NBIM met with almost 3,000 companies in 2020 as part of active ownership

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which is responsible for the investments of Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG), met with almost 3,000 companies in 2020 as part of its active ownership activity.

Publishing its seventh report on responsible investment, the company said that in total, the company had 2,877 company meetings and initiated several new dialogues with companies it is invested in.

NBIM CEO, Nicolai Tangen, said: "The coronavirus pandemic has stress-tested companies around the globe. As the world's largest shareholder, we have closely observed this. It has been important to maintain a close dialogue with the companies' boards and management throughout this turbulent year.”

In addition to its dialogue with companies, 2020 also saw NBIM publish five new position papers, three asset manager perspectives and more detailed voting guidelines, as part of its work on active management.

"During 2020, we have initiated several thematic dialogues related to our expectations. We have focused on climate risk for many years, and we have, among other things, initiated dialogue with 16 banks on how to manage climate risk in their lending and financing portfolios. We see that banks are increasingly working to quantify climate emissions from their financing operations,” NBIM chief governance and compliance officer, Carine Smith Ihenacho, said.

Better sustainability reporting is a priority for the fund. In 2020, it carried out more than 4,000 detailed assessments of the companies' governance structure, strategy, risk management and performance metrics for sustainability.

"Throughout the year, we have seen that many companies maintain their focus on sustainability. Some have even come up with new initiatives. For example, we see a significant improvement in companies' climate reporting compared with 2019. The improvement is in all sectors,” Ihenacho added.

In 2020, NBIM also introduced systematic screening of the entire portfolio against our expectations and followed up individual companies. It voted on 121,619 proposals and started publishing explanations of all our votes against the board's recommendation.

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