Climate and environment

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time, with major expected impacts on the environment, biodiversity, ecosystems and ecosystem services. Thus countries, sectors, companies and individual people will also be affected.

In concrete terms we base our work on the Paris Agreement and the more ambitious Swedish environmental objective to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. Through this we are contributing to the climate transition, which we believe is a prerequisite for sustainable societal development.

Sustainability target for Climate & Environment

Paris Agreement: AP4 supports the Paris Agreement and the more ambitious Swedish environmental objective to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. We have cut carbon emissions by more than half for the listed equity portfolio since 2010, entailing a decrease of 60%. For 2030 our target is to further cut emissions in half from the 2020 level with the goal of net-zero emissions in the portfolio by 2040 at the latest.

Climate risks in the portfolio: We apply low-carbon strategies in the global equity portfolio. These are optimisation strategies that reduce exposure in each sector to companies with high carbon emissions or fossil fuel reserves. The strategies are based on historical emissions data as well as on forward-looking data to verify that the companies’ operations are aligned with the Paris Agreement and how various levels of carbon pricing may impact companies’ margins. The result of this affects divestments in our entire internally managed global equity portfolio.

Thematic sustainability investments: We continuously analyse sustainability trends and developments in various sectors. The various asset management units actively search for investments that contribute to and benefit from the transition to a sustainable society. The ambition is to make good investments from both financial and sustainability perspectives. These investments are made within the framework of the unlisted portfolio, such as in sustainable infrastructure including renewable energy.

Our global equity management manages a thematic portfolio of niche companies in environment-related themes such as energy transition with focus on fossil-free mobility, hydrogen gas, carbon capture and recycling. We also make substantial new investments in smaller companies in the health sector, and have invested in green bonds issued by governments and in social bonds.

Influence as owner: We have reduced the carbon footprint of our portfolio through portfolio changes. To achieve the climate goals, the companies that we invest in must also reduce carbon emissions in their own respective operations. In our ownership role we influence companies and cooperate with other investors to broaden knowledge about how the climate issue can be addressed in the asset management operations. We also engage in dialogues with political decision-makers to create conditions for a climate transition.

Conducting focused sustainability work over time contributes to better management of sustainability risks and opportunities, and thereby also to favourable performance for returns.
Niklas Ekvall, CEO

Carbon footprint

In 2021 AP4 further reduced the listed equity portfolio’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 23%. Since 2010 these emissions have decreased by a total of 60%, which is helping to reduce climate risk in the portfolio. AP4 measures and reports GHG emissions in accordance with uniform guidelines established for the AP Funds. These pertain to listed shares, which made
up 64% of AP4’s portfolio at year-end 2021. In addition, AP4 also reports GHG emissions for the unlisted real estate portfolio, which made up another 9% of the total fund capital at year-end. AP4 works continually to evaluate access to qualitative data to be able to broaden its measurement to an even larger share of the portfolio.

The AP-Funds' common indicators for reporting the carbon footprint of investment portfolios

Read more about our work with Climate & Environment and Corporate Governance in the Annual Report 2021 on page 46 and forward