As an investor, Folksam has made the commitment to be a responsible shareholder and we want the companies we invest in to respect human rights, tackle corruption, and protect the environment. Folksam has lead the way in Sweden as a sustainability advocate, being actively involved as early participants with the UN Global Compact and in the development of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). Becoming a proud ally of the WBA last year was a natural step in our direction and vision.
The sustainability data playing-field, is filled with global actors and stakeholders. Customers want to know how goods are produced and whether they are safe to use; employees want to feel proud of the company they work in; partners and clients make sustainability requirements for their respective companies; environmental groups recognize and criticize companies for their sustainability efforts; journalists monitor corporate activities closely; and governments are also keen to find ways to motivate companies to positively impact sustainability issues.
The role of investors is changing in response to all the different stakeholder activities, and we are happy to see that the proportions of investors who value a good sustainability performance has increased significantly in recent years. We believe the WBA are in good position to continue to catalyse this focus
For Folksam, the 17 SDGs represent 17 opportunities for investments. However, in order for investments to remain in-line with sustainability standards, we require companies to give us more. To be more transparent with their SDG activities which would thus allow investors like Folksam to be more adaptive in their sustainable investment strategies and responsive to the multitude of different scenarios and opportunities.
It’s important for us that the information is comparable within companies in the same sectors, but also that reports are then standardized to a larger extent. Sustainability reporting is something which Folksam are improving daily, and we envisage that the alliance will provide the platform for continued learning is this area.
In tightening reporting standards, bridging investor gaps, and making sustainability data more accessible, Folksam believe the WBA can become a game-changing alliance.
Carina Lundberg Markow
Executive Officer and Head of the Corporate Governance Department, Folksam