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Norwegian Govt. pension fund adopts new guidelines for responsible investment

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Article
2 March 2010

Giant Norway fund relaxes controversial exclusion policy

Author: Hugh Wheelan, Responsible Investor

The giant Norwegian Global Pension Fund is softening its controversial, hard-line stance on corporate exclusions in favour of putting more companies on watch and lobbying for change…The development relaxes the fund’s previous position under which it tended to blacklist companies where it deemed there was risk of unethical complicity…The government said new engagement guidelines for the fund would enable it to consider “alternative measures” before a company is excluded on grounds of grossly unethical behaviour. It said active ownership or ‘observation’ might reduce the risk of continued violations of ethical norms better than exclusion...The new guidelines also include “ambitious requirements” for the fund to integrate best environmental, social and governance practices, transparency and reporting into investment. [refers to Norges Bank, United Technologies]

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Article
2 March 2010

New guidelines for responsible investment practices in the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG)

Author: Ministry of Finance, Norwegian Government

The Ministry of Finance today adopted two new guidelines for responsible investment practices in the Government Pension Fund Global...The ethical guidelines from 2004 are being replaced by two new sets of guidelines: one on work linked to exclusion and observation of companies and one for Norges Bank’s work on responsible management and exercise of ownership rights...The new guidelines enable a slightly broader assessment of the situation before a company is excluded on grounds of grossly unethical behaviour. The Ministry will in this context consider use of other measures. For example, this may be relevant if active ownership or observation might reduce the risk of continued violations of norms or for some other reason is deemed more appropriate.

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