Norway’s Storebrand cuts fossil fuel exposure by excluding 19 coal and oil sands companies

Move follows recent sustainability analysis of energy sector

Storebrand, the Norwegian financial services company, has excluded a total 13 coal and six oil sands companies from all investments following a sustainability analysis of the energy sector.

“The aim of these exclusions is to reduce Storebrand’s exposure to fossil fuels and to secure long term, stable returns for our clients,” said Christine Tørklep Meisingset, the group’s Head of Sustainable Investments.

She added: “If global ambitions to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius become a reality, many fossil fuel resources will become unburnable and their financial value will be dramatically reduced.

“Exposure to fossil fuels is one of the main sustainability challenges facing business, so for us it is a logical and necessary step to adjust our investments accordingly.”

As a direct result of the investor’s higher standards for fossil fuels, all 13 coal producers in the Energy sector (MSCI All Countries index) are excluded. In addition the exclusion covers the six oil companies that have the highest exposure to oil sands, measured by both actual production and reserves.In total, Storebrand excludes 177 companies and 32 countries. It doesn’t disclose the names of excluded companies.

Storebrand, which also runs Swedish pensions provider SPP, says it works to ensure that the companies invested in are “well positioned for tomorrow’s sustainability challenges”.

Storebrand, now headed by CEO Odd Arild Grefstad, was named sustainable asset owner of the year in the 2011 Financial Times/IFC Sustainable Finance awards.

Former CEO Idar Kreutzer now heads trade association Finance Norway, which acts as the secretariat of the newly formed Norsif, the Norwegian Forum for Responsible and Sustainable Investment.

In March, Storebrand was among a group of 41 major institutional investors which put their weight behind an eight-point environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosure framework for private equity. It has also been pressing oil major Chevron to fully disclose to shareholders the risks of its controversial Ecuador litigation. Storebrand announcement