Norges Bank Investment Management's response
Norges Bank Investment Management has been entrusted with safeguarding and building financial wealth for future generations. Our work on responsible investment is an integrated part of the investment process and has three pillars: improving industry standards, exercising our ownership rights responsibly, and monitoring and managing the risk in the fund’s investments by integrating a range of factors. We seek to safeguard investments in more than 9,000 companies worldwide by promoting good corporate governance standards and encouraging businesses to improve social and environmental standards. We express our expectations to companies we invest in through publicly communicated documents and by engaging directly with companies.
Our expectations and principles build on international standards such as the UN Global Compact, the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has issued guidelines for observation and exclusion of companies from the fund’s portfolio, and has set up an independent Council on Ethics to monitor the fund’s portfolio and evaluate whether or not the fund’s investments in specified companies are inconsistent with these guidelines. According to the guidelines, companies may be put under observation or be excluded if there is an unacceptable risk that the company contributes to or is responsible for serious or systematic human rights violations, such as forced labour or the worst forms of child labour. The Council on Ethics gives advice and recommendations to Norges Bank’s Executive Board, who decides on the exclusion of companies from the fund’s investment universe based on these recommendations. In 2015 we have sent several cases to the Council on Ethics for their review.