a materiality review, and a new review is planned for 2017. The 2015 materiality review is found below.
Process for materiality review 2015
During the meetings, AP4 and its stakeholders discussed global trends and challenges within sustainability for the financial sector, financial owners in general and for AP4 in particular. In addition, several stakeholders, both external and internal (employees), responded to a survey from AP4. A selection of these survey responses was complemented with external and internal in-depth follow-up interviews so that AP4 could gain a better understanding of the priorities and expectations.
Discussions regarding expectations and challenges
The materiality review and discussions with stakeholders yielded several valuable additional views regarding, above all, the ongoing work on sustainability and corporate governance. The review confirmed that AP4’s current sustainability efforts and priorities are perceived as clearly communicated. Most of the discussions focused on identifying expectations and areas of value-creation.
Most stakeholders generally expected that sustainability in the broader sense will affect businesses in the future.
Areas that were expected to be important for development were the climate and the environment, and in within these areas carbon/ greenhouse-gas emissions, availability and quality of water, as well as the growth in renewable energy were important.
Further, changes were seen in, and between, different countries’ economies ability to achieve high impact for the development of markets and operations, as well as various political influences and policy changes.
Climate and environmental issues were also considered among the major issues impacting the financial markets. Access to clean water, renewable energy and how to manage "stranded assets" and the development of a circular economy were the issues most mentioned. Questions regarding equality, refugee policies, migration, and accordingly, changing consumption patterns were also highlighted as important. In addition,
digitalization and data security were considered challenges for the financial industry.
Expectations on AP4
In addition to sustainability efforts in general, considerable emphasis was placed on AP4 as an "owner" to set a good example and to take ownership responsibility, where emphasis was placed to act honestly and to be as transparent and open as possible in our actions. For example, this included that owners, when in contact with companies, should be precise and establish tough but realistic demands.
According to stakeholder expectations, AP4 should continue to work on sustainability issues and continue to deliver strong returns on investment. To meet these expectations, AP4 should continue its current efforts and build on the link between sustainability and financial analysis – the "what and how" analysis of AP4’s future investments.
The discussions showed that AP4 had succeeded in informing several stakeholders about sustainability efforts. AP4 will work further with the results and lessons-learned from the materiality review, and will take them into account when making strategic choices, reporting and in communications.