Norwegian state pension fund excludes nine companies for ESG reasons

Norway’s central bank, Norges Bank, has excluded nine companies, seven of which are tobacco or cannabis companies, from the Government Pension Fund Global.

The KRW 1.24 billion (989 million euro) South Korean metals and electronics producer Young Poong Corp and the INR 378.2 billion (4.7 billion euro) Indian hydropower company euros) NHPC were excluded due to the “unacceptable risk of the companies contributing to serious environmental damage,” the bank said in a press release.

Norges Bank said C$423.3 million (€323 million) Aurora Cannabis, C$2.19 billion Canopy Growth Corp, C$1.47 billion Cronos Group and C$1.84 billion Tilray Brands were also excluded.

This is due to the product-based criteria of the fund’s watch and exclusion guidelines, which state that the fund must not invest in companies “which themselves or through entities they control …produce cannabis for drug use”.

All four companies are currently in the benchmark, but not in the fund’s portfolio.

DKK 10.1 billion (€1.3 billion) Scandinavian Tobacco Group, $118.3 million Eastern CO and IDR $103.5 billion Hanjaya Mandala Sampoerna Tbk, which now also make part of the same benchmark, were also put on the exclusion list due to their involvement in the tobacco industry.

The decision was taken by the bank’s board of directors and is based on the recommendations of the pension fund‘s ethics board.

Dolores W. Simon