P+ member vote; success for board members with green credentials

Members of Danish pension fund P+ have elected a large number of candidates with green credentials to the board of the pension fund.

The pension fund, which invests around DKK 140m, on behalf of 101,000 engineers, lawyers and economists, held a digital referendum on 28 April to elect the board members.

Campaign groups AnsvarligFremtid (Responsible Future) and Demokratisk Erhvervsnetværk (Network for members of democratically governed institutions) had endorsed four of the successful candidates for having green credentials. According to the campaign group, they ran for election due to dissatisfaction with the current board, and how it is “misrepresenting its members on climate topics”.

Two of these candidates achieved the most votes, which AnsvarligFremtid believes shows that members support P+ in its effort to Paris-align the investment portfolio. The newly elected board will represent its members for the next three years.

One of the newly elected board members, Katrine Ehnhuus, said: “I am now looking very much forward to continue the progress on climate, in the hope that P+ will continue to take the lead in the pension fund industry, by showing that responsible investments, with stringent policies on climate, human rights and handling of tax evasion, goes hand in hand with high returns”.

AnsvarligFremtid said the candidates were spurred on by a lack of action on decisions made at the annual general assembly in August 2020, where a majority of members voted for a rapid sale of coal mining companies as well as oil and gas companies that continue to lobby against the Paris Agreement, and whose business model is generally incompatible with the Paris agreement.

Commenting, AnsvarligFremtid campaign coordinator, Thomas Meinert Larsen, said: “This is truly a clear sign, that beneficiaries are increasingly asking for more responsible investments, and that pension fund directors and trustees need to change course accordingly”.

In a statement on its website in response to the result, P+ chair of the board, Kim Duus, said: “As a member-owned pension fund, it is important that the members of P + engage in member democracy. I would therefore like to thank the members for their involvement in board elections and to give the board a good mandate for the future development of the pension fund.

“Board elections at P + have drawn more headlines, and the candidates have among others had clear views on pension fund future investment strategy and responsible investment. P + is broad, and in our membership, attitudes to, for example, responsible investments can be divided. The crucial thing for me is that we as a board can accommodate the diversity of the members. We must constantly strive to balance the different attitudes in the membership and build a bridge so that we meet as many members as possible.

"I am therefore looking forward to getting started with the board work, so we can get together created the best possible pension fund and the best possible results for all 100,000 members of P +. ”

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