Exclusions

The exclusion process is highly extensive. It involves both internal and external data and evaluations conducted by experts in the field. Excluded companies are removed from Storebrand’s investment universe, which is an investment ecosystem that consists of over 4,000 companies.

 


A company can be excluded in two ways: Production-based excelutions and Conduct-based exclutions.




1. Production-based exclusions

We exclude companies that produce or distribute tobacco, controversial weapons and recreational cannabis. We also exclude companies with significant revenue from coal and oil sands, and unsustainable palm oil production.

The Storebrand Group has also chosen to exclude investments in companies within certain single product categories or industries that are unsustainable. These products or industries are associated with significant risks and liabilities from societal, environmental or health related harm. In these product categories there is also limited scope to influence companies to operate in a more sustainable way.

These companies include:

  • Companies with more than 5% of their revenue from tobacco
  • Companies with more than 5% of their revenue from controversial weapons
  • Companies with more than 5% of their revenue from recreational cannabis
  • Companies with more than 25% of their revenue from coal related activities
  • Companies with more than 20% of their revenue from Oil Sands

Owners of palm oil plantations with unsustainable business practices.

I. Tobacco

Storebrand will not invest in companies where the sale of tobacco percent, or components exclusively designed for such products, exceeds five percent of total sales. Tobacco products are defined as those entirely or partly made from tobacco leaf and our exclusion applies to producers and distributors as well as companies involved in the cultivating or processing of tobacco.

II. Controversial Weapons

Storebrand will not invest in companies involved in the development and/or production of controversial weapons; testing of controversial weapons; production of components to be used exclusively for controversial weapons; or stockpiling and/or transfer of controversial weapons. This criterion includes but is not limited to: landmines, cluster munitions, nuclear weapons and biological and chemical weapons. Definitions and scope are as per these corresponding conventions and norms, including but not limited to the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), the Ottawa Treaty/Mine Ban Treaty and the Non-Proliferation Treaty.

III: Recreational Cannabis

Storebrand will not invest in companies where the sale of cannabis products for recreational use, or components exclusively designed for such products, exceeds 5 percent of total sales. The criterion applies to producers and distributors as well as companies involved in the cultivating or processing of cannabis for recreational use. The criterion does not apply to income from cannabis products that are not classified as recreational.

IV. Coal

Storebrand will not invest in companies with more than 25 percent of their revenue from coal-related activities. Storebrand has developed a coal exit strategy, which involves a reduction of this threshold by 5 percent every second year. In 2026 Storebrand will have a 5 percent threshold for coal exclusions. Companies are also excluded if they produce over 20 million tons of coal annually or operate more than 10,000 MW of coal-fired capacity. Storebrand also exclude companies that have new coal fired power plants > 1000MW of capacity under contruction.


V. Oil Sands

Storebrand excludes companies with more than 20 percent revenue from the oil sands.


VI. Palm Oil

The Storebrand Group will not invest in companies that are involved in severe and/or systematic unsustainable palm oil production.

2. Conduct-based exclusions

It is of fundamental importance that the companies we invest in follow international laws, norms and conventions.

The Storebrand Group will therefore not invest in:

  • Companies that contribute to serious and systematic breaches of international law and human rights
  • Companies involved in serious environmental degradation
  • Companies involved in systematic corruption and financial crime
  • Companies will be excluded if the breaches are considered serious and the risk of a breach occurring is assessed as high.

I. International Law and Human Rights

Storebrand will not invest in companies that contribute to serious violations of international law. This includes serious humanitarian law violations as well as violations of basic human rights.

II. Corruption and Financial Crime

Storebrand will not invest in companies that are involved in grand corruption. The criterion is based on, among others, the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Consequently, allegations of giving or receiving improper advantages, either in the private or public sector, are analyzed. The criterion also covers other serious financial crimes, such as tax evasion, accounting fraud and embezzlement.

III. Environmental Damage

Storebrand will not invest in companies involved in activities that cause serious environmental damage. The criterion is based on, among others, The UN Convention on Biological Diversity and The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Exclusion decision

The decision to exclude a company is based on assessment of the issue by Storebrand’s investment committee. The committee comprises several representatives of the Storebrand Group’s senior management team and other executives, who meet on a quarterly basis.

If the excluded companies demonstrate improvements in their policies and business operations, they may be reinstated in Storebrand’s investable universe.

Exclusions Summary

 

The table shows the number of excluded companies within each criterion per Q4 2019. 

Exclusion category

Number of companies

Conduct-based exclusions - Environment 14
Conduct-based exclusions - Corruption 10
Conduct-based exclusions - Human Rights and International Law 31
Tobacco 28
Controversial weapons 27
Climate - Coal 61
Climate - Oilsand 6
Unsustainable Palmoil 13
Cannabis 3

Total number of excluded companies

182*

No. of companies on the observation list

2

**Some companies are excluded on the basis of several criteria. Storebrand also does not invest in companies that have been excluded by Norges Bank from the Government Pension Fund – Global

 

Observation list

 

We are dedicated to using our position to influence companies in a direction we believe is sustainable. In some cases, where we suspect violation of our policies, it may be beneficial to follow a company over time in order to increase the information available. Likewise, there may also be cases where we see a company is working on corrective action, but such measures have yet to be fully implemented or verifiable. In such cases, we will place the company on an observation list, associated with specific restrictions, to allow for more time to gather the necessary information and influence company direction.

Companies that are under observation will be closely monitored and engaged with based on our existing ownership, and we will maintain a close dialogue with the company where we inform them of our expectations of measures and results. We expect the company to show improvement within a pre-determined time. Depending on the outcome, the company will either be excluded from our investment universe or it will be removed from the observation list.

While companies are present on the observation list, portfolios without prior holdings will be restricted from investing in the said companies. Portfolios with prior positions will be allowed to maintain these positions. However, the maximum portfolio weight will be limited to 1.2 times the original position as defined by portfolio weight from the date of observation status.

Extra Criteria beyond the Storebrand Standard

Storebrand's extra criteria build upon the Storebrand Standard for sustainable investments. The extra criteria will only apply to selected funds and saving profiles. Read more here

Improved coal criteria

In 2018 we improved our coal criteria which includes exclusion of companies connected to coal, coal mining and coal power. Read more here

Deforestation policy

This policy defines our minimum standard for investment and outlines the objectives of our engagement with the sector. We encourage higher standards and collaborate with other investors to help companies to improve. Storebrand's deforestation policy lays out what we expect of companies regarding their disclosure and management of deforestation risks. Read more her