Norway’s KLP exits Glencore and BAE Systems and makes 12 coal exclusions

Latest exclusion decisions from leading investor

(Updates with response from BAE Systems.)

KLP, the mutually owned Norwegian insurance and asset management firm, has excluded extractives giant Glencore and defence firm BAE Systems for, respectively, mining in the Western Sahara and involvement in nuclear weapons.

They are part of 20 new exclusions that include 12 companies with links to coal.

KLP is omitting Glencore, the Anglo–Swiss commodity trading and mining company, over oil exploration off the coast of Western Sahara, saying it “constitutes an unacceptable risk of violating fundamental ethical norms”. KLP has previously excluded the French oil giant Total for similar activities.

“The occupation of Western-Sahara has continued for several decades and is in many ways one of the world’s “forgotten” conflicts,” said Jeanette Bergan, Head of Responsible Investments for KLP Kapitalforvaltning, which manages assets on behalf of the insurance business in the KLP Group and other customers.

BAE Systems, the UK-based multinational, is being re-excluded over its contract with the US Air Force to maintain and upgrade the Minuteman III ICBM weapons system through 2021.

KLP had previously excluded BAE for its production of the ASMP-A nuclear missile for the French military, although it was re-included in 2013 after production concluded. Also being excluded are Fluor Corporation and Huntington Ingalls Industries for their joint venture to produce the US military’s only source of tritium gas, a central component in nuclear warheads, KLP said.A BAE Systems spokesperson told RI: “We are proud of the vital role we play in helping our customers to safeguard and protect national security and critical infrastructure. We do not manufacture nuclear weapons. We recognise individual investment funds will adopt their own criteria for investment.”

KLP has also excluded an extra 12 companies due to coal-based activities. They are Adani Power, AGL Energy, Alliant Energy, Duke Energy Corp., Glow Energy Public Co., Korea Electric Power, NRG Energy, Inc., Pinnacle West Capital, Reliance Infrastructure, Shikoku Electric Power, The Southern Company, and WEC Energy Group.

On top of this, four companies are barred for association with “serious environmental damage” linked to Indonesian palm oil plantations: Genting Berhad, Genting Plantations Berhad, IJM Corporation Berhad, and IJM Plantations Berhad. KLP based this decision on information from the Council on Ethics, which advises the giant Norwegian Pension Fund Global.

Four companies that had been excluded have now been included. They are Mexico’s Cemex SAB de CV, which had been excluded in June 2015 for violating what KLP termed “fundamental ethical norms” over a quarry in the occupied territory in the West Bank. Since then, Cemex has sold its stake.

Australia-based Wesfarmers, which had been excluded since 2007 over links to Western Sahara, has now, KLP said, developed a way to process phosphate in a way that it no longer needs to buy from the disputed area. Also re-included are Power Asset Holdings and Turquoise Hill Resources. Announcement