Exclusion of a company from our fund portfolio is always a final course of action. We use an external service provider to annually screen all of our managed funds against our exclusion criteria as well as for verified violations of international norms regarding environmental protection, human rights, labour standards and business ethics.
On a continuous basis, we also receive incident alerts related to our holdings to ensure that the companies we are invested in continue to meet our criteria for inclusion.
If a company is identified as breaching our inclusion criteria or international norms, we will undertake an internal assessment of the company and the incident. Based on this review we decide if and how to engage with the companies identified and through active ownership encourage them to improve their ways of working.
The list of companies that have been excluded is published on Nordea.com. The exclusions are present for all actively managed funds.
Engaging with companies
In 2015 we had seven in-depth engagements on norm violations. If a company is found to be in breach of our inclusion criteria or does not change its norm-breaching behaviour within a certain time period, our Responsible Investment Committee may decide to exclude the company.In some cases we put companies on a watch list or in quarantine. Our exclusion criteria are defined in our Responsible Investment Policy. We also engaged with 56 companies that we have identified as underperforming in terms of ESG and where we see material risks that may not be adequately managed or opportunities that may not be fully capitalised on. These companies include some of our largest holdings as well as companies identified for our ESG-enhanced funds.
The dialogues were part of the around 150 company meetings we had during the year. Through these engagement efforts we are also able to identify new investment opportunities.
We do not invest in companies that are involved in the production of illegal or nuclear weapons, or in sovereign bonds issued by governments subject to broad sanctions or that fail to respect human rights.
In 2015 we decided to exclude 28 companies because 75% of their revenues derives from sales of coal products and they do not have a meaningful opportunity to diversify from coal. Some funds also apply tailored investment guidelines and additional exclusion criteria.