Finland’s Varma invests €200m in record-breaking sustainable ETF

Finnish pension provider, Varma, has invested €200m in a sustainable exchange-traded fund (ETF) launched by BlackRock last week.

Through its investment, Varma’s intention is to support companies in lowering their carbon emissions and to reduce the carbon footprint of its own investments. Varma is the only Nordic anchor investor in the ETF. The BlackRock U.S. Carbon Transition Readiness ETF invests in large- and mid-capitalisation U.S. companies that may be better positioned to benefit from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The ETF’s benchmark is the Russell 1000 Index, which represents the 1,000 top companies ranked by market value in the U.S. Along with lowering carbon emissions, the ETF focuses on sustainability criteria related to the environment, social issues and good governance. Launched 8 April, the ETF broke the record for drawing in the most money on launch day by an ETF, with $1.25bn (€1.05bn) committed by investors.

“We are very proud to be able to promote sustainable investment together with BlackRock and other major global investors. This, in effect, allows us to show our support for companies that aim to lower their carbon emissions,” Varma head of listed securities, Timo Sallinen, said.

“In addition, Varma’s goal is to reduce the carbon footprint of its own investments and achieve a carbon-neutral investment portfolio by 2035. Investing in BlackRock’s ETF is one way of reducing the carbon footprint of Varma’s investments,” says Sallinen.

BlackRock head of iShares Institutional Sales in the Nordic region, Wilhelm Schauman, said: “The energy transition presents a great investment opportunity and we are committed to continue innovating to bring new solutions forward that help position our clients at the forefront of this shift to a lower-carbon economy.”

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