Pension firm heeds members' calls, excludes 144 companies

Danish pension fund PBU sharpens its focus on climate change mitigation, underscores by its blacklisting of 144 companies failing to show interest or ability to transit to a green business model.

Photo: Colourbox

After hearing emphatic calls from its members, the Danish pension firm for pedagogues, PBA, has opted to blacklist a long list of companies failing to live up to the pension provider's climate standards.

Earlier this year, a member survey showed that PBU's members place a high priority on climate investments. In fact, only the well-being of children ranked higher on the pedagogues' list.

That why PBU is now strengthening its engagement in climate change mitigation and is starting off by excluding 144 companies operating within the oil and gas sector – either for showing no interest or competence in transitioning their business toward a greener horizon.

Furthermore, PBU has ditched equities in 12 companies, the pension group writes in a statement on its website.

"If companies have not convinced us that they have a clear plan for transformation and are supporting such with action, both in the short and long term, PBU will consider whether to remain invested," writes PBU Head of ESG Rasmus Juhl Pedersen in the statement.

The pension firm's blacklist currently entails 202 enterprises.

PBU emphasizes, though, that it continues to hold fossil energy assets.

"We will continue to have companies in the portfolio for which climate change constitutes significant challenges, and we will influence them by placing concrete demands on companies' contingency plans and the transformation of their businesses. This means that, despite the new exclusions, PBU may still hold investments in fossil energy insofar as these participate in the green energy transition. The board of directors has set a target for all investments to be CO2 neutral by 2050 at the latest," Pedersen explains.

PBU has invested DKK 5.4bn (EUR 730m) in renewable energy, green technology and in companies supplying climate change solutions. Ahead of 2030, the pension group expects to invest an additional DKK 15bn in tacking climate change.

Most recently, the board decided to invest DKK 500m in green bonds, with proceeds from the bond sales earmarked for green causes.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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