The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global, also called the Oil Fund, is stepping up its attention to the environment. A new expectation document on biodiversity and ecosystems warns companies that environmental protection will be instrumental for the Fund’s future investments.
The document calls on companies to assess their direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems when developing policies, and take a precautionary approach wherever there is a risk of significant biodiversity and ecosystem impact. Furthermore, the Fund says companies should disclose material impacts of activities, products and services on biodiversity and ecosystems, and disclose the co-ordinates and footprint of their main operations.
“An increasing loss of species and deterioration of ecosystems can affect companies’ ability to create value for investors in the long term,” says CEO of Norges Bank Investment Management Nicolai Tangen. “Companies must therefore understand their dependency on and impact on nature, and handle both substantial challenges and opportunities through more sustainable use of ecosystems”, he underlines.
According to the Fund’s Chief Governance and Compliance Officer Carine Smith Ihenacho, protection of biodiversity and ecosystems is of key importance for the global economy. “Therefore, it is important for the fund to work proactively with these topics as a part of our work with responsible investment,” she says.
The Oil Fund now has more than $1.3 trillion in assets, including 1,4 percent of global stocks and shares. That makes it the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund.