Report alleges investments of Europe’s largest pension funds in Israeli settlements

A report by Danwatch alleges that Europe's largest pension funds are investing in Israeli settlements. The report adresses 5 pension funds investing into 36 companies. Statens Pensjonsfond UtlandArbejdsmarkedets Tillaegspension and Alecta Pensionsförsäkring replied to Danwatch. Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP and Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn PFZW provided a statement to the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

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Company response
14 February 2017

ABP response

Author: ABP

ABP strives to realize the investment returns for its 2.9 million participants in a responsible and sustainable manner. Therefore the fund has introduced a new vision on responsible investing in the fall of 2015 and subsequently developed a new investment policy. This will see the fund switch from a policy of exclusion to a policy of inclusion. The inclusion policy entails that individual investments are consciously included in the investment portfolio based on criteria of responsibility and sustainability, next to the standard criteria of return, risk and costs.

Such a switch from a policy of exclusion to a policy of inclusion however does not take place overnight, considering that ABP’s portfolio of listed stock consists of around 5000 companies. In the coming years ABP will re-evaluate and decide which listed companies make for responsible and sustainable investments and will therefore be included in its investment portfolio. In that process of re-evaluation several external sources of information will be used. The list that has been compiled by Danwatch will be one of those sources

Company response
14 February 2017

PFZW response

Author: PFZW

PFZW invests in a large number of listed companies worldwide and has indeed invested in some of the companies mentioned by Danwatch. Of all the companies in which we invested, we require that they comply with internationally agreed standards when it comes to the environment, social conditions and human rights.

Report
31 January 2017

Report "Europe’s Largest Pension Funds Heavily Invested in Illegal Israeli Settlements"

Author: Danwatch

Europe’s five largest pension funds have €7.5 billion invested in companies with business activities in and around illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. This is at odds with United Nations guidelines, clear warnings from 18 European countries, and undermines the two-state solution, experts warn. European investors have billions of euro invested in companies with activities in and around illegal Israeli settlements, according to a new investigation from Danwatch that screened the investment portfolios of Europe’s top five pension fund managers. Statens pensjonsfond utland (Oljefondet) (NO), Stichting Pensioenfonds ABP (NE), Pensioenfonds Zorg en Welzijn (NE), Arbejdsmarkedets Tillægspension (DK), and Alecta Pensionsförsäkring (SE) have a total of €7.5 billion invested in 36 Israeli and international publicly-traded companies, most of which have long been under public scrutiny because of their activities in the occupied Palestinian territories...

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