Responsible investments

Fund management essentially boils down to selecting the best investments in order to generate a good return. In this process, financial key ratios are important, although in our fund management, the importance of environmental, social and governance considerations is growing.

Our work with responsible investments

Have you considered that you are actually involved, and own the companies included in the funds in which you save? If you see it that way, it might also be of interest to consider how those companies act in various contexts. Do they emit environmental toxins, mismanage safety procedures or contravene international agreements? How companies act can, over time, affect the value of for instance their share, and hence the value of your savings. 

At Nordea, we have a dedicated team that specifically analyses how our investee companies work with ESG matters (environmental, social and governance). Their work involves inspecting and analysing companies in terms of aspects such as how they control their subcontractors, whether the company has control over its safety work or how they manage environmental issues. 

A fundamental aspect for all funds managed by Nordea is that they are covered by Nordea’s Responsible Investment Policy (pdf, 9 MB)Opens new window

This means that the funds covered by the policy are also covered by fundamental ESG criteria; for instance, we exclude investments in coal and we engage in dialogues with companies in breach of international standards and agreements. At the same time, our work with active ownership is an important element in how we manage our funds.

Active ownership

Being an active owner is an important part of how Nordea Funds works with responsible investment. It is about exercising our rights as shareholders, and to some extent also bondholders, to influence the conduct of companies and steer them in a more sustainable direction. 

In practice, this means for instance that we vote at AGMs and take part in nomination committees. We follow our corporate governance principles and vote as shareholders at the AGMs of numerous companies in many places around the world. 

See how we vote in the Nordea Voting Portal  

However, we also engage in investee companies such as through regular contacts with them and by visiting them at their sites of operation. 

We hold dialogues with companies both on a stand-alone basis and in cooperation with other investors such as through ClimateAction 100+.Opens new window

At Nordea Funds, we believe that active ownership best enables us to assess and manage ESG risks, their effects and opportunities. Ultimately, we do this to protect the long-term value of the money entrusted to us by unitholders.

Evaluation of the quality of corporate governance

Sound and active corporate governance is, in our view, crucial for a company’s long-term performance and thus also benefits the company’s shareholders, employees and society at large. 

An evaluation of the quality of corporate governance is therefore always included in the assessment of potential investments. Corporate governance covers responsibility issues, protection for shareholder/bondholder rights and long-term sustainable value creation. 

One way of ensuring sound corporate governance is to focus on heightened transparency and open communication between the company and shareholders.

Integral ESG analysis

All ESG analysis prepared by our responsible investment team is gathered in a database together with any procured ESG analysis. To make the right decisions about investee companies for our funds, all of Nordea’s fund managers also have access to, and are encouraged to use, this analysis.  

This means that they can select stocks in companies based both on financial data and on information concerning how the companies manage their ESG risks.  

For our Stars funds family, the ESG analysis performed by our responsible investment team is crucial to the fund’s investments.  

Thanks to this extra analysis, we can identify substantial risks and opportunities in the companies’ operations and assess how well-equipped they are to meet future sustainability challenges such as dwindling natural resources.  

Read more about Nordea’s Stars funds.

Funds with specific sustainability criteria 

Some of our funds have specific sustainability criteria on top of the stipulations of the Nordea Responsible Investment Policy.

The methods we use for funds with specific sustainability criteria. (pdf, 178 KB)Opens new window 

In our Fund information service, you can see how our funds invest. 

Dialogue with companies in breach of international standards

An important part of the policy is about engaging in dialogue with companies that for instance do not comply with international standards or which, in our opinion, need to improve at managing ESG risks in their operations. We hold such dialogues both on a stand-alone basis and in cooperation with other investors. 

However, if a company does not show willingness to change or lacks the conditions to change its standard-breaching conduct, Nordea’s responsible investment committee might decide to completely divest the company’s shares from all fund portfolios. 

Exclusion

Excluding a company from our fund portfolios is always a last resort. However, if a company breaches international standards (such as the UN Global Compact) and cannot or does not wish to change in matters concerning the environment, human rights, labour rights and business ethics, we can ultimately decide to divest the holding. This applies to all of our funds.  

Our responsible investment policy also entails that none of our funds shall invest in companies involved in the production of illegal arms such as cluster munitions or anti-personnel mines, and in the production or development of nuclear arms programmes or atomic arms.  

We also exclude companies with extensive and sustained coal mining operations. We exclude companies that have more than 30% of their turnover deriving from coal mining and companies with more than 10% of their turnover deriving specifically from coal mining intended for energy production (thermal coal). Combustion of thermal coal is highly pollutive and a major cause of global warming. We have also decided to exclude companies that have more than 10% of their turnover deriving from oil extraction from oil sands. 

The companies in which we choose not to invest end up on our exclusion list.  See our list of excluded companies.Opens new window

In our fixed-income funds we do not invest in government bonds issued by countries that are subject to broad sanctions and which do not respect human rights.

Process documents

Below, you will find more information on our work processes.

Past performance is no guarantee

Note that a fund’s past performance is no guarantee of future return. Investing in funds involves a risk. Invested money can both gain and lose value, and it is not certain that you will get back your entire invested amount. 

Key investor information documents, information brochures, full-year and interim reports and fund rules are available at Nordea.fi, Funds Now and Nordea branches.   

This material on these pages is only intended as general product information. It should not be considered to be investment advice or a recommendation to invest. 

Carbon footprint

We report the carbon footprint of those of our funds for which it can be calculated. Reporting the carbon footprint is the next step in increasing the transparency of our funds.

Carbon footprints of funds

Carbon footprints of funds

 

A carbon footprint can be measured in several connections. It means the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by an industry, a product or even an individual person. We display the carbon footprints of our funds when this information is available for at least 75% of the fund’s investments.

The carbon intensity measure we use gives us a picture of how much carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases have been emitted during the past 12 months by the companies or bond issuers in which the fund invests. The figure is expressed as tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-e) emissions per million US dollars of the company’s or issuer’s revenue.

The calculation is based on data provided by the companies themselves, most often in their annual reports, and on their emission estimates. Data on the companies’ carbon footprints are collected and provided by MSCI Inc. and ISS Ethix. The carbon footprint figures on our funds pages are updated monthly.

Other greenhouse gases also included
Calculating the carbon footprint
Which funds can be compared?
Updates, criteria and data
What is not measured

Carbon footprints of funds

 

A carbon footprint can be measured in several connections. It means the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by an industry, a product or even an individual person. We display the carbon footprints of our funds when this information is available for at least 75% of the fund’s investments.

The carbon intensity measure we use gives us a picture of how much carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases have been emitted during the past 12 months by the companies or bond issuers in which the fund invests. The figure is expressed as tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2-e) emissions per million US dollars of the company’s or issuer’s revenue.

The calculation is based on data provided by the companies themselves, most often in their annual reports, and on their emission estimates. Data on the companies’ carbon footprints are collected and provided by MSCI Inc. and ISS Ethix. The carbon footprint figures on our funds pages are updated monthly.

Other greenhouse gases also included

The carbon footprint also includes other greenhouse gases. As some gases affect the climate more than others, greenhouse gases are converted into the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential. This measure is called the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e). For example, methane causes 21 times as much global warming as carbon dioxide. A tonne of methane thus corresponds to approximately 22 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Calculating the carbon footprint

 

Nordea’s calculation model is based on weighted carbon intensity and recommended by the Swedish Investment Fund Association.

In this model, the carbon footprint of each investment is multiplied by a number that represents the investment’s relative proportion of the fund’s size (e.g. 5%).

As the carbon dioxide emissions are compared with the company’s revenue, the model indicates how carbon-intensive the company’s operations are and thus also demonstrates the carbon intensity of the fund’s investments. This enables investors to compare the results of the different funds.

Which funds can be compared?

When the carbon footprints of different funds are compared, it is important to compare only funds with holdings of similar companies investing in the same kinds of markets (emerging markets, for example) and using the same calculation models in the same currency.

Updates, criteria and data

 

Nordea Asset Management has chosen MSCI Inc. and ISS Ethix to supply the data based on which the carbon footprints of our funds are calculated.

As the investments of the funds change, we update the calculations monthly. This means that the carbon footprint of fund portfolios with a slow turnover rate decreases or increases as the companies’ emissions decrease or increase. On the other hand, if a fund’s turnover rate is high, the carbon footprint may decrease or increase considerably as holdings are bought or sold.

In accordance with the recommendation of the Swedish Investment Fund Association, we calculate the footprint of our funds when the data available on carbon dioxide (or on other greenhouse gas) emissions covers at least 75% of the market value of the fund’s investments.

We publish the carbon footprints of Nordea’s equity, fixed income and balanced funds. There are currently no methods available for calculating the carbon footprints of alternative funds, such as hedge funds. However, we will follow the development of carbon footprint calculation models for this asset class, too, in order to be able to calculate and publish the carbon footprints of alternative funds when it becomes possible.

What is not measured

The carbon footprint is a rough indicator, which reflects a company’s CO2 emissions in proportion to the fund’s ownership. The calculations are not conclusive and they do not include indirect emissions, for example. This is why these calculations should be treated as indicative rather than absolute facts. Despite this, we believe that the carbon footprint is an important tool that enables investors to also consider the climate impact alongside traditional factors, such as risk and return, when selecting a fund to invest in.

It is good to keep in mind that the carbon footprint does not reflect the full environmental impact of an investment because:

  • The carbon footprint only covers certain types of emissions. The calculations do not always include indirect emissions from suppliers nor emissions from the use of the company’s products.
  • The emission data provided by companies is not always comprehensive.
  • The calculations are not available for certain types of investments.
  • The carbon footprint does not include information on fossil fuel reserves.
  • The calculations do not tell us anything about how well the portfolio is prepared for or how it supports the transition to a low-carbon society.