Danish PBU increases RI focus on tax, gender pay gap and human rights

Denmark’s academic pension fund PBU will over the coming years increase its active ownership responsibilities and focus on the social side of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing.

The pension fund said it will increase on active ownership in four main areas – responsible taxation, women’s rights and equal pay, children’s rights and workers’ rights.

PBU’s extensive experience with investing in microfinance, which primarily focuses on poor women in rural areas of South America, India and East Africa. The goal is to provide small loans and simple banking to private and small entrepreneurs who do not have access to financing.

In its annual report on social responsibility, PBU CEO Sune Schackenfeldt said these areas where the pension fund can show a way forward as a constructive a critical investor.

“This is also the case with PBU’s tax policy, an invitation to the other Danish pension companies and investors to develop a common foundation for how we strengthen for example children’s and women’s rights,” Schackenfeldt said.

At the same time, the fund will assess how it can contribute to the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) and the UN Global Compact principles.

To improve responsible taxation, PBU will open dialogue with companies evading tax, support relevant shareholder resolutions and make sure shares do not lead to speculations. According to the report, the fund will also fight gender specific discrimination in workplaces, support women in leadership roles and better hiring conditions.

Furthermore, PBU has a zero-tolerance policy for dangerous child labour and said companies must provide options, access to medicines and say no to all forms of child labour after 2025. Workers in general must have basic rights, free choice of unions, living wage and the companies must put an end to modern slavery.

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