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SpareBank 1 SR-Bank's response to the Fair Action report “Broke in Bangladesh”
Author: Agnethe Brown Erland, Sustainability Manager, SpareBank 1 SR-Bank, Norwary, Published on: 3 March 2019
We are aware of the problems concerning living wages in the garment industry, and we recognize the importance of working towards better working conditions in the textile industry.
When it comes to this specific report we would like to specify that SpareBank 1 SR-Bank is a regional saving bank and rarely invest in publicly listed stocks at all. However, we do distribute mutual funds to our clients that are managed by Odin Asset Management. Odin was a shareholder in H&M between 2014 and 2018.
We have reached out to Odin Asset Management and received the following comment
Responsibility and sustainability are integral parts in our way of investing. We spend both time and resources (externally and internally) to gather information to ensure that we have a solid basis to properly evaluate companies. ESG-factors are thus integrated in our investment process. We were shareholders in H&M from 2014 till 2018. H&M operate in an industry where supply chain challenges are one of the most significant risk factors from an ESG-perspective. When we chose to invest in H&M, we considered the company to have the focus and the resources needed to face these challenges. With its size the company had the possibility to positively influence the industry. We had several meetings with H&M in the period invested. At these meetings sustainability and responsibility, where fair living wage is included, were discussed. While H&M has shown progress, we agree that the progress has been too slow.